We wish to inform the general public that the application form for the SMART scholarship 2021 program is still open and closes on the 31st day of December 2021.
After the SMART scholarship deadline for 2021, the next registration will commence on August 1st, 2022. Candidates who are unable to apply within the timeframe of 2021, would have to wait until mid-2022.
SMART stands for “Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation.”
DoD SMART scholarship application eligibility and requirements
Who can apply?
The SMART application is open August through December of every year, with awards being granted the following spring. Review the below requirements to ensure you are eligible to apply for this life-changing opportunity.
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, 2022
- 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 21 STEM disciplines listed below,
- able to produce a fall 2021 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, 2022 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.
SMART scholarship benefits
SMART Scholars are provided with the tools required to pursue their STEM education and begin their career in a prestigious civilian position with the Department of Defense (DoD).
- Full tuition and education-related educational expenses (meal plans, housing, and parking not included)
- Stipend paid at a rate of $25,000 – $38,000 a year depending on degree level (may be prorated depending on award length)
- Summer research internships ranging from 8 to 12 weeks
- Health Insurance allowance of up to $1,200 per academic year
- Miscellaneous allowance of up to $1,000 per academic year
- An experienced mentor at one of the Sponsoring Facilities
- Employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.
SMART Scholars are among the most talented and innovative minds in STEM with a mission to support the United States and protect national security. Our scholars have the opportunity to be leading agents in their field and pursue their passions. Visit the Scholar Showcase page to learn about our SMART Scholars and their accomplishments as well as the Videos Page page for more information on the program.
What kind of STEM?
The program focuses on students pursuing disciplines that are critical to the national security functions of the Department of Defense (DoD). The following is a list of SMART’s 21 approved STEM disciplines. These disciplines are general umbrella disciplines – specific applicant majors or fields of study may fall under one or more disciplines 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
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
- Computer and Computational Sciences and Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Sciences
- Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Information Sciences
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Operations Research
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.
- Must be currently enrolled at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university
- Must be able to produce a fall 2021 (or earlier) college transcript at the end of the term
- AP coursework is not considered college credit
- 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 2022 term
SMART scholarship FAQS
How hard is it to get SMART scholarship?
Although DoD SMART scholarship is attainable, there are many people who complain that not up to 10% of the total number of applicants annually usually get awarded the free scholarship.
What is a smart scholar student?
A SMART scholar is someone who is currently undergoing one of the 21 STEM programs which cover free tuition and stipend with a guarantee of working with the DoD after graduation.