Thinking about majoring in history? Well, there are a lot of great scholarships to help you on your journey. There is funding available for just about anyone willing to look for it and take the time to apply. Some awards are for just for a couple hundred dollars while others will pay for all of your higher education. Your best bet is to apply for as many as you qualify for. Historical societies, individuals, companies, non profit organizations and religious institutions nationwide put aside money annually to help support history majors. Below is a list of the best 20 scholarships available currently. You will notice most have specific criteria, so read carefully to see if you qualify.

1. The Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship

Deadline: February 28th

$10,000  awarded annually to one graduate student

The Society of American Archivists offers this generous scholarship every year. The F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship is awarded to one person yearly based on merit. The student must also have a letter of recommendation from a professor at their current institution stating why that student would contribute to the profession of archivist. The application must include an official grade transcript, a cover letter, a current curriculum vitae (that specifically states interest in the scholarship and provides information on your interests applicant’s interests). Last but not least, he student must include some kind of unspecified project that shows that you can “think like an archivist.” They say this could be a summary of some research completed in an academic environment, a seminar paper, a published article, or some other project.

2. The Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship

Deadline: February 28th

$500 awarded annually to one college freshman leaving high school

The Willa Cather Foundation presents the Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship. This award is specifically for graduating seniors in high school that live in Nebraska and will be incoming freshman at an accredited college to either major in history or English. The application must include a 1,500 word essay on “ My Antonia,” a novel by Willa Cather. The essay must be in MLA format and discuss characters, themes, and lessons.

3.The Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship

Deadline: November 1

$5000 Awarded to one graduate student annually for a project about the Aegean Bronze Age

The Archaeological Institute of America created the Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship to help graduate students concentrating in history, the classics, and archeology. Eligible students must be involved in a research project about the Aegean Bronze Age. Graduate students applying must become members of AIA for one full year before applying for the scholarship. Priority is given to the projects that involve traveling to the Mediterranean. To qualify you must be actively pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree and demonstrate academic merit.

4. B. Phinizy Spalding Scholarship

Deadline: February 12th

$1,000 awarded to two freshman annually

This scholarship is only for freshman in an accredited Georgia university majoring in history. It was founded with the intent to preserve Georgian culture and historical structures. To qualify you must be enrolled full time and show a “sincere commitment to historic preservation.” You also must be planning to stay and work in-state after college to give back to the community. Winning students must show leadership skills and academic success. Application documents include proof of enrollment, a transcript, and a resume of preservation related experience.

5. Helen James Brewer Scholarship

Deadline: June 15th

$1,000 awarded to an undetermined number of descendants

This scholarship is only for students that are descendants of Confederate soldiers and marines who are enrolled full time in an accredited Georgia university. The applicants must be pursuing a major in history or literature. Only residents of Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee can apply. The student must also be endorsed by a Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. If the scholarship is won, the awarded will enjoy the this gift every semester until their degree ends.

Make sure to read the fine print, as there are lots of requirements to cover.

6. Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship

Deadline: July 31st

$1,000 awarded annually to undergraduates planning to go into law

This scholarship program was founded by the law firm Keyser Law, P.A. in Minneapolis, MN for undergraduates planning to major in history, criminal justice, and pre-law, among other related fields. To be eligible, you must be enrolled in a four year program and plan on continuing into an ABA-accredited law school afterward. Winners are chosen by an essay contest focusing on current events from a legal stand point. Some topics include police body cameras and immigration.

7. Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship

Deadline: May 15th

$1,000 awarded annually to graduates in late stages of research

The Coordinating Council for Women in History offers the The Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship each year to graduates in need. The applicants must be members of CCWH and already be candidates for a doctoral program. The applicant’s research must interrogate race and gender.

8.The Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

$2,000 annually for up to four years

Offered by the Daughters of the Revolution, The Dr. Aura-Lee A. and James Hobbs Pittenger American History Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school students who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in American History or American Government. To receive the grant continually until graduation the student must maintain a GPA of 3.25.  The student must also plan to concentrate their study by taking at least 24 credit hours in American History and American Government.

9. Graydon A. Tunstall Undergraduate Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

$1,000 awarded annually to university seniors

Each year, Phi Alpha Theta hosts the Graydon A. Tunstall Undergraduate Scholarship for members of Phi Alpha Theta. The scholarship is for exceptional students that are entering their senior year of a bachelor’s degree. The funds are specifically for the student to study modern European history from 1815 to the present.

10. J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History

Deadline: April 1st

$5,000 awarded annually to doctoral and post doctoral students

The American Historical Association (AHA) manages the J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship which offers late stage and post doctoral students who hold a PhD in history the opportunity to apply. If chosen, the students will spend two to three months working full-time in a residency program at the Library of Congress. This is an amazing opportunity for those looking to further their career. The applicant must present a project in the application about American history that the collections at the Library of Congress could aid in.

11. James Madison Memorial Junior Fellowships

Deadline: March 1st

Up to $24,000 to aspiring history teachers

This fellowship is for those wishing to became educators in history or government to grades 7-12. You must be a US citizen to apply and win. You must have a bachelor’s degree already and plan on getting your master’s in education or history. You must be willing to take take at least 12 credits of constitutional study, and attend a four-week summer institute.

12.Withers Scholars Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st

The Wither’s scholarship is variable in amount to cover tuition

The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue  and at the University of Fort Wayne offer the Withers Scholars Scholarship to juniors and senior seniors working towrd their bachelor degree. They must be majoring in one of the following to qualify: History, Education, English, Theater, Political Science, or Communications. This award is limited to applicants in the United States. To qualify,  you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, have at least a GPA of 3.3 or higher. You must also show how you benefit your community. If won, the award will cover the entire cost of your tuition and campus service/parking fees for one full academic year. The award will be given each year to an undetermined number of students.

13. King V. Hostick Scholarships

Deadline: March 31st

$5,000 awarded annually to graduates

Illinois State Historical Society created this scholarships for history majors in the process of writing their doctoral dissertations on the history of Illinois. Graduates must demonstrate unmet financial need, display research skills, and provide a six-page proposal. Preference is given to students working in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

14. Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Scholarship

Deadline: February 10th

$2,000 awarded annually to 2 high-school students

The Daughters of the American Revolution annually award this scholarship to two high school students that have a GPA of 3.25 and demonstrate advanced interest in history. The student must plan to work full time toward a bachelor’s degree in history at an accredited university. DAR offers a similar scholarship for graduate students called the Centennial Scholarship.

15. Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship Program

Deadline: January 15th

$20,000 awarded annually to doctoral female students

Every year Phi Beta Kappa offers the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship Program, with no membership required to students internationally. To be considered, applicants must be unmarried women between the ages of 25 to 35. They must be able to show the ability to produce quality research work. Also, they must be almost completed with their doctorate degree save the dissertation. The founder wanted to help women in Greek and French studies to live abroad while researching. The Fellowship alternates yearly between French and Greek studies. In 2018 the fellowship will be for those focusing in French.

16. Bolton-Cutter Prize

Deadline: April 1st

$500 awarded annually to essay context winner

The Western History Association awards the Bolton-Cutter Prize each year for the best article focusing on any phase in the history of the Borderlands. This generally includes the Floridas to the Californias from the 16th century to present day. A WHA member or the author themselves can nominate an article for consideration. There are no education requirements to win. If no article is worthy, no prize will be awarded.

17. Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest

Deadline: July 15th

$3,000 awarded annually to 6 female high school juniors or seniors plus an all expense paid trip

For 20 years the National Foundation for Women Legislators and the National Rifle Association have teamed up to host and fund this scholarship. Along with the award money, high school students get to travel to NFWL’s Annual Conference where the six winners will be presented awards.

18. The Aleksander and Alicja Hertz Memorial Fellowship

Deadline: January 15th

$4,000 awarded annually to multiple doctoral students

The Aleksander and Alicja Hertz Memorial Fellowship supports doctoral and post-doctoral research on the history of the Jewish-Polish relationship, during the Holocaust period and into modern culture, discussing what contributions Jewish people made to Polish culture and literature.This Fellowship is to be used for the awarded to research at the YIVO Library and Archives for a period of 2-3 months and give a public lecture at the end of that time.

19. The Thomas S. Morgan Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

$1,000 awarded annually to multiple PhD students

The Thomas S. Morgan Memorial Scholarship is one of three doctoral scholarships offered by Phi Alpha Theta. To qualify, you must be a member of Phi Alpha Theta and be in the process of entering a graduate school for the first time in the fall. The applicant must be pursuing a degree in History or Library Sciences. This scholarship does not apply to students already enrolled in a graduate program, only those in the process of entering. It also does not apply to students enrolled in online degree programs. Unlike most scholarship applications, this one cannot be completed online. Six copies of the completed application and all of the secondary materials will need to be mailed to:

Graduate Scholarship Committee
Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave SOC107
Tampa FL 33620-8100


20. ALBA George Watt Memorial Essay Contest

Deadline: August 1st

$250 awarded annually to multiple or a single student at all levels of education.

ALBA is short for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade fought fascists in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. ALBA is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the defense of human rights and social activism. George Watt was a writer and an activist who formed ALBA. High-school all the way up through to doctoral students are encouraged to submit an essay on the Spanish Civil War. This scholarship is not limited to any country. The length of the essay depends on what level of education you are at. It can be in Spanish or English.

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