25 Great Scholarships for Humanities Majors

Earning scholarships for humanities majors can assist students who ignore the liberal arts haters afford their value-added education.

Humanities programs examine important aspects of the human experience across cultures and time periods. Courses in English, philosophy, theology, foreign language, and social science converge to sharpen majors’ critical thinking skills.

The humanities have received an undeserved bad reputation for leading to grim job prospects. Yet a Georgetown study found that humanities majors have a lower unemployment rate (9 percent) than computer science and math majors (9.1 percent). The BLS predicts that life and social science jobs will grow by 97,600 nationwide through 2024. Humanities graduates can transition into these rewarding careers like anthropologist, economist, geographer, historian, art curator, political scientist, survey researcher, and technical writer.

Wherever your passions lies, the following scholarships for humanities can provide monetary help.

1. Agnes F. Vaghi Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 1st

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) administers 70 diverse scholarships for $2,500 to $12,000 each year, including the Agnes F. Vaghi Scholarship Fund. It’s intended for female humanities students who are focused on Italian, English, literature, linguistics, or other language studies. Accepted applicants must be United States citizens or resident aliens, have at least one ancestor who immigrated from Italy, attend an accredited college full-time, and possess a 3.5 GPA or higher.


Agnes F. Vaghi Scholarship Fund

1860 19th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

(202) 387-0600


Scholarship Link

2. Alzada Singleton Davis Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

The Cleveland Foundation awards the Alzada Singleton Davis Scholarship for $1,000 to $2,000 for African American women at Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) Metro campus who have finished their sophomore year and are transferring to a four-year university. Eligible full-time female students must show academic excellence with a minimum 3.0 major GPA in the humanities, including anthropology, English, economics, music, women’s studies, and philosophy. Funding is renewable for one additional year.


Alzada Singleton Davis Scholarship

1422 Euclid Avenue Suite 1300

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 861-3810


3. Bill McKnight Legacy Scholarship

Deadline: January 13th

Established by Steve Parsons to honor his friend who designed for Nordstrom and founded OutKitsap, the Bill McKnight Legacy Scholarship grants $3,250 on average from the Pride Foundation. The fund supports LGBTQ students from the Pacific Northwest who are attending two- or four-year colleges to study the liberal arts or humanities. Having lived in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington for at least 12 months is required, but special preference is given to residents of Kitsap County.


Bill McKnight Legacy Scholarship

2014 E. Madison Street Suite 300

Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 323-3318


4. Brandt Family Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: February 3rd

Created in 1973 by Donald Jay Brandt in his father’s remembrance, the Brandt Family Memorial Scholarship gifts at least $1,000 annually from the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University. Interested Buckeyes must be full-time undergraduates who have declared majors in the humanities, including classics, French, linguistics, philosophy, religious studies, Spanish, and world literature, with a cumulative GPA between 3.2 and 3.5. Other humanities scholarships include the Katherine L. Hall Prize and Richard C. Knopf Scholarship.


Brandt Family Memorial Scholarship

230 North Oval Mall

Columbus, OH 43210

(614) 292-1667


5. Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship

Deadline: December 1st

Valued at $3,000, the Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship is distributed by the Bibliographical Society of America with the Pine Tree Foundation’s funding to support outstanding graduate students in the humanities. It’s ideal for master’s and PhD candidates who are conducting projects about the history, design, and printing of cartographical documents from the Renaissance to today. Qualified members must submit the common application with two references, a curriculum vitae, and maximum 1,000-word project proposal.


Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship

P.O. Box 1537, Lenox Hill Station

New York, NY 10021

(212) 452-2710


6. Critical Languages Scholarship Program

Deadline: November 16th

Humanities majors wanting to study globally can benefit from the Critical Languages Scholarship, which is a fully-funded program of the U.S. Department of State. Students learn in-demand languages like Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and Korean during a summer overseas trip. Eligibility criteria requires holding United States citizenship, enrolling at a degree-granting college stateside, being at least 18, having good mental and physical health, and showing linguistic promise.


Critical Languages Scholarship Program

1828 L Street NW Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20036

(877) 257-9922


Scholarship Link

7. D. Ted Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 3rd

The Henry County Community Foundation initiated the D. Ted Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship in 2007 for $500 to $2,000 to honor the Wilbur Wright Elementary School principal who lost his battle with cancer. Suitable applicants must be graduating seniors at New Castle High School, be accepted at accredited Indiana universities, achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, show active involvement in extra-curricular activities, and attach two recommendations. Priority is given to art and humanities majors.


D. Ted Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship

700 South Memorial Drive

New Castle, IN 47362

(765) 529-2235


8. Edward B. Kaufmann Scholarship

Deadline: October 31st

At San Francisco State University, the Edward B. Kaufmann Scholarship was established in 2002 to remember a beloved humanist who taught for 30 years before succumbing to leukemia. Full-time Gators could receive $500 to $1,500 for humanities degrees in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, including American studies, philosophy, religion, Spanish, and gender studies. Applicants pursuing a B.A. or M.A. must enroll at least half-time, possess a minimum 3.25 GPA, and submit a maximum 700-word personal goals statement.


Edward B. Kaufmann Scholarship

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 405-4229


9. Gerda Henkel Foundation PhD Scholarships

Deadline: None

The Archeological Institute of America (AIA) partners with the Gerda Henkel Foundation in Düsseldorf, Germany, to provide the PhD Scholarships for $1,500 or 1,400 Euros each month. Getting chosen for the two-year funding requires being admitted into an accredited doctoral program for the historical humanities, such as archaeology, art history, Islamic studies, anthropology, or prehistory. Other qualifications include concluding master’s studies by age 28, achieving a master grade of “A,” and submitting two expert references.


Gerda Henkel Foundation PhD Scholarships

656 Beacon Street, 6th Floor

Boston, MA 02215

(617) 353-9361


10. Gladys Krieble Delmas Humanities Program

Deadline: December 15th

Located in New York City, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation has funded over 650 scholars through its Humanities Program for $4.5 million total since 1977. Offering $5,000 to $15,000 apiece, these scholarships for humanities majors help fund post-baccalaureate projects for humanistic enterprises, such as history, literature, archaeology, philosophy, ethics, comparative religion, and anthropology. Preference is given to detailed research plans pertaining to the Venetian Empire and its culture.


Gladys Krieble Delmas Humanities Program

275 Madison Avenue 33rd Floor

New York, NY 10016

(212) 687-0011


11. IHS Humane Studies Fellowships

Deadline: February 5th

The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Washington University provides $15,000 renewable fellowships annually to exemplary graduate students enrolled in accredited PhD programs nationwide. It’s intended for humanities and social sciences majors who are planning careers teaching university courses and contributing to liberty-advancing research. Online applications must include a 500-word essay, current CV, partial writing sample, electronic transcript, and two academic recommendations.


IHS Humane Studies Fellowships

3434 Washington Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22201

(703) 993-4880


12. Islamic Scholarship Fund Scholarships

Deadline: March 21st

Since 2009, the Islamic Scholarship Fund has awarded 657,100 humanities scholarships for $2,000 to $5,000 each to active Muslim community members. Eligible majors include English, journalism, political science, public policy, international relations, Middle Eastern studies, history, sociology, and religion. To qualify, candidates must attend accredited universities full-time, hold at least junior status, permanently reside in the United States, and excel academically with a 3.0 GPA or better.


Islamic Scholarship Fund Scholarships

2140 Shattuck Avenue Suite 706

Berkeley CA 94704

(650) 995-6782


Scholarship Link

13. Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

At the University of Montana-Missoula, the Davidson Honors College presents the Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarship for $2,000 annually to high-achieving juniors who’ve declared humanities majors within the College of Arts and Sciences. Appropriate applicants will have two years remaining for their first bachelor’s degree, distinguish themselves with a 3.4 GPA or higher, register full-time with 12+ credits, exhibit financial need on the FAFSA form, and convey their career ambitions in a two-page essay.


Jane Buttrey Memorial Scholarship

32 Campus Drive

Missoula, MT 59812

(406) 243-2541


14. Jennings Family Brave Companions Fund

Deadline: February 17th

The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University manages the Jennings Family Brave Companions Fund to honor Board of Trustee member Larry Jennings. Worth $6,000, the scholarships help sophomores and juniors with United States citizenship and a minimum 2.75 QPA study in underdeveloped countries like Costa Rica and Ghana. Preference is given to students who represent ethnic minorities, have overcome disabilities, exhibit significant financial need, or haven’t previously traveled abroad.


Jennings Family Brave Companions Fund

5000 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

(412) 268-5702


15. Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust

Deadline: January 31st

Funded by the first director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust bestows eight awards of $14,000 for undergrad and $22,00 for graduate scholars in the humanities. The committee reviews over 400 applications to find outstanding students at accredited U.S. institutions who are entering their senior year or defending their doctoral dissertation. Selection is based upon academic merit, record of original research, professional involvement, and career motivations.


Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust

P.O. Box 3389

San Dimas, CA 91773

(909) 592-0607


16. Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship

Deadline: December 1st

Named after a Champaign Art Club member who died unexpectedly in 1931, the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship offers $9,000 to $20,000 each year from the University of Illinois’ College of Fine and Applied Arts. Eligible full-time students on the Urbana-Champaign campus must be studying the humanities disciplines like music, architectural design, history, theatre, and urban or regional planning. Applicants should have not reached their 25th birthday, show high academic attainment with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and display good moral character.


Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship

608 E. Lorado Taft Drive

Champaign, IL 61820

(217) 333-1660


17. Larry Matfay Cultural Heritage Scholarship

Deadline: June 1st

The Koniag Education Foundation grants the Larry Matfay Cultural Heritage Scholarship for $1,000 each year to remember the Alutiiq elder and revitalize pride in Alaska’s customs. It’s designed for Alaska Native shareholders of the Koniag Region who are pursuing select humanities majors, including anthropology, history, American Indian studies, and linguistics. Qualified applicants must enroll full-time at accredited U.S. colleges, present a 2.5 GPA or equivalent, and have completed at least their freshman year.


Larry Matfay Cultural Heritage Scholarship

4241 B Street Suite 303B

Anchorage, AK 99503

(888) 562-9093


18. Martin J. Svaglic Humanities Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st

Valued at $2,500, the Martin J. Svaglic Humanities Scholarship is awarded at Loyola University Chicago for two incoming freshmen and transfers who have been admitted into humanities programs. Acceptable majors include classical studies, communication, English, fine arts, history, journalism, philosophy, theatre, and theology. The merit-based, undergraduate program expects a minimum GPA of 3.0 and ACT score above 26 or SAT score over 1170.


Martin J. Svaglic Humanities Scholarship

6339 N. Sheridan Road

Chicago, IL 60660

(773) 508-7704


Scholarship Link

19. Michael Marucci Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 31st

The National Federation of the Blind endows 30 funds worth over $150,000 total, including scholarships for humanities majors like the Michael Marucci Memorial Scholarship. Winning this $5,000 award is reserved for students studying history, geography, political science, comparative literature, or foreign languages, especially if traveling abroad. Interested candidates must be legally blind with visual acuity of 20/200 or worse, attend U.S. post-secondary institutions full-time, and attend the NFB National Convention.


Michael Marucci Memorial Scholarship

200 E. Wells Street

Baltimore, MD 21230

(410) 659-9314


20. Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarships

Deadline: January 31st

The Television Academy Foundation honors Fred Rogers’ 34-year career producing a daily children’s TV series with two annual Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarships for $5,000. Rising seniors and graduate students in education and the humanities can receive the project-based funding to conduct research concerning youth media or learning. Hopeful entrants should submit the online application with a project proposal, budget, video essay, transcript, and two professional recommendation letters.


Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarships

5220 Lankershim Boulevard

North Hollywood, CA 91601

(818) 754-2800


21. Sikh Education Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

Started in 2006, the Sikh Education Foundation (SEF) offers $17,000 scholarships to followers of Sikhism who are undertaking advanced master’s or doctoral study in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and legal studies. Scholars must wish to study Sikh culture or history at participating universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, and Dartmouth. Online application forms are incomplete without a resume, passport-sized photograph, a 300-word statement of purpose in serving humanity.


Sikh Education Foundation Scholarships

P.O. Box 7203

New York, NY 10116

(646) 688-3525


22. Steffensen Cannon Scholarship Fund

Deadline: January 13th

At the University of Utah, the College of Humanities manages the Steffensen Cannon Scholarship Fund to provide $10,000 to undergrad and $15,000 to graduate students showing great merit in the communication, English, history, linguistics, philosophy, world languages, and writing departments. Eligibility criteria mandates ranking in the top quarter of their class, holding a minimum overall GPA of 2.75, demonstrating financial need, and showing motivation for excellence. Preference is given to direct descendents of Ellen Christina Steffensen Cannon.


Steffensen Cannon Scholarship Fund

201 South 1460 East

Salt Lake City, UT 84112

(801) 581-6020


23. The Beinecke Scholarship Program

Deadline: February 17th

Sponsored by the Sperry Fund, The Beinecke Scholarship Program has selected nearly 600 college juniors since 1975 to receive $4,000 immediately and an additional $30,000 upon admission to graduate school. As one of the leading graduate humanities scholarships, it’ll fund master’s or PhD education in geography, history, law, anthropology, economics, international relations, and more. Accepted nominees must be U.S. citizens or nationals, have received need-based financial aid, and exhibit superior intellectual ability.


The Beinecke Scholarship Program

8240 Peach Lane

Fogelsville, PA 18051

(610) 395-5560


24. UNCF Michael Jackson Scholarships

Deadline: October 21st

Each Fall, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) opens the Michael Jackson Scholarships to ethnic minority students attending affiliated colleges for degrees in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The $5,000 scholarship requires being a U.S. citizenship or green card holder, earning their first bachelor’s or master’s degree full-time, maintaining a satisfactory 2.5 GPA or higher, and responding to a brief essay prompt. Like most humanities scholarships, accepted majors vary widely from mass media to sociology and history.


UNCF Michael Jackson Scholarships

1805 Seventh Street NW

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 810-0258


Scholarship Link

25. Valley Humanities Review Scholarships

Deadline: December 15th

The Valley Humanities Review, an online journal published by Pennsylvania’s Lebanon College, offers $500 scholarships yearly to graduating high school seniors nationwide who enter their essay competition. Entrants must craft a lengthy paper between 2,500 and 6,000 words in Chicago MLA style that’s centered on the humanities, such as literature, film, history, religion, philosophy, and archaeology. Original submissions are judged based on error-free writing quality, intellectual rigor, imagination, and application to society.


Valley Humanities Review Scholarships

101 North College Avenue

Lebanon, PA 17003

(717) 867-6242


The American Academy of Arts & Sciences found that bachelor’s degrees awarded in the humanities have plummeted by 8.7 percent since 2012. It’s easy for college students to turn away in fear that their humanities education won’t be marketable. The truth is that humanities degrees can develop skills for gratifying, lucrative career paths. For example, English majors could become editorial directors where PayScale says the mid-career salary is $92,200. Media majors may excel as corporate communication directors for income around $128,000. Financial aid can significantly add to your humanities degree’s ROI after graduation too. Cut your tuition costs for studying the human race with these 25 great scholarships for humanities majors.

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