Beinecke Scholarship


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

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 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.

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: 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.

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 2018-2019 Announcement.

USC Campus Endorsement application will open August 7, 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.
  • Personal statement of 1,000 words or less describing personal background, interests, plans for graduate study and career aspirations. Statement should include a discussion of experiences and ideas that have shaped those interests, plans and aspirations.
  • PDF version of OASIS Course Summary including Fall 2018 grades and 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.
  • Three letters of recommendation sent directly to or STU 300 from USC faculty members addressing the Beinecke Scholarship (must be signed and on letterhead)
  • If applicable: Artist’s Supplement – other materials considered directly relevant to the application. For MFA candidates or similar degrees in creative writing, studio art, film, music performance and/or theater and dance, applicants should submit some or all of the following materials with the 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 the work

USC Campus Nomination Application

Application Timeline

USC Campus Endorsement Application

  • August 7, 2019: USC Campus Nomination application opens
  • October 16, 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)
  • April 2020: Beinecke Scholarship announced

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

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