University of Wisconsin–Madison



UW-Madison deadline: January 18, 2021
Foundation deadline: February 10, 2021

*Candidates must be nominated by UW–Madison and may not apply directly. Students interested in applying should contact the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office for more information about the application process. Contact: 608-265-2428,


The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 to provide scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. Eligibility is limited to students planning to pursue a a research-focused master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Approximately 20 scholarships are awarded each year.


Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately before entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending any accredited graduate school. Recipients are allowed to supplement the scholarship with other awards, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.


  • U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • Must be eligible for need-based financial aid during undergraduate years (filed a FAFSA and received grants or subsidized loans)
  • High academic ability (above 3.8 GPA recommended)
  • Junior (one year left) at time of application
  • Plan to pursue a research-focused master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities and social sciences.


  • Academic ability and achievement
  • Personal promise
  • Financial need (“candidates for whom the awarding of a scholarship would increase the likelihood of the student’s being able to attend graduate school”)


  • Submit a complete campus application to the UAA Office by the campus deadline (see section below).
  • The campus nomination committee reviews applications and endorses one candidate.
  • The endorsed candidate may revise their application materials before the national deadline in mid- to late February.
  • Scholars are announced in May.


Please submit the following materials via email by 4:30 p.m. on the campus deadline to the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office,

  1. Application Form.  Please download and complete.
  2. Personal Statement of 1,000 words or less describing your 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. (Sample essays are available at this BOX link.)
  3. Résumé listing research experience, internships, honors/awards/publications, community service, and work experience.  Please also include a section listing the names, titles and email addresses of the three individuals writing letters of recommendation on your behalf.
  4. Transcript(s) from all colleges attended (for the campus competition an unofficial transcript or a copy of your UW-Madison student record is fine, as are photocopies of transcripts from other institutions).
  5. Financial Aid Data Sheet. Please download and complete.
  6. Three letters of recommendation from professors.  Letters should assess your intellectual curiosity, character and potential for advanced graduate study. Please ask your recommenders to email letters to The letters must be received by the campus due date.


For official information on the Beinecke Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here), please see the Beinecke Foundation website.


Definition of a Personal Statement
Previous Beinecke Scholars