DoD SMART Scholarship Application Detail

DoD SMART Scholarship is a great opportunity presented by the U.S. Department of Defense that opens up many doors for professional growth and the ability to better serve the country.

DoD SMART Scholarship
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The DoD recognizes the need to support the education of America’s future scientists and engineers. The SMART Scholarship-for service Program is part of a concentrated effort to improve the flow of new, highly skilled technical labor into DoD facilities and agencies. It also enhances the technical skills of the workforce already in place.

This program offers scholarships to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for excelling in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Students are also provided opportunities to continue their research in civil service roles following graduation.

Through DoD SMART Scholarship, the DoD is proud to offer research leaders of tomorrow not only an education but a career.

If you are interested in taking this extraordinary opportunity, then continue reading on what you have to do to be considered a shortlisted candidate.

DoD Smart Scholarship Overview

The DoD SMART Scholarship for Service Program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). It is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. students to gain technical skills in critical STEM fields and support the national security mission of DoD.

The program provides a combined education and career opportunity for students pursuing STEM degrees that will enhance the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce. It helps create a highly-skilled Department of Defense (DoD) STEM workforce that competes with the dynamic trends in technology and innovation to protect national security.

The DoD SMART Scholarship Program provides STEM students with the tools needed to pursue higher education and begin a career with the DoD. With a full scholarship, students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees will be able to focus on complex research to further the DoD’s mission and create a lasting impact.

The DoD SMART Scholarship offers a large package of benefits to qualified candidates:

  • An experienced mentor at one of the Sponsoring Facilities.
  • Employment placement at a DoD facility upon degree completion.
  • Full tuition and education-related educational expenses (meal plans, housing, and parking not included).
  • Health Insurance allowance of up to $1,200 per academic year.
  • Miscellaneous allowance of up to $1,000 per academic year.
  • Stipend paid at a rate of $25,000 – $38,000 a year depending on degree level (may be prorated depending on award length).
  • Summer internships ranging from 8 to 12 weeks.
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Scholarships are awarded for a minimum of 1.5 years 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.

Terdapat dua jenis penghargaan yang difasilitasi DoD SMART Scholarship. Scholars enter the program as either Recruitment or Retention.

Recruitment scholars are those who are not employed in a permanent civilian position by a SMART Sponsoring Facility (SF) at the time of the award. Scholars who are employed by the Sponsoring Facility in temporary or internship positions at the time of award are considered recruitment scholars.

On the other hand, retention scholars are those who are employed in a permanent or renewable term civilian position by the Sponsoring Facility (SF) at the time of the award. Retention employment can be either full-time permanent or full-time term. This should be indicated on the SMART application under Professional Experiences.

Retention scholars work with their DoD Sponsoring Facilities to establish a return to work schedule during the summer months. Upon graduation, they are required to return to their DoD Sponsoring Facility to complete their service commitment period.

Eligibility Requirements

The SMART application is open August through December of every year, with awards being granted the following spring. Review the below requirements to ensure you are eligible to apply for this life-changing opportunity.

All applicants must be:

  1. a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom at time of application,
  2. 18 years of age or older as of August 1st, 2021,
  3. able to complete at least one summer internships at a DoD facility,
  4. requesting at least 1.5 years of degree funding before graduation (which starts at the program start date),
  5. willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD,
  6. a student in good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
  7. pursuing a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the 21 STEM disciplines listed below,
  8. able to produce a fall 2020 college transcript from an accredited college or university, OR be pursuing a graduate degree.
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Active duty military members who wish to apply for the DoD SMART Scholarship must be separated or on terminal leave on or before August 1st, 2021 to be eligible. Reserve and National Guard members are eligible to apply. Furthermore, kindly take note that current ROTC participants with a future service commitment are not eligible to apply.

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 the program’s 21 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 the DoD SMART Scholarship.

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biosciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cognitive, Neural, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computer and Computational Sciences and Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Information Sciences
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Oceanography
  • Operations Research
  • Physics

Additional requirements for undergraduate applicants:

  • Must be currently enrolled in a regionally accredited U.S. college or university,
  • Must be able to produce fall 2020 (or earlier) college transcript at the end of the term,
  • AP coursework is not considered college credit.

Meanwhile, the additional requirements for graduate applicants are as follows:

  • Can be either currently enrolled in a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or awaiting notification of admission to such.
  • If awaiting admission, you must be accepted for entrance in the fall of 2021 term.

Last but not least, proof of citizenship will be required upon award. Please be advised, if family members are not U.S. citizens, some agencies may be unable to process the participant for the appropriate security clearance. Every effort will be made to assign eligible students to DoD organizations without such restrictions but alternative placement is not guaranteed. Failure to obtain and maintain a security clearance is grounds for dismissal from the program. Applicants must be citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom at the time of application.

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How to Apply

You need to complete the registration page to ensure eligibility and receive access to the Application Portal. Upon registration, you will be sent an email with information on how to log in and start the application. Once your account is created, you will be directed to the DoD SMART Scholarship Application Portal.

Every task in the portal must be complete for the submit button to appear. The portal contains materials to assist you in completing the application and is a way for you to monitor the status of your application.

The Application Portal consists of the following:

  1. Application Instructions
  2. Program Materials Acknowledgment
  3. About Me
  4. Test Scores (Optional)
  5. References
  6. Application Sections

The application sections consist of the following:

  • Privacy Act Statement
  • Citizenship and Demographics
  • Academic Background
  • Proposed Area of Study
  • Facility Preferences
  • Professional Experiences
  • Summary of Goals
  • Interests and Research Explanation
  • Community and Volunteer Work
  • Leadership Experiences
  • Teamwork Experiences
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Awards and Honors
  • Outreach
  • Previous Programs

You are required to submit applications online by December 1 at 5:00 PM EST. All supporting materials must be received by December 1 at 5:00 PM EST. Monitor the status of your application on the Application Portal to ensure the DoD SMART Scholarship Program receives the required recommendation letters. As stated above, you must click the “Submit Application” button before December 1 at 5:00 PM EST to submit your application.

All responses can be changed before submission. You can save an application in-progress and return to the application to correct errors and omissions. Please note that once you have clicked the “Submit Application” button, no further edits can be made.

Closing Date

The application window opens from August through December each year. All applicants are required to submit applications online by December 1 at 5:00 PM EST. All supporting materials, including references, must be received by December 1 at 5:00 PM EST. Traditionally, applicants are notified of their award in the spring. Application materials are not returned to applicants.

Contact Details

Consult any questions you have regarding the DoD SMART Scholarship on the following email and telephone number:

Tel.: 571-633-7940 (Option 0)

For technical assistance, please call the following email and number:

Tel.: 571-633-7940 (Option 1)

Official Website

Visit the DoD SMART Scholarship’s official website at for further information.

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