About the Scholarship
The Beinecke Scholarship seeks highly motivated students to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences (Ph.D. or terminal degree such as MFA) at any accredited university. Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.
There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients may supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships, and research grants. All of the funding must be utilized within 5 years of completion of undergraduate studies. Scholars may receive a maximum award of $15,000 per year.
Current USC juniors interested in pursuing the Beinecke Scholarship must apply for campus endorsement.
- have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement, and personal promise during their undergraduate career. An overall GPA of 3.8 or higher is strongly recommended; must demonstrate strong academic performance in courses within intended graduate field of study.
- be a college junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree during the 2021-2022 academic year. “Junior” means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2022 and August 2023.
- plan to enter a research- or creative-focused master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences (PhD or terminal master’s like an MFA preferred). Students in the social sciences who plan to pursue graduate study in neuroscience should not apply; nor should students applying for professional degrees that emphasize skills and practical analysis such as business, law, public health, public policy, and social work.
- be a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
- have a documented history of receiving need-based financial aid during their undergraduate years, with a preference for Pell Grant recipients. Other evidence of meeting this criterion is a student’s history of receiving need-based institutional, state, or federal grands-in-aid. The nominated student will be required to complete and submit a Financial Aid Data Sheet outlining how the student meets this criterion. During the selection process, the amount of financial need will be one of the factors considered with preference being given to candidates for whom the awarding of a Beinecke Scholarship would significantly increase the likelihood of the student’s being able to attend graduate school.
- Graduate Program & Goals: Strong applicants will be “highly motivated students” and “courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences”. Beinecke emphasizes terminal degrees and pursuit of a research-based career following graduate school.
- Financial Aid: Applicants not currently receiving need-based financial aid due to receipt of a merit award or tuition exchange should complete the Financial Data Sheet using FAFSA information for the current academic year to estimate how much need-based aid the student would receive if not receiving non-need based support. Applicants who did not submit FAFSA prior to applying should notify our office as soon as possible.
- Professional Schools: The selection committee does not respond favorably to nominees planning to attend law school, business school or other professional school programs such as education, architecture, journalism, public health or occupational therapy that emphasize skills and practical analysis over theory and research. Joint degrees may be permissible depending on reasoning for both degrees to contribute to research-based career.
- Transfer Students: While not precluded from applying, transfer students should receive strong letters of recommendation in their chosen field from faculty at the nominating institution (USC) who can vouch for their ability to succeed at the graduate level after demonstrated excellence in USC coursework, research, etc.