Before Applying

What should I be doing, and when?

First Year

  • Study: Establish a solid GPA
  • Get involved: organizations and activities that reflect your values and interests
  • Show curiosity: take a variety of courses and extracurricular activities
  • Stay informed: read and listen to a variety of news sources

Second Year

  • Find a mentor: help your professor with their research
  • Stay involved: explore leadership roles in your organizations
  • Stay curious: keep taking chances with courses, extracurriculars
  • Plan ahead: find opportunities for internships, research, and study-abroad

Third/Fourth Year

  • Start a project: pursue an undergraduate research project
  • Present: show your work at a conference, for a community group, on campus
  • Write: journal about yourself and your passions
  • Prepare for awards: meet with the Office of National Fellowships, research requirements
  • Study for national exams: such as the GRE and MCAT

How do I get started with the application process?

  1. Decide: Which scholarships best suit your academic interests and career goals? Be absolutely certain that you meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. Visit: Visit the SMU office for advice. Attend one of our Info Sessions.
  3. Deadlines: Highlight all application deadlines on your calendars. Enter alerts in your calendar, one week and two weeks prior to the deadline.
  4. Requirements: Develop a checklist of requirements for each scholarship and a timeline for completing each. Honor your timeline!
  5. References: Identify and contact those who will write references for you. Make sure they know your plans and aspirations. Provide them as much information about the scholarship as you can. Provide them as much TIME as possible!
  6. Resume: Fine-tune your resume or CV.
  7. Photos: If a photograph is required, use a wallet-sized head and shoulder shot of professional quality and in interview attire.
  8. Transcript: If required, order your transcript. SMU's transcript requests portal is here: