The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (Mellon) is a 2-year program at CSUSB that provides financial support, research mentorship, and assistance with graduate school applications.
The program is the centerpiece of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s initiatives to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning. Established in 1988 by William G. Bowen, then the president of the Foundation, and Mellon program associate Henry Drewry, the MMUF program began with an initial cohort of eight member institutions. Since then, the program has grown to include 48 member schools and three consortia, including three South African universities and a consortium of historically black colleges and universities within the membership of the UNCF. As of 2017, over 5000 students have been selected as fellows, more than 700 of whom have earned the Ph.D. and over 100 of whom are now tenured faculty members. The great majority of those who have completed the Ph.D. hold or have held an appointment in the academy.
The fundamental objective of MMUF is to address, over time, the problem of underrepresentation in the academy at the level of college and university faculties. This goal can be achieved both by increasing the number of students from underrepresented minority groups (URM) who pursue PhDs and by supporting the pursuit of PhDs by students who may not come from traditional minority groups but have otherwise demonstrated a commitment to the goals of MMUF. The MMUF program is designed to encourage fellows to enter Ph.D. programs that prepare students for professorial careers; it is not intended to support students who intend to go on to medical school, law school or other professional schools.