DoD SMART Scholarship

SMART Scholarship Eligibility & STEM Disciplines


To learn more about the Ronald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship (Dellums SMART Scholarship) and to review eligibility requirements of the Dellums SMART Scholarship, visit the About Dellums page.

Eligibility Requirements

Review the below scholarship requirements to ensure you are eligible to apply for this life-changing opportunity.

Who can apply?

The SMART application is open August through December of every year, with awards being granted the following spring.

All applicants must be:

  • a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom at time of application,
  • 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2024
  • requesting at least 1 year of degree funding prior to graduation (which starts at the program start date),
  • able to complete at least one summer internship (multi-year scholars only)
  • willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD,
  • a student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
  • pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the 24 STEM disciplines listed below,
  • able to produce a fall 2023 college transcript from a regionally accredited US college or university, OR be pursuing a graduate degree at a regionally accredited US college or university.

Active duty military members who wish to apply for the SMART Scholarship must be separated or on terminal leave on or before August 1, 2024 to be eligible. Reserve and National Guard members are eligible to apply. Current ROTC participants with a future service commitment are not eligible to apply

For more information, watch the SMART Eligibility Requirements video.

What kind of STEM?

The program focuses on students pursuing disciplines that are critical to national security functions of the Department of Defense (DoD). The following is a list of SMART’s 24 approved STEM disciplines. These disciplines are general umbrella disciplines – specific applicant majors or fields of study may fall under one or more discipline on this list.

Please note, non-technical degrees, including management, arts, or humanities, are not approved or funded by SMART.

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering 
  • Information Sciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Oceanography
  • Operations Research
  • Physics
  • Software Engineering

What you need to know

Scholarships are awarded for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years of funding, depending on degree requirements. SMART is a one-for-one commitment; for every year of degree funding, the scholar commits to working for a year with the DoD as a civilian employee. 

Undergraduate applicants 

  • Must be currently enrolled at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university
  • Must be able to produce a fall 2023 (or earlier) college transcript at the end of the term
  • AP coursework is not considered college credit

Graduate applicants 

  • Can be either currently enrolled in a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or awaiting notification of admission
  • If awaiting admission, you must be accepted for entrance in the fall 2024 term

Scholars enter the program as either recruitment or retention. Learn more information on how scholars participate in the SMART Program through recruitment or retention. 

Learn more about the citizenship and security clearance requirements for SMART scholarship awards.

USDA/1890 National Scholars Program

USDA/1890 National Scholars Program

What is the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program?

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities. The program awards scholarships to students to attend one of 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities.

What does a scholarship under the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program provide?

A scholarship under the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program provides:

  1. Full tuition;
  2. Employment with the USDA during the summer and after graduation;
  3. Employee benefits while employed with USDA;
  4. Fees;
  5. Books;
  6. Use of a laptop computer, printer, and software while on scholarship;
  7. Room and board for each of the 4 academic years.

What are the eligibility requirements for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program?

Eligibility requirements for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program are as follows: Applicants must be U.S. citizens who have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. certificate and are starting their first year of college for a bachelor’s degree. (Note: Since this program is intended to increase the number of students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or other related disciplines at participating institutions, currently enrolled bachelor-level students in these institutions are not eligible to apply.)

Applicant must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen;
  2. Be an entering freshman;
  3. Hold a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate;
  4. Have a high school GPA of 3.0 or better;
  5. Have a combined verbal/math score of 1,000 or more on the SAT or a composite score of 21 or more on the ACT;
  6. Attend one of the eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions;
  7. Study agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or other related disciplines;
  8. Demonstrate leadership and community service;
  9. Apply for admission to the institution(s) of his or her choice;
  10. Submit an official transcript with the school seal and an authorized official’s signature;
  11. Sign all applications (original signature only);
  12. All application materials must be postmarked no later than February 1st and sent to the institution(s) selected by the applicant to attend.

What are the 1890 Land-Grant Universities?

The 1890 Land Grant Universities are:

  1. Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
  2. Alcorn State University , Lorman , MS
  3. Delaware State University , Dover , DE
  4. Florida A&M University , Tallahassee , FL
  5. Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA
  6. Kentucky State University , Frankfort , KY
  7. Langston University , Langston , OK
  8. Lincoln University , Jefferson City , MO
  9. North Carolina A&T University , Greensboro , NC
  10. Prairie View A&M University , Prairie View, TX
  11. South Carolina State University , Orangeburg , SC
  12. Southern University, Baton Rouge , LA
  13. Tennessee State University , Nashville , TN
  14. Tuskegee University , Tuskegee , AL
  15. University of Arkansas , Pine Bluff , AR
  16. University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD
  17. Virginia State University , Petersburg , VA
  18. West Virginia State University , Institute, WV

What is the application deadline for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program?

The application deadline for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is February 1st  of each calendar year.

Where can an application for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program be obtained?

Applications for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program can be obtained at:

USDA/1890 Programs
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250, Mail Stop 9478
Telephone number: (202) 205-5692
Email Address:

NRCS 1890 National Scholars Program Coordinator
Ms. Kimberly Rodgers
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, Maryland 20705, Mailstop 5472
Telephone Number: (301) 504-2309
Fax Number: (301) 504-2175
Email Address:

USDA 1890 National Scholars Application

When are the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program applicants notified?

Notification procedures are as follows:

Scholarship offers are usually made within 90 days of application deadline.


    USDA Pathways Programs

    USDA Pathways Programs

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers different pathway opportunities for students and recent graduates to work in the agricultural, science, technology, math, environmental, management, business and many other fields. USDA offers internships to students and recent graduates to help them to excel in their chosen fields.

    USDA Internship Program

    The USDA Internship Program provides paid work experiences for students who are in high school or pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited college or university (including Home-Schooling, Certificate Programs and Community Colleges). Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring or year round. Please apply at – Students and Recent Graduates

    USDA Recent Graduates Program

    The USDA Recent Graduates Program provides individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs with developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service. Participants must have obtained a degree, or completed a qualifying career or technical education program within the preceding 2 years. Veterans are eligible to participate to the program within 6 years of obtaining a degree or graduating qualifying program.

    USDA Presidential Management Fellows Program

    The USDA Presidential Management Fellows Program is a prestigious, competitive program that is managed by the Office of Personnel Management. The PMF Program supports leadership development for recent graduates who have been pre-qualified or recommended by a network of graduate schools. Graduates are provided with a 2 year appointment at USDA that may lead to conversion to a permanent appointment.

    Questions regarding any of the three USDA Pathways Programs can be directed to:


    USDA Scholarship Programs

    USDA Scholarship Programs

    OPEDA Scholarship Program

    The Organization of Professional Employees of the USDA (OPEDA) accepts scholarship applications March 1st through June 30th of each year. OPEDA members in good standing and their family members attending college are eligible to apply. Two scholarships are awarded in honor of John W. Peterson and Steven “Tom” Stefani for their exemplary service to OPEDA, the USDA, and our country. We encourage you to visit OPEDA’s website for more information about membership and scholarship opportunities.

    Adel A. Malak Scholarship

    As an Adel A. Malak Scholarship recipient, you will experience and take on a variety of Public Health Veterinarian responsibilities to more fully understand the great work FSIS does to protect public health through food safety.

    Saul T. Wilson, Jr., Scholarship Program (STWJS) (PDF, 542KB)

    A career in public veterinary health would afford you the opportunity to be involved with the health of major animal populations in many activity areas. Veterinarians have a responsibility for the health of the Nation’s animals, and public health veterinarians can have a broad and lasting impact on animal health issues. A hallmark of VS is its multidisciplinary approach to working on animal health problems. VS has employment opportunities in the public veterinary field for professionals from a variety of disciplines. Additionally, APHIS employs veterinarians in its Animal Care and Plant Protection and Quarantine programs. Employment opportunities are located throughout the United States.

    USDA/1994 Tribal Scholars Program

    Scholars for applicants attending 1994 Land Grant Tribal Colleges and Universities seeking careers in food, agriculture, and natural resource sciences, and/or other related disciplines.

    USDA/Public Service Leader Scholars (PSLS)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Public Service Leaders Scholarship Program provides combined scholarship and internship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students leading to permanent employment upon completion of their degree. The program is designed to promote public service and create access to higher education.

    William F. Helms Internship Program

    USDA offers tuition assistance, mentoring, and summer work to college students interested in pursuing a career related plant pathology, biology, virology, ecology, and entomology.