Opportunities for Undergraduate Study

There are thousands of university, national and international-level awards available to fund your undergraduate education. Let us help you find an opportunity that fits you.

Internal vs. External Awards

Internal Awards

Internal awards are awards that are offered by your academic department, college or university. The University at Buffalo offers many in-house scholarships to enhance a student's education. Many degree programs have their own scholarship funds. Please contact your academic department for more information on departmental opportunities.

External Awards

External awards are nationally (and internationally) competitive fellowships and scholarships for students to help pursue their academic interests or passions in more depth. Some offer opportunities to pursue research while others may provide funding for the last years of undergraduate education. In general, external awards provide a kind of “portable” allowance that can be used at the institution of the student’s choice.

Opportunity Spotlight

Take a look at some of the more prestigious national awards and some of the featured university awards that can fund your undergraduate education, listed by year in which they should be applied to, below.

Note that some awards allow the student to apply directly, while others require nomination by the university. Opportunities that require an institutional nomination are marked by an asterisk (*)

The following featured opportunities are available to students in their fourth-year of study. Please see the "finding other awards" tab for information on how to find additional opportunities.

Featured External Awards

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship offers grants for students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need.

External Deadline:

  • Fall semester or academic year programs: March 2018.
  • Spring semester programs: October 2017.
  • Summer programs: Early application due October 2017; Regular application due March 2018.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • U.S. citizenship.
  • Undergraduate student in good standing at UB (can be in any major).
  • Currently receive a Federal Pell Grant, or provide proof that you will receive a Pell Grant, during the term of your study abroad.
  • Be in the process of applying to, or be accepted for, a study abroad or internship program of at least four weeks in a single country that is eligible for credit at UB.
  • Plan to study in a country that is not on the U.S. Department of State’s list of travel warnings.

How to Apply: Students must complete the online application on the foundation website, including two essays: (1.) a statement of purpose, and (2.) an essay that details a follow-on service project that will be completed upon return to the U.S., to promote international education and the Gilman Scholarship. The application will be verified electronically by a UB study abroad advisor and financial aid advisor after submission.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Programs

The Rangel Program is a collaborative effort between Howard University and the U.S. State Department that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is a six-week summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers.

External Deadline: February 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Full-time undergraduate students, with at least sophomore status on the date of the application.
  • GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
  • U.S. citizenship.

How to Apply: Apply online on the Charles B. Rangel Program website.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS)

The Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS) is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.

Languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.

Programs range from seven to 10 weeks, beginning in early to mid-June with a pre-departure orientation in the U.S. Students must attend the full program and participate in all program activities. Students in all disciplines including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences and humanities are encouraged to apply.

Campus Deadline: A campus nomination is not required, but prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with Megan Stewart in advance of the deadline.

External Deadline: November 2017

Eligibility Criteria:

  • U.S. citizenship.
  • Current undergraduate or graduate student at UB (in any major).

Language experience varies; typically, previous language experience is not required.

How to Apply: Students must complete the online application on the Critical Language Scholarship Program website and submit two letters of recommendation.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

Freeman-ASIA

Freeman-ASIA (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia) is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures.

Campus Deadline: A campus nomination is not required, but prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with Megan Stewart in advance of the deadline.

External Deadline:

  • Fall semester or academic year programs: April 2018.
  • Spring semester programs: October 2018.
  • Summer programs: March 2018.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • GPA of 2.8 or higher.
  • U.S. citizenship.
  • Receives need-based financial aid or demonstrates a verifiable need for financial assistance to participate in the proposed study abroad program. The applicant is required to submit the estimated family contribution (EFC) figure, calculated through FAFSA, with the statement of financial need through the online Freeman-ASIA application. 
  • Undergraduate student pursuing first bachelor’s degree.
  • Must have at least one term of enrollment remaining at UB upon returning from studying abroad in Asia.
  • Must have applied or have been accepted to a study abroad based program in: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam. A multi-country program is eligible only if the applicant will spend at least eight weeks in one of the countries stated above and will have intensive language study during that period.
  • Must have little or no previous experience in the country in which the applicant plans to study.

How to Apply: Students must complete the online application on the Freeman-ASIA website, including two essays: (1.) a statement of purpose and (2.) an essay detailing a follow-on service project that will be completed upon return to the U.S. to promote international education and the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship. The application will be verified electronically by a UB study abroad advisor and financial aid advisor after submission.   

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarships

The German Academic Exchange Service, or “DAAD” as it is known by its German acronym, provides support for over 70,000 people every year, making it the largest international exchange organization in the world. They offer grants and scholarships for undergraduates through faculty members to spend time in or conduct research in Germany. Some programs include intensive language grants, support for conferences and the “High Tech in Germany” summer program for engineers, graduate grants for research/study, a study scholarship for graduating seniors and much more.

External Deadline: There are multiple deadlines based on the individual program. Please see the DAAD Scholarships website for more information.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a graduating seniors or a graduate student, in any discipline.
  • Open to U.S. citizens and many foreign nationals.
  • Language proficiency not required for matriculation in participating master's programs.
  • Independent research projects in the arts, humanities and social sciences typically require good understanding of German.

How to Apply: Apply online at https://www.daad.org/en/

Campus Liaison: David Fertig

Global Health Corps Fellowship

Global Health Corps Fellows work with high-impact health organizations in yearlong paid positions. They fill critical gaps in their placement organizations as many have non-traditional health backgrounds. Throughout the year, they engage in intensive leadership development and community building, striving to embody our leadership practices as they work to address health inequities across the global health field.

Campus Deadline: A campus nomination is not required, but prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships well in advance of the deadline.

External Deadline:  January 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • These fellowships are available to graduating seniors, recent alumni or graduate students who have not yet entered their third year, in any discipline.
  • Naturalized U.S. citizens, green card holders and children of naturalized U.S. citizens.
  • Age 30 or younger as of the application deadline.

How to Apply: Apply online at https://ghcorps.org/.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Humanity in Action Fellowship

The Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of fellows to study minority rights and produce original research exploring how and why individuals and societies, past and present, have resisted intolerance and protected democratic values. Separate programs take place for five weeks every summer in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo and Warsaw. The objective of the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs is to facilitate a collective exploration of the social and political roots of discrimination, as well as to provide a forum where potential solutions to some of today’s most challenging issues can be considered and discussed

Campus Deadline: A campus nomination is not required, but prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with Megan Stewart in advance of the deadline.

External Deadline: January 2018

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate student or be a recent graduate.

How to Apply: Apply online at https://www.humanityinaction.org/programs/14-humanity-in-action-fellowship.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

SMART Scholarship for Service Program

The Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is part of a highly concentrated effort to improve the flow of new, highly skilled technical labor into the Department of Defense (DoD). The purpose is to promote the education, recruitment and retention of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in science, mathematics and engineering studies; the DoD is also interested in supporting the education of future scientists and engineers in a number of interdisciplinary areas. SMART Scholars are awarded an annual stipend, full tuition, required fees, health insurance and up to $1000 book allowance per year. The SMART Program will allow individuals to acquire an education in exchange for a period of employment with the Department of Defense. The program is intended for citizens of the United States; students must be at least 18 years of age at the time of award.

Campus Deadline: A campus nomination is not required, but prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with Elizabeth Colucci in advance of the deadline.

External Deadline: December 1, 2017

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or United Kingdom at time of application.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2018.
  • Must be able to participate in summer internships at DoD laboratories.
  • Must be willing to accept post-graduate employment with the DoD.
  • Must be a student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of award.
  • Must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the disciplines listed on the Smart Program website.

How to Apply: Apply online at https://smart.asee.org/.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Featured Internal Awards

SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship*

This scholarship requires institutional nomination and cannot be applied to directly.

Each year the University at Buffalo is invited to nominate one student for the SUNY ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship awarded by the Association of Council Members and College Trustees Scholarship. This award recognizes students for excellence in their academic performance and extraordinary commitment to their campus and/or community.

The scholarship amount is $1,000 with an additional $250 given in the student’s name to the charity of his/her choice.

Campus Deadline: May 1, 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • GPA of 3.6 or higher.
  • Applicants must have undergraduate status (including graduating seniors).
  • Must have helped to identify a need on the campus or in the community and worked to provide a service or solution to address that need.

How to Apply: Applications be available on our website in January 2018.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

Benjamin and David Scharps Legal Essay Competition*

This scholarship requires institutional nomination and cannot be applied to directly.

The Scharps Award was established in memory of attorneys Benjamin and David Scharps, and is given on the basis of an essay describing the role and relevance of law in dealing with a current legal issue. The legal topic changes annually. One award SUNY-wide of $1,500 will be presented to the student who has written the best 2,000 word essay. A second award of $1,000 will be presented to the runner-up.

Campus Deadline: January 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Junior or senior undergraduate (or underclassmen who have that status based on credit hours completed).
  • Interest in legal issues or pursuing a career in the legal field.

How to Apply: Complete application cover sheet and submit a 2,000 word essay on topic selected by SUNY. Submission must be in standard essay format. Endnotes and footnotes are acceptable. No pictures or illustrations are to be included.

Selection Process: A UB campus committee that includes faculty with legal backgrounds will select the top three essays which will then be submitted to compete at the SUNY level.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart