The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program, funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for STEM students.
Mission: To recruit, educate, employ, and foster the development of the future DoD civilian STEM workforce through scholarships and lasting partnerships with academic institutions, STEM education ecosystems, and DoD laboratories and agencies.
Vision: To develop pathways for a diverse, technically proficient, and innovative talent pool needed to maintain the technological edge of a DoD workforce ready to meet U.S. national security needs.
Important Information to Know Before Applying
Applicants need to complete the registration page to ensure eligibility and receive access to the Application Portal. Upon registration, applicants will be sent an email with information on how to login and start the application. Once an account is created, applicants will be directed to the SMART Application Portal. Before logging in, please carefully read the Account Authentication Set Up instructions.
Every task in the portal must be complete for the submit button to appear; you can track your progress with the progress bar at the top of the page. The portal contains materials to assist you in completing the application and is a way for you to monitor the status of your application.
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
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Data Science and Analytics
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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