Beinecke Scholarship


About the Beinecke Scholarship
Basic Eligibility & Selection Criteria
Campus Endorsement Process
Application Components
Application Timeline
USC Recipients
AHF Advising


University Endorsement Required

About the Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship was created to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and 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 are allowed to supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships and research grants.  All of the funding must be utilized within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.  In the absence of institutional support or limits, scholars may receive a maximum award of $15,000 per year.

Learn more about the Beinecke Scholarship

Basic Eligibility

Candidates must:

  • 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.
  • 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 research- or creative-focused master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences (PhD or terminal master’s like an MFA are 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. Primary 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 scholarship would significantly increase the likelihood of the student’s being able to attend graduate school.

Selection Criteria

  • 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.

Campus Nomination Process

Campus nomination is a competitive process and not guaranteed. USC may nominate one (1) current junior per application cycle. Students seeking USC nomination must submit all application components by the campus deadline. Beinecke Scholar candidates are required to be nominated by their university and cannot submit directly to the foundation. Read the Nomination Material Instructions in Beinecke Scholarship 2019-2020 Announcement.

USC Campus Endorsement application will open September 1, 2019. 

Application Components

You must receive campus nomination from the University before you can start the Beinecke Scholarship application. Access all required materials on the Beinecke website under Nomination Materials & Forms. The application for nomination includes the following components:

  • Completed application form (typed) – available on Beinecke Scholarship website
  • Current resume or C.V.
  • Statement of 1,000 words or less from nominee devoted to describing their research or creative interests for graduate study and career aspirations beyond these studies. It should also include discussion of most relevant academic, professional, extracurricular, and personal experiences that have influenced or shaped the nominee’s interests and plans.
  • Three letters of recommendation from USC faculty that assess the applicant’s intellectual curiosity, character, and potential for advanced graduate study (sent directly to or STU 300 from recommender; must be signed and on letterhead)
  • PDF version of OASIS Course Summary and any unofficial transcripts from other institutions attended (if applicable). USC nominee will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Financial Data Sheet completed by a Financial Aid officer certifying that you qualify for need-based financial aid – available on Beinecke Scholarship website. Attach this form to the AHF application. Do not send directly to Beinecke at this time.
  • Candidates pursuing an MFA degree must submit an artist’s supplement of up to five pages of original work.

USC Campus Nomination Application

Application Timeline

USC Campus Endorsement Application

  • September 1, 2019: USC Campus Nomination application opens
  • October 21, 2019: Campus Nomination application deadline
  • November 11-15, 2019: Competitive applicants may be invited to interview
  • November 18, 2019: Interviewed candidates notified for nomination decision

Beinecke Scholarship National Application

  • December 2019 – February 2020: Nominated candidate collaborates with AHF staff to develop and finalize application materials.
  • February 12, 2020: Beinecke Scholarship national deadline (AHF submits on behalf of nominee)
  • May 1: Beinecke Scholarship deadline to announce recipients

USC Recipients

Caitlin L. Goddard – 1999
Undergraduate School: University of Southern California
Major: English
Graduate School: New York University Graduate
Field: English and American Literature

Contact Us

Open Advising: July – September
Request an Appointment

Back to Top