Description. 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. (Please note that the selection committee does not respond favorably to nominees planning to attend professional schools such as law, business, or medical.) Since 1975 the program has selected more than 500 college juniors from more than 100 different undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university. For the 2012-13 cycle, the Beinecke Scholarship Program will select 20 new Beinecke Scholars, and Bowdoin College is one of approximately 110 schools invited to nominate a junior for receipt of this prestigious award.
Benefits. 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. Scholars are encouraged to begin graduate study as soon as possible following graduation from college, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.
- 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 2012-2013 academic year. “Junior” means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2013 and August 2014.
- 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.
Bowdoin’s Internal Selection Process. Since Bowdoin is only allowed to nominate one Bowdoin student annually for the Beinecke, the Committee will review the materials listed below to select Bowdoin’s nominee. Please bring one packet of the following materials to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research by the “Initial Bowdoin Deadline” (see above):
- Financial Aid Data Sheet completed by a financial aid officer certifying that the student qualifies for need-based finanical aid
- A completed Application Form
- A current resume
- 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.
- An unoffical transcript (printed off of Bearing)
- Signed and witnessed "Permission Form and Waiver"
The six items listed above can either either be hand-delivered to Emily Briley in 113 Kanbar Hall or electronically submitted as PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Two draft letters of recommendation from faculty members that assess the applicant's intellectual curiousity, character, and potential for advanced graduate study. Faculty may either electronically submit the letter to Emily Briley (email@example.com) or give it to the student in a sealed envelope, in which case the student is responsible for delivering the letter to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research by the "Initial Bowdoin Deadline". Please note that if you receive the College's endorsement, three recommendations will be required for your final application. The authors of your two initial letters will have the opportunity to revise and polish the draft letters submitted for the "Initial Bowdoin Deadline."
Materials for Final Consideration.
If you receive Bowdoin’s nomination, it is your responsibility to continue revising and collecting your materials. By the “Final Bowdoin Deadline,” Bowdoin’s nominee must submit the items listed below to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research, which will send all materials directly to the program for further consideration.
- A Financial Aid Data Sheet completed by a financial aid officer certifying that the student qualifies for need-based financial aid (original plus five copies)
- A completed Application Form (original plus five copies)
- A current resume (original plus five copies)
- 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. (original plus five copies.)Three, signed original letters of recommendation from faculty members that assess the nominee’s intellectual curiosity, character, and potential for advanced graduate study. (originals only; the Office of Student Fellowships and Research will make the needed five copies)
- An official copy of the nominee’s transcript (original only; the Office of Student Fellowships and Research will make the needed five copies)
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members that assess the applicant's intellectual curiousity, character, and potential for advanced graduate study. These letters should be printed on letterhead, addressed to the "Beinecke Selection Committee," signed, and delivered to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research.
- Other material considered directly relevant to the nominee’s application (original plus five copies)
The Office of Student Fellowships and Research will be responsible for gathering the following items required for the nomination package:
- A Certification of Eligibility Form completed by the dean or administrative officer responsible for the nomination (original plus five copies)
- A letter from the dean or administrative officer summarizing the reasons for the nominee’s selection (original plus five copies).
The Beinecke Scholarship Program will announce the next round of awards on May 1, 2013.
Sean McElroy '12
A history major and philosophy minor, Sean was one of twenty juniors selected nationwide to receive the Beinecke Scholarship, which will provide $34,000 towards his graduate education. In his research, Sean is currently analyzing the relationship between religion and the history of physics and technology. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history or the history of science. (Read more)
For a comprehensive list of Bowdoin fellowship winners, click here.