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 (*)

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

Featured External Awards

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship*

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

This scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue advanced degrees in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Students who plan to study medicine are eligible only if they plan a research career rather than a career in private practice (MD).

Campus Deadline: November 1

Eligibility Criteria:

  • High GPA (3.8 or higher).
  • Must be a sophomore or a junior.
  • Science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) major.
  • Must have plans to pursue a PhD in STEM.
  • Must have research experience.

How to Apply: Students interested in being considered for one of the four nomination spots, must complete the entire Goldwater application, including the research essay, transcripts and three letters of recommendation by November 1.

Selection Process: Students who complete all application materials will be considered for nomination to the Goldwater Foundation.  A faculty committee will select the four University at Buffalo nominees.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

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 the following two essays:

  1. A statement of purpose.
  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

Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress*

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

This fellowship is for sophomores and juniors with a focused research agenda related to the American presidency and/or Congress, who want to learn about leadership and governance, to share their outstanding research and scholarship, to develop as future leaders of character and to be inspired to careers in public service. Fellows will participate in group presentations addressing policy scenarios. There is a focus on collaborative work in the program to compliment policy research writing.

Campus Deadline: March 2, 2018

External Deadline: June 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled sophomores and juniors majoring in any field of study. Fellows typically major or minor in one of the following disciplines: economics, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, public health, public policy, communications.
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record.
  • Demonstrate an interest in American government and in the American presidency or Congress.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate research experience and the ability to write and present original material.

How to Apply: Complete the online application. Application materials will be available on our website in January.

Selection Process: A UB faculty committee will review the nominee’s application and determine if the student will be endorsed to the scholarship program.

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

Harry S. Truman Scholarship*

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

The Truman Scholarship seeks juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. The scholarship supports graduate or professional study, leadership training and fellowship with other scholars who are committed to making a difference through public service.

Campus Deadline: November 1, 2017

External Deadline: February 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nomination by the University at Buffalo by the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.
  • U.S. citizenship or a U.S. national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Full-time junior expecting to receive the bachelor's degree between December 2018 and August 2019.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.6.
  • Commitment to a career in public service.
  • Strong record of leadership, public and community service.
  • Able to attend the Truman Scholars Leadership Week.
  • Must be available for an interview, if shortlisted.

How to Apply: Complete an online application at https://www.truman.gov/.

Selection Process: The Truman Scholarship is by nomination through the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. A committee of UB staff and faculty will review applications to shortlist candidates for interviews, and select up to four campus nominees.  Campus nominees will work with advisors in preparation for the regional finals in March.

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

National Institutes of Health - Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral and social science health-related research. The program offers scholarship support, paid research training at the NIH during the summer as well as paid employment and training at the NIH after graduation.

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: March 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  • Applicants must come from a disadvantaged background; the UB Financial Aid office needs to certify you as having “exceptional financial need” (EFN), as defined by the Federal Government.
  • U.S. citizenship.
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time, as a student at UB.

How to Apply: In order to determine if you meet the financial aid eligibility guidelines, you are encouraged to complete the Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) form and submit to UB Financial Aid. Students must also complete the NIH UGSP online application including a personal statement, resume and three letters of recommendation.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Morris K. Udall Scholarship*

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

The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is for juniors and sophomores who intend to become leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice and economics. The foundation also seeks future Native American and Alaskan Native leaders in public and community health care, tribal government and public policy affecting Native American communities, including land and resource management, economic development and education.

Campus Deadline: December 1, 2017

External Deadline: March 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Nomination by the University at Buffalo through the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.
  • Be a current sophomore or junior (see the Udall website for definitions of class standing)
  • Study a field and demonstrate leadership in work related to the environment or Native American/Native Alaskan health care or tribal policy.
  • Have a GPA of B or above.
  • Be enrolled full-time at UB during 2017-18 academic year.

Note:  Scholars selected during their sophomore year may be re-nominated during the next year's competition.

How to Apply:

Submit the following materials to the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships by the campus deadline:

  • Completed online SAMPLE application form found at https://www.udall.gov/OurPrograms/Scholarship/HowToApply.aspx. Be sure to complete the sample application.
  • A copy of the 800-word signed essay.
  • Official college transcript(s).
  • Three letters of recommendation (original only, additional copies not necessary). It is recommended that you confer with the Elizabeth Colucci, before finalizing your choices for recommendations. Begin this process early to allow for creation and submission of letter by deadline. Letters may be sent electronically from the writer to fellowships@buffalo.edu or in sealed hardcopy form to the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships, 409 Capen Hall.

Selection Process: A UB faculty committee will review the nominee’s application and determine if the student will be endorsed to the Udall Scholarship Program.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

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.
  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://smartscholarshipprod.service-now.com/smart?id=smart_index.

Campus Liaison: Elizabeth Colucci

Featured Internal Awards

Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress*

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

This fellowship is for sophomores and juniors with a focused research agenda related to the American presidency and/or Congress, who want to learn about leadership and governance, to share their outstanding research and scholarship, to develop as future leaders of character and to be inspired to careers in public service. Fellows will participate in group presentations addressing policy scenarios. There is a focus on collaborative work in the program to compliment policy research writing.

Campus Deadline: March 2, 2018

External Deadline: June 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled sophomores and juniors majoring in any field of study. Fellows typically major or minor in one of the following disciplines: economics, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, public health, public policy, communications.
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record.
  • Demonstrate an interest in American government and in the American presidency or Congress.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate research experience and the ability to write and present original material.

How to Apply: Complete the online application. Application materials will be available on our website in January.

Selection Process: A UB faculty committee will review the nominee’s application and determine if the student will be endorsed to the scholarship program.

Campus Liaison: Megan Stewart

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

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