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 first-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

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

National Security Education Program: David L. Boren Scholarships*

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

The Boren Scholarship provides funding to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Boren Scholars represent many academic fields but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages. Successful candidates will be able to relate their career goals, as well as country and language choice to U.S. national security broadly defined. Applicants must demonstrate interest in government service, also broadly defined. The award is for a period of one semester or one academic year and includes $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; eight weeks minimum), $10,000 for a semester and $20,000 for a full academic year.

Campus Deadline: November 15, 2017

External Deadline: February 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • U.S. citizenship at the time of application.
  • Matriculated at UB; Boren Scholars must remain matriculated in their undergraduate programs for the duration of the scholarship and may not graduate until the scholarship is complete.
  • Applying to participate in a study abroad program that meets UB standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

How to Apply: Submit the Boren online application in Embark, including two essays; (1.) explain the significance of your proposed country, region and language to U.S. national security as well as your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement, and (2.) describe your proposed study abroad program, including details about language learning. The Boren application also requires two letters of recommendation.

Selection Process: The Boren Scholarship requires an evaluation from UB. Students must complete application materials online via the Embark system on the Boren website before the UB campus deadline. Students will interview with a panel of faculty and staff in mid-December to get feedback on their applications. The panel will also assess each student’s application in order to provide feedback to Boren. Students should treat this process as a formal interview.

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

U.S.-U.K. Summer Fulbright Institutes

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission offers special summer institutes for U.S. citizens to go to the U.K. These summer programs provide the opportunity for U.S. undergraduates to visit the U.K. on a three or four week academic and cultural summer program. Participants in these programs will get the opportunity to experience an exciting academic program at a highly regarded U.K. university, explore the culture, heritage and history of the U.K. and develop their academic ability by improving presentation, research and communication skills.

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: February 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.7
  • U.S. citizenship with a valid U.S. passport
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have at least two years of university study left to complete

How to Apply: Students must complete the online application on the Fulbright website and submit two letters of recommendation.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart