Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

All sophomores (Class of 2019) who are currently enrolled at Duke, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and who have a 3.0 or higher GPA are eligible to apply to the program. Applicants should intend to (1) pursue a PhD in a Mellon-designated field of study and (2) pursue an academic career in that field. Up to five fellows are selected each spring.

NOTE: Exceptions to the GPA requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis, and on occasion, junior applicants are considered if they fulfill the above requirements.

The Mellon Foundation has identified the following selection criteria to be used by campus selection committees:

  1. Academic promise and strength of academic record
  2. Interest in pursing an academic career in a Mellon-designated field of study (see below)
  3. Potential for serving as a mentor and teacher for a wide variety of students
  4. Race and ethnicity (in relation to underrepresentation in designated fields of study)
  5. Demonstrated commitment to the goals of MMUF: to reduce the serious underrepresentation on faculties of individuals from minority groups, as well as to address the consequences of these racial disparities for the educational system itself and for the larger society that it serves. Examples of such commitment may include serious undergraduate research into racial disparities in higher education; a strong record of tutoring students from underrepresented groups; or sustained mentoring of children from such groups.
  6. Commitment to participating fully and enthusiastically in all aspects of the MMUF program, including attendance at conferences and meetings.

No one candidate will have to satisfy all criteria, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by comparing each applicant's qualities with those of the rest of the applicant pool. Finalists will be interviewed.

Only students majoring in one or more of the following areas are eligible to apply to the program:

  • Anthropology and Archeology
  • Area/Cultural/Ethnic/Gender Studies
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Geography and Population Studies
  • English
  • Film, Cinema and Media Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Musicology, Ethnomusicology and Music Theory
  • Foreign Languages and LIteratures
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Performance Studies (theoretical focus)
  • Philosophy
  • Religion and Theology
  • Sociology
  • Theater (theoretical focus)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Interdisciplinary areas of study may be eligible if they have one or more Mellon fields at their core, but must be approved by the MMUF staff at the Mellon Foundation on a case-by-case basis. Please note that interdisciplinary education graduate programs, even those that incorporate one or more eligible fields are not eligible for MMUF graduate benefits.