The Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship

Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowships are funded through a donation by Mr. Thomas W. Smith to recognize academic excellence. Subject to maintenance of good academic standing, awards are renewable until the recipient completes their minimum degree requirements.


To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Have at least 45 credits completed;
  • Have at least 6 CUNY credits in progress as a CUNY BA student;
  • Have at least 6 credits remaining to complete the CUNY BA degree;
  • Have no incompletes on their record without valid explanation and documentation;
  • Be in good standing (not on academic probation).
  • International students may apply.

Award Details

Because the Smith Fellowship recognizes academic excellence, attention is given to the applicant's GPA and to the seriousness of the applicant's academic interests and plans.

Typically, 25 awards are given each year. Awards of $2,715 per semester are made to full-time students (minimum 12 credits per semester) and $1,380-$2,070 per semester to part-time students (6-11 credits per semester).

Awardees begin receiving funding in the semester following the one in which they are selected. Awards are typically disbursed in October and March.

Please note: Macaulay Honors/CUNY BA students can apply for this Fellowship. If awarded, however, and you also apply for and receive 5th year funding from Macaulay, the Smith Fellowship will not extend to cover your 5th year of college but will, instead, terminate when you reach 120 credits.

The Smith Fellowship recognizes academic and intellectual achievement and excellence. The committee is interested in candidates’ seriousness of purpose and depth of experience in their fields, corresponding co-curricular activities, as well as any academic honors and recognitions.  Civic and community engagement may be noted as well.

GPA is not the lone factor in the committee’s decision; however, you should maintain as strong a GPA as possible and include an explanation about any low/incomplete grades. In this explanation, include your expectation of when the incomplete grade will be finished.

Award Requirements

In addition to maintaining award eligibility, awardees must take at least six credits each semester following the award; attend an orientation and awards ceremony for their fellowship cohort; submit a report each semester in order to be considered for renewal; and have a graduation audit when they reach 90 credits.

Please be advised that CUNY Baccalaureate reserves the right to scale back or terminate a recipient’s funding if it is determined that the student is taking excessive elective credits.

Smith Fellows who wish to receive funding during a term in which they are studying abroad must comply with the CUNY International Travel Guidelines. Fellows should contact Kate McPherson to coordinate their plans and receive approval as far in advance of their time abroad as possible.


Applications are accepted between September 7th and October 8th for the Fall semester, and between January 31st and March 1st for the Spring semester. They are reviewed and notifications of awards are sent out late in the Fall and Spring semesters. Please note that funding does not begin until the semester after selection.

To submit an application, please complete the form below. Make sure your responses are substantial and well thought out and proofread before submitting your application. Please note the character limits outlined on the form. You are encouraged to compose your responses in a separate document and copy and paste them into the online form. Applicants are required to obtain a letter of recommendation, which should be submitted by the recommender to by the application deadline. If you are also applying for other awards in this application cycle one recommendation can be used for all of your applications.

Apply here: