University of Iowa

The Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship was established to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. The program seeks 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.

Each year approximately 125 colleges and universities are invited to nominate a student for a Beinecke Scholarship. Each school invited to participate in the Beinecke Scholarship Program is permitted to make a single nomination annually.

Pictured below: Austin Hughes, the University of Iowa's 2018 Beinecke Scholar  Photo credit: Kelly Thornburg

To be eligible for a Beinecke Scholarship, a student must:

  • Have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement and personal promise during his or her 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 master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Students in the social sciences who plan to pursue graduate study in neuroscience should not apply for a Beinecke Scholarship.
  • Be a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Have a documented history of receiving need-based financial aid during his or her undergraduate years. Primary evidence of meeting this criterion is a student’s history of receiving need-based institutional, state or federal grants-in-aid. An institutional financial aid officer will be required to complete a Financial Data Sheet certifying that 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.

Key Resources for Campus Applicants and Recommenders:

  • To access a current list of national and campus deadlines, click here

Each campus application submitted to the UI Undergraduate Fellowships Committee must include the following:

  • A current resume or CV.
  • Completed UI Campus Nomination Application Form which includes a personal statement of 1,000 words or less from the nominee 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.
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members that assess the nominee’s intellectual curiosity, character, and potential for advanced graduate study. Please note: We must have access to a minimum of two of the three letters required to effectively consider each applicant's competitiveness during our nomination process.
  • Supplemental/creative materials considered directly relevant to the nominee’s application - Talk with the DSD about submitting creative samples at the campus level.


Submitting your application for campus nomination

Campus Applicant Instructions: To submit your campus application package to the UI Fellowships Director and the Undergraduate Fellowships Committee for consideration, please share an electronic copy of each of the components listed above with us by emailing all documents EXCEPT letters of recommendation to in a SINGLE message titled “Last Name, First Name – Beinecke Scholarship Campus Application”

Campus Referee Instructions: Referees should share their confidential letters with the UFC electronically by the UI Campus Application Deadline by emailing draft copies to