FAQs: The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor

Find the Answers You Need to Take the Next Step

Q. How many scholarships are awarded and what is the value of the scholarship?

A: Each year the Murphy Institute will award up to $150,000 in scholarships to qualified applicants, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Individual awardees will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study (up to $15,000 for each of two years, contingent on credit load per semester) and up to $20,000 for undergraduate study (up to $10,000 for each of two years, contingent on credit load per semester).

Q. Who provides the funds for the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship program?

A: In 2013, Former CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein created a challenge grant opportunity designed to raise additional funds to establish and support the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor. The Murphy Institute raises matching funds annually through 2017. Scholarship donations come from generous individuals and organizations from various sectors and professions, including labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations and businesses. The scholarship was designed to create pipelines that will bring women and people of color to the forefront of the labor movement and labor education.

Q. Who is eligible to apply for a Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship?

A: The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor is dedicated to the purpose of fostering new, diverse, and representative leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of Labor Studies. To that end, applicants must be part of an underrepresented minority in the field of labor.

Graduate level applicants for the scholarship are eligible if they apply for, and are accepted into, the MA in Labor Studies program.

Those applying for the graduate scholarship must be first-time, entering students in the Murphy Institute’s MA in Labor Studies degree program. Applicants:

  • Must have a minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) from prior undergraduate work
    • Q. If I have earned a graduate degree or graduate credits beyond my undergraduate degree, will those be considered when calculating the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement if my overall undergraduate GPA is under 3.0?

A: You may apply as a graduate for the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor if, when combining your overall undergraduate GPA with the GPA from graduate credits earned, your cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher. Applicants must address their undergraduate GPA shortfall within the Personal Statement or Required Writing Sample, both of which must be submitted with the Scholarship application.

  • Must demonstrate potential for leadership in social justice movements and/or capacity for academic scholarship in the field of Labor Studies
  • Must provide strong recommendations from academics and/or practitioners in areas of social justice, labor, or labor education
  • Must submit a compelling statement of purpose
  • Must have good written communication skills, as demonstrated in a 1,000 or more words writing sample, and well developed oral skills.
  • Are advised to attend a Murphy Institute open house and speak to program staff before submitting an application

Undergraduate level applicants are eligible if they are new applicants to, or current students in, the BA in Urban and Community Studies program with a concentration in Labor Studies.

Applicants:

  • Must have completed a minimum of 60 college credits
  • Must have a minimum 2.5 Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Must demonstrate potential for leadership in social justice movements and/or capacity for academic scholarship in the field of Labor Studies
  • Must have strong recommendations from academics and/or practitioners in areas of social justice, labor, or labor education
  • Must submit a compelling statement of purpose
  • Must have good written communication skills, as demonstrated in a 500 or more words writing sample, and well developed oral skills
  • Are advised to attend a Murphy Institute open house

The deadline for submission of an application for admission to the MA or BA programs, if you plan to apply for a 2017 diversity scholarship, is February 6, 2017, 11:59 pm.

Q. Are international students eligible to apply for the scholarship?

A: No. However, international students are encouraged to apply for admission to degree programs at the Murphy Institute. 

Questions about admissions should be directed to Lucas Sifuentes, CUNY SPS director of graduate and undergraduate admissions, at Lucas.Sifuentes@cuny.edu.

Q. How do I apply to the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship Program?

A: Application information is posted on the Murphy Institute website. The scholarship application is available online for both current students and prospective students. Read the program guidelines carefully and follow the complete list of application instructions.

Q. When can I apply for the scholarship, and what are the important deadlines? 

A: In order to be eligible for the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor, you must first apply for admission to the MA in Labor Studies program, or the BA in Urban and Community Studies program (with a concentration in Labor Studies). The deadline to apply for admission to either program is February 6, 2017, at 11:59 pm EST.     

All applicants should consider attending an MA program or BA program open house. Open house dates are listed on the program website pages.

The application for the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor must be completed and submitted by 11:59 pm EST, February 28, 2017.

Q. Can I submit a paper application?

A: No.  Diversity Scholarship applications must be submitted online.

The scholarship application is available online for both current students and prospective students.  Please visit the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) website for specific MA or BA program admission information.

Paper copies will not be accepted for any application.

Q. Are in-person interviews required?

A: Though the scholarship committee reserves the right not to conduct interviews, applicants must be available for a Skype or in-person interview. 

Q. If I am currently enrolled in the Murphy Institute’s BA in Urban and Community Studies program, with a concentration in Labor Studies, do I need to submit an application for admission and/or transcripts?

A: No. Your application for admission and transcripts are already on file with the CUNY SPS Office of Admissions.

Q. May I apply for a graduate scholarship if I am a graduate of the Murphy Institute’s BA in Urban and Community Studies program, with a concentration in Labor Studies?

A: Yes. Graduates of the Murphy Institute’s BA in Urban and Community Studies, with a concentration in Labor Studies who meet all eligibility requirements may apply for the graduate scholarship. You must submit a completed MA degree program application for admission by February 6, 2017 at 11:59 pm, and a completed scholarship application by 11:59 pm on February 28, 2017.  Admission into the M.A. program does not guarantee receipt of the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor.

Q. If I receive a scholarship, is it necessary to attend the program full-time?

A: The scholarship program is intended for full-time students, though exceptions may be made for part-time students on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions must be approved by the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor Scholarship Coordinator. If, during any term, a student must enroll on a part-time basis, scholarship funding will be pro-rated.

Q. If I am awarded a Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor, will I have to submit any additional documents?

A: Yes. You will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) upon selection for a scholarship award.

Q. What is the recommended course of study?

A: All students enrolled in Murphy Institute degree programs must meet prior to the start of each semester with a program counselor to determine the best course of study to meet scholarship and degree requirements.  Students are encouraged to meet with a counselor periodically during the semester to monitor academic progress.

Q. Whom do graduate applicants contact for information about the program, faculty, and admissions process for the MA in Labor Studies?

A: For all inquiries related to the M.A. in Labor Studies program, faculty, and application process, students should contact Laurie Kellogg, labor programs special assistant, at (212) 642-2055 or via email at Laurie.Kellogg@cuny.edu.

For questions related to academic advising, students may contact Irene Garcia-Mathes, academic advisor. She can be reached at (212) 642-2050 or via email at Irene.Garcia-Mathes@cuny.edu.

Q. Whom do undergraduate applicants contact for information about program requirements for the BA in Urban and Community Studies, with a concentration in Labor Studies?

A: For all inquiries related to the BA in Urban and Community Studies application process, students should contact Cher Mullings, enrollment specialist. She can be reached at (212) 642-2059 or via email at Cherise.Mullings@cuny.edu.

For questions related to academic advising, students may contact June Cumberbatch, senior counselor for the B.A. Urban and Community Studies program. She can be reached at (212) 642-2015 or via email at June.Cumberbatch@mail.cuny.edu.

Q. Once I receive notice that I have been awarded a scholarship, will I be expected to attend any gatherings or meetings?

A: Yes. You will be required to attend an award ceremony in late May or early June, a start of the term orientation, and one symposium at the start of each new term during your course of study at the Murphy Institute.

Q. Once I receive notice that I have been awarded a scholarship, if I am not a New York State resident, what are my options for healthcare coverage while enrolled at the Murphy Institute?

A: Students with a permanent residence outside of New York State should contact the health insurance marketplace within the state in which they reside. All non-resident New York State award recipients should also call the NY State Official Health Plan Marketplace (1-855-355-5777) and visit their website.

Since each state offers a variety of healthcare plans and options and have differing requirements for eligibility, students will need to discuss their specific case with the appropriate state-affiliated healthcare advisor.

Q. How are scholarship recipients selected?

A: The Joseph S. Murphy Institute Faculty Awards Committee is responsible for selecting recipients based on students' academic achievement, participation and leadership in community and school activities, work experience, interest in pursuing a career in the fields of labor or labor studies, and the student’s commitment to diversity.

Q. How will I know if I've been selected to receive a scholarship?

A: Applicants will be notified of their status no later than May 1, 2017 via email. Upon award, recipients will be asked to attend an award ceremony in New York City to accept their awards.

Q. If I'm a recipient, how do I receive my scholarship?

A: The CUNY SPS bursar will credit scholarships directly to recipients’ tuition and fee liability. The CUNY SPS bursar will issue remaining awarded funds, on a pro-rated basis, based on enrollment status, as a check directly to recipients after the last day to drop classes in each of your funded semesters. Click here to view the CUNY SPS academic calendar.

Questions about your individual financial aid package should be directed to Financialaid@sps.cuny.edu or (646) 664-8536.

Q. What academic standards must I maintain to continue to receive the Joseph S. Murphy scholarship for Diversity in Labor?

A: Recipients of the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor must remain in good academic standing as defined in the CUNY SPS Student Handbook. Undergraduate recipients must maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Graduate recipients must maintain a 3.5 GPA.

Q. Whom do I contact if I have further questions about applying for the scholarship?

A: For further information about this scholarship program and/or for assistance in the application process, please contact Dr. Janet Leslie, Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship coordinator, at (212) 642-2083 or via email at Janet.Leslie@mail.cuny.edu.

For information about your financial aid package, direct all questions to the CUNY SPS Office of Financial Aid at FinancialAid@sps.cuny.edu or (646) 664-8536.