Beinecke Scholarship applications now open

Sean Yoder
September 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State juniors studying in the fields of the arts, humanities and social sciences can now begin applying to the Beinecke Scholarship Program through Penn State Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring (URFM).

URFM, formerly the University Fellowships Office, is now accepting application materials. URFM’s selection committee will choose one student in his or her junior year at Penn State to represent the University to the Beinecke scholarship board. Students should apply to URFM by email at before Dec. 4. The national deadline is Feb. 10.

Students should submit an application form from the Beinecke website; curriculum vitae; unofficial transcript(s); a personal statement of 1,000 words or less describing their background; plans for graduate study and career aspirations; and three letters of recommendation from faculty.

Applicants must demonstrate a history of receiving need-based financial aid during their undergraduate studies. Students must also be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

“Arts, humanities and social sciences are of great importance given the state of current society,” said Alan Rieck, associate vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education. “These disciplines promote creativity, understanding and contextual awareness that are crucial to the well-being of individuals and communities. The Beinecke Scholarship is a tremendous opportunity for individuals who are dedicated to these important areas and who hope to contribute to communities in these meaningful ways.”

The Beinecke Scholarship Program began in 1971 at the behest of the board of directors at the Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick and Walter Beinecke, the three brothers who ran the company starting in the 1920s.

Each year, the program awards up to 20 scholarships from among the nominees of about 135 colleges and universities, according to the program website. The selection committee weighs applicants’ intellectual ability through academic achievement and seeks college juniors who will be attending a research-focused master’s or doctoral program. Students Interested in studying neuroscience are not eligible.

Students receive $4,000 prior to entering graduate school and another $30,000 while attending school. There are no geographic restrictions to the scholarship. The award must be used within five years.

The last Penn State recipient of the scholarship was Chris Brendel, a communication arts and sciences major who earned the award in 2013 and went on to pursue a doctorate at University of California Santa Barbara. Michael Stahl earned the award in 2009. Stahl was a classics and Eastern Mediterranean studies major who went on to the University of Notre Dame for biblical studies.

Questions about the Beinecke Scholarship Program application process can be directed to

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring is part of Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated September 22, 2020