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What You Need To Know
Get answers to questions about the Mellon Public Humanities (MPH) Scholars Program. Learn about the program's benefits, who qualifies, how to apply and more.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Hunter College has received a substantial grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to create advanced research opportunities for promising undergraduate students in public humanities.
Hunter is looking for students who have demonstrated exceptional potential in their classes. There is no minimum GPA requirement. All currently enrolled students who have earned over 60 credits at the time of application are eligible to apply; students must have earned at least 15 credits in Hunter classes. By the time they enroll, they must have earned 75 credits. The program is for students who will be registered in classes during the 2021-22 academic year. Students who will have graduated before May 2020 are not eligible to receive the grant.
Public humanities is an evolving interdisciplinary field and set of practices that draw on humanistic modes of inquiry to help address pressing concerns in the public sphere and open new avenues of civic engagement. Each grant project should have both a clearly identifiable academic dimension (a question of limited scope that can be reasonably addressed in a research or policy paper) and a public outreach dimension.
Students should aim to have their ideas reach beyond the college setting. MPH scholars have worked or are working with immigrant groups, public housing residents and music collectives. Others have created podcasts, YouTube videos and Wikipedia entries.
Students will be assigned individual faculty mentors and will meet and correspond regularly with them to discuss their projects. They will be able to present and share their research in public humanities symposia and outside conferences.
Yes. If you’re already working on an honors thesis or independent study, you can also explore this in the Mellon grant as long as there is an academic dimension and a public outreach dimension to your proposed MPH project.
A total of $3,000. Faculty mentors will also receive funding.
Students’ intensive research and seminar participation might serve as a springboard for graduate studies (MA or PhD), or it might help pave the way for careers in the arts or in public affairs.
No. While it is expected that a majority of MPH scholars will choose to apply to graduate school, it is not a precondition for applying for or accepting the award.
Applying to the Program
Humanities disciplines at Hunter College include Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino studies, art and art history, arts management, Asian American studies, classical and Oriental studies, comparative literature, dance, English, environmental studies, film and media studies, German, history, human rights, Jewish studies, music, philosophy, religion, romance languages, theatre, urban studies, and women and gender studies. Some concentrations in anthropology, education, geology, political science, social work and sociology may also have a humanities emphasis. The short answer is that if the project contains a dimension that engages the humanities (art, literature, philosophy, theatre, etc.), you may apply.
All Hunter students with over 60 credits are eligible to apply to the program, but at least 15 credits must have been earned at Hunter.
The completed application must include:
A personal statement up to 250 words describing who you are and why you want to pursue a public humanities project.
An essay of up to 750 words describing the academic question in the humanities you wish to pursue, the argument you intend to make and your ideas for public outreach.
A letter of recommendation from a faculty member addressing the professor’s familiarity with you and your work and the merits and viability of your proposed study.
This instructor may or may not become your mentor. Mentors are almost always full-time, tenured faculty members at Hunter College, but recommenders are not required to be. If you do not have a mentor at the time of your application, we will find you one if you are accepted.
The application deadline for the 2021-2022 program is Monday, March 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
To prepare, we recommended following this timeline:
In January 2021, please let the program know you are considering applying by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Under the subject line, please write “MPH Prospective Student.”
Attend the remote MPH Information session held on February 3rd by 1pm on Zoom. (Attendance is not mandatory but will be helpful.)
By early February, jot down some ideas for a project.
By early-mid February, contact an instructor familiar with your work and ask the instructor to meet, to read a draft of your in-progress application and to write a recommendation for you.
Hand in your completed application along with your personal statement, project proposal and letter of recommendation by March 8, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
For more information about the Mellon Public Humanities Program at Hunter, please contact us.