DoD SMART Scholarships 2021 for STEM Undergraduates in US

Filed in Scholarships In USA by on 19th April 2021

Application for DoD SMART scholarships 2021 is now open for stem undergraduates in the US to receive financial assistance for their studies. 

DoD SMART scholarships 2021

DoD SMART scholarships 2021

The DoD SMART Scholarship is available for graduate and undergraduate students to receive financial assistance to support their education in the form of an internship. 

Read on to know about the DoD SMART Scholarship Program, scholarship worth of the DoD SMART Program, level/field of study, scholarship number, and application link. 

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About DoD SMART Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) is a scholarship-for-service program that provides full tuition to interested individuals in exchange for a period of post-graduation civilian service in a DoD facility.

The scholarship comes in the form of an internship program that allows for broadly relevant works experiences and hands-on research in DoD facilities, thereby enhancing the applicant’s overall educational experience.

DoD offers research students not only an education but also a career, through SMART. So students can find opportunities to continue their research in civil service roles following graduation.

DoD SMART Scholarship

The DoD  SMART Scholarship (Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation) for Service Program was established in 2006 by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing technical degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

SMART is a DoD civilian scholarship-for-service program, funded through the Office of the Secretary of Defense and is a part of the National Defense Education Program (NDEP]. 

The program is aimed at increasing the number of engineers and civilian scientists working at DoD facilities. The DoD SMART scholarship tuition and grants is awarded to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students who have demonstrated the aptitude for excelling in STEM fields in disciplines of importance to DoD.

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DoD STEM seeks to inspire, attract, and develop exceptional STEM scientists across the education continuum and advance the current DoD STEM workforce to meet future technological challenges. The Department of Defence also recognizes the need to support the education of aspiring young American scientists and engineers.

Level/Field of Study

Applicants who are pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degree in, or closely related to, one of the following Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines which include;

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Civil Engineering


Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Computer and Computational Sciences

Electrical Engineering


Industrial and Systems Engineering (Technical tracks only)

Information Sciences

Materials Science and Engineering,


Mechanical Engineering

Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering,

Nuclear Engineering


Operations Research


Host Nationality

The United States.

Eligible Nationality

The DoD SMART Scholarship for Service is available to legal students who are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

Scholarship Worth

The U.S. SMART scholarship Participants receive cash awards ranging from $25,000-$41,000 per year, depending on prior educational experience. The benefits include the following;

  • The annual stipend
  • Health Insurance reimbursement allowance of $1,200 per academic year
  • Book allowance of $1,000 per academic year
  • Summer Internships (multi-year participants)
  • Post-Graduation Career Opportunities/ employment placement within the DoD
  • Mentoring by a DoD sponsoring facility

SMART Scholarships for Service include summer internships at DoD facilities and a stipend to cover travel expenses. After graduation, SMART award recipients are placed in civilian jobs in DoD laboratories and agencies.

The post-degree service commitment is commensurate with the duration of the SMART scholarship award. Students are expected to pay back the scholarship by working with the Department of Defence in a 1-1 year ratio. The Department of Defence work is a paid position within a specific DoD agency.

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Any changes to the original contract agreement made between the award recipient & DoD may result in a longer duration of required employment. Multi-year recipients are also expected to complete internships during the summers at their sponsoring facility at no additional compensation.

Scholarship Number

The number of SMART Scholarships for STEM students is not stated. Its selection criteria are strictly based on merit.

Eligibility for DoD SMART Scholarship 2021

To qualify for the SMART Scholarship DoD, prospective individuals applying for this scholarship must meet the following criteria;

  • Be a citizen of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand. 
  • Proof of citizenship is required, and persons who hold permanent resident status in the above-mentioned countries are not eligible
  • 18 years of age or older as of August 1, 2021
  • Able to participate in summer internships at a DoD facility
  • Willing to accept post-graduate employment with the DoD
  • Pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the disciplines listed on the above, in a U.S. college or university
  • A student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of the award
  • Awardees must be eligible to receive and hold a security clearance.
  • A job after graduating in their STEM field at a cutting edge Department of Defense Facility

How to Apply for DoD SMART Scholarship 2021

Applications are done online. Visit the scholarship website below to apply


DoD SMART scholarship 2020 Application Deadline

The application portal for the DoD SMART application opens on August 1, 2021, and closes on December 3, 2021, at 5:00 pm EST. Award notification occurs each spring.

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Bear in mind that this program is an opportunity for students pursuing a graduate degree or undergraduate degree in STEM disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed by the Department of Defense upon degree completion.

Therefore, if a recipient chooses to leave the program or fails to meet the program requirements, the recipient will be required to pay back in full all money that has been paid on their behalf to the DoD.

This payback amount is refunded depending on how long the recipient decides to stay in their post-graduation employment. For instance, recipients are required to work for the government for two years. If one year is completed and the recipient wants to leave the job at that time, he/she will be required to pay back approximately half of what was given during the Phase 1 educational time.

Applicants are encouraged to deeply consider these scholarship terms for service contracts prior to accepting. Applicants are also highly encouraged to speak with their sponsoring facility (the ones that are offering you the job) to find out if the job duties involved will be after they graduate.

DoD SMART Scholarship Login/Application Link

You can obtain more information about the DoD SMART official scholarship website:


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