Beinecke Scholarship


About the Beinecke Scholarship
Application Process
Previous Recipients
AHF Advising

About the Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship Program 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.

USC may nominate one applicant each year.  An overall GPA of 3.8 or higher is strongly recommended.

For additional information, visit the Beinecke Scholarship website here.


Candidates 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 2018-2019 academic year. “Junior” means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2019 and August 2020.
  • plan to enter a research-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 for a Beinecke Scholarship.
  • 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.

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. NOTE: applicants who did not submit FAFSA prior to applying should notify our office as soon as possible. 

Professional Schools

Generally 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.

Time at Institution

Generally the selection committee does not favorably respond to nominees who have been enrolled at the nominating institution (USC) for less than a full academic year unless the nominee can provide strong letters of recommendation from USC faculty members who can vouch for their ability to succeed at the graduate level after demonstrated excellence in USC coursework, research, etc.

Apply for USC Campus Nomination


Read the Nomination Material Instructions in Beinecke Scholarship 2018-2019 Announcement.

Academic Honors and Fellowships offers one-on-one advising for this award. It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment to meet with Willa Erickson before submitting an application for nomination.

Submission Deadline & Materials 

Campus Deadline: Sunday, January 6th, 2019 by 11:59pm PST

  1. Completed application form (typed) – available on Beinecke Scholarship website
  2. Current resume or C.V.
  3. Personal statement of 1,000 words or less 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.
  4. PDF version of OASIS Course Summary including Fall 2018 grades and unofficial transcripts from other institutions attended (if applicable) – selected nominee will be asked to provide an official transcript.
  5. 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 sent directly to Beinecke at this time.
  6. Three letters of recommendation sent directly to from USC faculty members addressing the Beinecke Scholarship (must be signed and on letterhead)
  7. If applicable: Artist’s Supplement – Other materials considered directly relevant to the nominee’s application. If you intend to pursue an MFA or similar degree in creative writing, studio art, film, music performance and/or theater and dance, you should submit some or all of the following materials with your application in a combined Word Document or PDF:
    • A creative writing sample
    • A portfolio of work in an electronic format
    • An external evaluation of the work
    • Links to any online content directly relevant to your work

Access all required materials on Nomination Materials & Forms.

National Nomination Deadline: Second Wednesday of February (AHF submits on behalf of USC nominee)


Previous USC Beinecke Scholarship Recipients

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

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