DoD SMART $41,000 Scholarships for STEM Undergraduates in USA 2024

Written by Michael Nz. on May 31, 2023

6 min read


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Scholarship details

  • Area of study

    Mathematics, Science, Science Technologies
  • Country of the Scholarship

    United States
  • Scholarship Valid Until (Year)

  • Type of scholarship

    Bachelor's scholarship
  • Scholarship amount given

    > 12000
  • Type of scholarship administrator

    Private sponsor
  • Mode of scholarship (Online/Offline)

  • Applier's country

  • Expenses covered

  • Scholarship Contact Details

    Scholarship-for-Service Program

Are you interested in obtaining a STEM Scholarship specifically focused on the United States, either as an undergraduate or graduate student? The Department of Defense (DoD) SMART Scholarships are currently being offered to provide financial assistance for students pursuing their education. This support comes in the form of internships, which can greatly benefit your academic journey. Take a moment to explore this opportunity and submit your application.

This article will delve into the significance of the DoD SMART Program scholarship. We encourage you to read on to better understand its value and benefits.

Table of Contents.

  • About the DoD SMART Scholarship Program
  • DoD SMART Scholarships
  • Level/field of study
  • Host nationality
  • Eligible Nationality
  • Scholarship Worth
  • scholarship number
  • Eligibility for DoD SMART Scholarship 2024
  • How to Apply for DoD SMART Scholarship 2024
  • DoN SMART Scholarship Application Deadline 2024
  • DoD SMART Scholarship Login / Application Link

About the DoD SMART Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) program is a unique scholarship opportunity offering comprehensive financial support, including full tuition coverage, to individuals passionate about service. In exchange for this generous scholarship, recipients commit to a period of post-graduation civil service at a Department of Defense (DoD) facility.

The DoD SMART Scholarship takes the form of a work-based program, providing participants with invaluable hands-on research and work experiences within DoD facilities. This immersive approach enriches your educational journey by offering highly relevant and practical learning opportunities.

Furthermore, SMART scholars have the option to continue their research and contribute to the nation’s defense efforts through civil service roles after completing their studies. The program supports students’ education and opens doors to exciting and fulfilling career paths within the DoD.

DoD SMART Scholarships

The DoD SMART Scholarship for Service Program, also known as Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation, was established by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2006. Its primary purpose is to provide support to undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing technical studies in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

SMART is a Civil Service Scholarship Program administered under the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) and receives funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The program focuses on increasing the number of civilian scientists and engineers working within DoD facilities.

The DoD SMART Scholarship offers financial assistance in the form of tuition coverage and scholarships to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students who have demonstrated exceptional aptitude in STEM disciplines that are relevant to the DoD’s needs.

DoD STEM aims to attract, inspire, and nurture exceptional talent in STEM fields throughout the educational journey, fostering the advancement of current and future DoD STEM manpower to tackle upcoming defense technology challenges. The Department of Defense recognizes the importance of supporting the education of aspiring young American scientists and engineers. The SMART Fellowship Program is a crucial investment by the Department to attract the brightest minds and skilled individuals with technical expertise who can contribute to the successful execution of its mission.

The SMART Service Grants Program is part of the DoD’s dedicated efforts to enhance the influx of new and highly skilled technical professionals in DoD facilities and agencies and enhance the technical capabilities of the existing workforce.

Level/field of study

DoD SMART Scholarships are granted to individuals who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in specific Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines or fields closely related to them. The eligible disciplines include:

1. Aeronautical and astronautical engineering.
2. Biosciences.
3. Chemical engineering.
4. Chemistry.
5. Civil engineering.
6. Cognitive, neural, and behavioral sciences.
7. Informatics and Computer Science.
8. Electrical engineering.
9. Earth sciences.
10. Industrial and systems engineering (technical tracks only).
11. Information sciences.
12. Science and engineering of materials.
13. Mathematics.
14. Mechanical engineering.
15. Naval architecture and ocean engineering.
16. Nuclear engineering.
17. Oceanography.
18. Operations research.
19. Physics.

Applicants pursuing studies in these fields have the opportunity to be considered for the DoD SMART Scholarship.

Host nationality

The DoD SMART Scholarship is taken and hosted in the United States.

Eligible Nationality

The DoD SMART Scholarship for Service is open to eligible students who are legal citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. If you hold citizenship in any of these countries, you have the opportunity to apply for the DoD SMART Scholarship.

Scholarship Worth

In addition to covering tuition and educational expenses at accredited colleges or universities in the United States, the SMART Scholarship offers participants various financial benefits based on their prior educational experience. The cash awards range from $25,000 to $41,000 per year.

Here are the benefits provided by the SMART Scholarship:

1. Annual Stipend: Participants receive an annual stipend as part of the scholarship program.

2. Health Insurance Reimbursement: A reimbursement allowance of $1,200 per academic year is provided to cover health insurance expenses.

3. Allowable Reserve: Participants are allocated an allowable reserve of $1,000 per academic year.

4. Summer Internships (Multi-Year Participants): Summer internships are offered at DoD facilities for multiple years for those who are part of the program for multiple years. These internships come with a stipend that helps cover travel expenses.

5. Graduate Career Opportunities/Job Placement within the DoD: Upon graduation, SMART Award recipients have the opportunity for career placement within the Department of Defense. They can pursue civilian jobs at DoD laboratories and agencies.

Participants are required to fulfill a service commitment after graduation, which is proportional to the duration of the SMART Scholarship Award received. The commitment involves working with the Department of Defense on a 1-1 year ratio. This employment is a paid position within a specific DoD agency.

It’s important to note that any modifications made to the original contract agreement between the DoD and the scholarship recipient may result in an extended length of required employment. Multi-year recipients are also expected to complete internships during the summers at their sponsoring facility without receiving additional compensation.

Scholarship Number

The specific quantity of available slots for SMART Scholarships targeting STEM students was not disclosed. It is important to note that the selection process for these scholarships is solely based on merit, ensuring that candidates are chosen based on their exceptional qualifications and achievements.

Eligibility Criteria for the DoD SMART Scholarship in 2024

In order to be eligible for the DoD SMART Scholarship, prospective applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Citizenship: Applicants must be citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. Proof of citizenship is required, and individuals with permanent resident status are not eligible.

2. Age Requirement: Applicants must be 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2023.

3. Summer Internship Availability: Applicants should be able to participate in summer internships at a Department of Defense (DoD) facility.

4. Commitment to DoD Employment: Applicants must be willing to accept graduate employment with the DoD.

5. Degree Pursuit: Applicants must be pursuing a technical bachelor or graduate degree in one of the disciplines listed above at an accredited college or university in the United States.

6. Academic Standing: Applicants must be in good standing as a student, with a minimum cumulative average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of the award.

7. Security Clearance Eligibility: Applicants must be eligible to receive and hold a security clearance.

8. Post-Graduation Employment: Upon completion of their studies, applicants should be prepared for a post-graduation job in their STEM field at a cutting-edge Department of Defense facility.

Meeting these eligibility requirements is essential for prospective applicants who are interested in applying for the DoD SMART Scholarship.

How to Apply for the DoD SMART Scholarship

To apply for the DoD SMART Scholarship, applicants must complete an online application through the dedicated scholarship website. For detailed information and to initiate the application process, interested individuals can visit the official DoD SMART website at:


DoD SMART Scholarship Application Deadline

The application portal for the DoD SMART Scholarship opens on August 1, 2023, and will close on December 3, 2023, at 5:00 pm EST. Successful applicants will be notified of their award in the spring.

It’s important to understand that the DoD SMART Scholarship presents a valuable opportunity for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in STEM disciplines. By being selected for this scholarship, recipients receive a full scholarship and have the chance to secure meaningful employment with the Department of Defense upon completion of their studies.

However, it is crucial to note that should a recipient choose to leave the program or fail to meet the program requirements; they will be obligated to repay the Department of Defense in full for all funds disbursed on their behalf. The reimbursement amount is prorated based on the duration of employment following graduation. For instance, if a recipient is required to work for the government for two years but chooses to leave after completing only one year, they will be responsible for repaying approximately half of the financial support received during their Phase 1 educational period.

Applicants are strongly advised to carefully consider the implications of the Service Contract Scholarship before accepting it. It is also highly recommended that applicants engage in conversations with their sponsoring facility (the organization offering the employment opportunity) to clearly understand their post-graduation job responsibilities and duties.

For additional information about the DoD SMART Scholarship, please visit the official website at: This website provides comprehensive details and resources regarding the scholarship program.

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