Beinecke Scholarship

Support graduate study in the humanities and social sciences at the masters or doctoral level. Professional programs are ineligible.

The Beinecke Scholarship provides assistance to third year students who plan to attend graduate school in the arts, humanities and social sciences at the masters or doctoral level. The funding (total package of $34,000) is designed to encourage scholars, "to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study." Founded in 1971, the Beinecke Scholarship has funded more than 590 college juniors. Participating universities are able to nominate one student to the national competition.

Scholars receive $4,000 prior to entering graduate school and an annual stipend of $15,000 for two years of graduate study.

Deadline Information

Campus Application Draft 1 Deadline: Thursday, October 31, 2019

Final Application Deadline: Thursday, November 21, 2019

National Deadline: Wednesday, February 12, 2020


  • A scholar must be attending an accredited graduate school as a full-time student in good academic standing in order to receive funding.
  • A scholar must utilize all funding within five years of graduation.
  • A scholar is allowed to take a one-year leave of absence immediately following graduation, but is normally expected to enter graduate school and begin receipt of the Beinecke funding in the following year. Extenuating circumstances are considered.
  • A scholar who is unsuccessful in gaining admission to graduate school may petition the program director for permission to defer funding for an additional year.


Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • Have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement and personal promise during their undergraduate career.
  • Be a college junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree during the 2019-2020 academic year. “Junior” means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2020 and August 2021.
  • Plan to enter a master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Students in the social sciences who plan to pursue graduate study in neuroscience should not apply for a Beinecke Scholarship.
  • Be a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Have a documented history of receiving need-based financial aid during his or her undergraduate years. Primary evidence of meeting this criterion is a student’s history of receiving need-based institutional, state or federal grants-in-aid.

Application Process

Students must be nominated by the University of Chicago to apply for this award. The University may nominate one student to move forward to the National Competition.

In order to be nominated by the University, students must submit a complete a first draft of their personal statement by 11:59 pm on Thursday, October 31, the Campus Application Draft 1 Deadline. Applications must be submitted via the Beinecke Campus Submission Form. Letters of Recommendation must be submitted to The Final Application Deadline is 11:59 pm on November 21, 2019, and includes the following:

  • A completed Application Form.
  • A current resume.
  • A personal statement of 1,000 words or less from the nominee describing his or her background, interests, plans for graduate study and career aspirations. The statement should include a discussion of some experiences and ideas that have shaped those interests, plans and aspirations.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members that assess the nominee’s intellectual curiosity, character and potential for advanced graduate study.
  • Transcripts (unofficial are OK).
  • Supplementary materials (up to 5 pages in length) for students who plan to pursue an MFA
For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Arthur Salvo