The School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) offers various institutional scholarships to support our newly admitted and continuing degree and certificate students. Opportunities are available for undergraduates or graduates and are generally based on strong academic work, commitment to labor and public service, or financial need. SLU also connects students to a number of external scholarship offerings from esteemed organizations.

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All scholarships are subject to financial availability and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies reserves the right to reduce or rescind a scholarship if financial circumstances dictate. Scholarships may not be deferred. Recipients must use the scholarship during the period in which it is awarded.

Prestigious Scholarships

Promoting Diversity and Excellence in Union Leadership and Labor Studies

The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor is dedicated to the purpose of fostering diverse and representative leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of Labor Studies.

Learn more about the 2023 – 2024 JSM Diversity Scholarship Application

Download the Checklist by Program:

Award Amount

  • Up to 20k in tuition, fees, and other college costs for undergraduate students
  • Up to 30k in tuition, fees, and other college costs for graduate students

*Pays qualified tuition, fees, and other educational expenses


  • Early Admission to the B.A. in Labor Studies or B.A. Urban and Community Studies conc. Labor for the FALL semester
  • No less than 60 college credits accrued from an accredited institution
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA from prior undergraduate work


  • Early Admission to the M.A. in Labor Studies for the FALL semester
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA from prior undergraduate work


  • United States Citizen
  • Completed Diversity Scholarship application (online), including
    • Essays to demonstrate potential for leadership in social justice movements and/or the capacity for academic scholarship in the field of Labor Studies
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation from academics and/or practitioners in social justice movements, unions, or labor education
    • One (1) writing sample
    • Virtual or in-person interview (if requested)

Merit Based Scholarships

Supporting Leaders of Tomorrow by Expanding Educational Opportunities Today

The Public Service and Social Justice Scholarship provides tuition support for students who are committed to social change through public service.

Award Amount

  • Up to $3,000* towards tuition and fees for 2-academic years, or 4-consecutive semesters (fall/spring)

*Pays qualified tuition and fees only; may be reduced by other gift aid


  • Public sector employee incl. advocacy group, community based organization, labor union, or non-profit
  • Newly admitted undergraduate or graduate student (matriculated only)
  • One (1) essay that focuses on the applicant’s commitment to public service or social justice
  • One (1) professional reference from an employer, supervisor, social justice leader or faculty member

Renewable Requirements

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 graduate students; 2.5 for undergraduates

*Enrollment of 6-credits or more is strongly recommended

Expanding Opportunities to Pursue Advanced Degrees at SLU

The Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program (MGSP) provides full-time New York City government employees the opportunity to continue their education through graduate study at accredited colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services administers this program. The School of Labor and Urban Studies participates in the Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program and will award partial  scholarships on a competitive basis.

Award Amount

  • MGSP pays up to $1,500 each term for the first and second semester of enrollment only


  • Employed by a New York City government agency
  • Newly matriculated graduate student in one of the following programs: MA in Labor Studies, MA in Urban Studies, Advanced Certificates in Health Care Policy and Administration, Labor Relations, Labor Studies, Community Leadership, Public Administration and Public Policy, or Workplace Democracy and Community Ownership
  • Minimum half-time enrollment
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Apply for admission to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Complete the Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program application and submit to your personnel office by the deadline (Do NOT submit to SLU)

Note: The completed application is screened by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and then forwarded to SLU for review.

To obtain further information or application materials, visit: or call (212) 669-4163

Need-Based Scholarships

Empowering Students by Breaking Down Financial Barriers

The Tuition Scholarship provides a helping-hand to students who are committed to pursuing their educational goals. Since its inception in 2015, SLU has committed thousands of dollars to Tuition Scholarships, making college an affordable reality for individuals with imminent financial need.

Award Amount

  • Up to $1,750* per semester*

*Pays qualified tuition and fees only; may be reduced by other gift aid


  • Newly admitted or continuing undergraduate or graduate student (matriculated only)
  • Minimum 3-credits enrolled per semester
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for undergraduates; 3.0 for graduates
  • Completed FAFSA
  • Compelling essay that demonstrates financial need

T-Scholarships are non-renewable. Students are encouraged to apply each academic year if they have demonstrable need.

Supporting Advancement and Career Mobility through Post-Secondary Education

The Solidarity Scholarship expands educational opportunities to new, non-traditional, or returning adult students. Candidates must demonstrate their desire to improve life in their communities, whether they be academic, professional, social, or political and demonstrate how their studies will put them in a better position to accomplish that.

Award Amount

  • Two (2) courses* at the NYS resident rate of tuition

*Pays qualified tuition only up to 6-credits; may be reduced by other gift aid


  • Newly admitted undergraduate or graduate student (matriculated only)
  • Minimum 3-credits enrolled per semester
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA
  • Compelling essay

SLU Hardship Grants

Supporting Student Success by Improving Movement Towards Degree Completion

Persistence Grants can help you cover a past-due tuition bill that has caused you to be blocked from new enrollment. Potential candidates will receive an invitation to apply when applications are available.

Award Amount

  • One-time grant up to $1,500 in tuition and fees


  • Continuing student in a certificate or degree-seeking program *
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduate applicants; 3.0 for graduate applicants
  • Demonstrates short-term economic hardship
  • Overdue balance from a prior semester **
  • Completed FAFSA for the prior semester/academic year ***

* Students whose balance is more than (1) year past-due or must readmit to SLU are not eligible

** Prior term tuition with a balance of $0 will not be considered for a Persistence Grant regardless of hardship status,
even if the student has settled the account after an Persistence application was submitted
** Tuition due for an upcoming semester is NOT considered for a Persistence Grant
** To clear a “past-due” hold, awardees are required to pay whatever amount the grant does not cover

*** Students without a valid FAFSA on file will be withdrawn from consideration