Social Science Scholarships

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Staff Writers
Updated September 18, 2020

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Apply to a Social Science Scholarships

Social science scholarships are abundant for college students who have chosen to study elements of human behavior. Social science degrees provide an interdisciplinary exploration into various disciplines that are focused on analyzing humanity's impact on the world with the goal of improving the lives of our world's citizens.

From anthropology and political science to sociology and economics, social science majors learn about what separates humans from other primates from a wide range of different perspectives. Graduates of social science programs are able to unlock a variety of in-demand career options, such as market research analyst, social worker, public relations specialist, foreign service officer, case manager, teacher, human resources specialist, and more.

If you have a passion for studying what makes humans tick and wish to work in any people-oriented career, the following are 20 of the most lucrative scholarships available in the social sciences.

1. CHC Institute Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 16th

Each year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Institute hosts a scholarship program that's available to social science majors of Hispanic or Latino heritage who exhibit a consistent active participation in community service and civic engagement activities. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time in an accredited college in the United States or Puerto Rico, have unmet financial need, possess strong writing skills, maintain good academic standing, be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and showcase leadership potential. Awardees can receive $1,000 for an associate's degree, $2,500 for a bachelor's degree, or $5,000 for a graduate degree.


CHC Institute Scholarship Program
300 M Street SE Suite 510
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-1771

Scholarship Link

2. Craig W. Reeser Scholarship

Deadline: February 3rd

At Illinois State University, the Craig W. Reeser Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree full-time in the social sciences, including history, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, social work, speech pathology, and audiology. Qualified applicants must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, remain in good standing at Illinois State, and exhibit financial need for educational costs. Along with the application form, candidates must submit a one to two-page essay describing their interests and career intentions within social science.


Craig W. Reeser Scholarship
Campus Box 4100
Normal, IL 61790
(309) 438-7198

3. Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowships

Deadline: January 5th

In honor of the daughter of prominent Armenian intellectual Krikor Zohrab, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Scholarships are presented each year to cover full-tuition costs and deliver an $18,000 annual stipend for graduate students who are pursuing a degree in any recognized field of study in the social sciences or humanities. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, attend one of the participating accredited higher learning institutions in America, demonstrate financial need, and have an outstanding academic record. Preference will be given to social science majors who are focusing in Armenian studies, Armenian literature, or Armenian history.


Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowships
P.O. Box 227237
Dallas, TX 75222

Scholarship Link

4. Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics

Deadline: December 8th

Ranging in value from $500 to $5,000, the Elie Wiesel Foundation offers an annual essay content to award five scholarship prizes for undergraduate students in the social sciences and humanities who can create an original and imaginative essay that grapples with an ethical dilemma. Eligible candidates must attend an accredited four-year college in the United States, have attained junior or senior-level status, maintain full-time enrollment, and be sponsored by a faculty member. Participants are asked to write a 3,000 to 4,000-word essay in English that raises questions, singles out issues, identifies dilemmas, and forms an ethical analysis.


Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics
555 Madison Avenue 20th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 490-7788

Scholarship Link

5. FLASH Social Science Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

Sponsored by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, the FLASH Social Science Scholarship is offered each year for $1,500 to graduate students in a social science discipline who are performing research relevant to behavior change, societal effects, or other social aspects related to natural disaster mitigation. Eligible applicants must have graduated from a bachelor's program, be attending an accredited U.S. graduate school, be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree, and show a sincere interest in studying disaster safety. Applications must include unofficial college transcripts and a statement of appraisal from faculty research advisors.


FLASH Social Science Scholarship
1427 East Piedmont Drive Suite 2
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(877) 221-7233

Scholarship Link

6. Frances C. Allen Fellowships

Deadline: January 15th

Offering $2,500 in funding per month, the Frances C. Allen Fellowships are granted through The Newberry in Chicago to women of American Indian heritage who are working on an advanced graduate degree in the social sciences. Qualified applicants must be Ph.D. candidates currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution, be United States citizens of Native American descent, submit a recommendation from a faculty advisor, and write a fellowship proposal related to Newberry's collection. Fellows will spend anywhere from one month to a full year in residence at the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.


Frances C. Allen Fellowships
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 255-3666

Scholarship Link

7. Gordon E. Mercer Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

As the international honor society for the social sciences, Pi Gamma Mu has created the Gordon E. Mercer Scholarship to present $1,000 annually in honor of the accomplishments made by the society's 13th international president. Eligible recipients must be entering their first or second year of graduate work at an accredited U.S. institution with a major in sociology, anthropology, criminal justice, political science, history, economics, international relations, public administration, psychology, or social work. Applications must be accompanied by official college transcripts, a current resume, three recommendation letters, and a brief personal statement.


Gordon E. Mercer Scholarship
1001 Millington Street Suite B
Winfield, KS 67156
(620) 221-3128

Scholarship Link

8. ISF National Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 14th

Annually, the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) hosts a National Scholarship Program to award $2,000 to $10,000 to Muslim students who are majoring in an ISF supported social science field, including political science, law, human rights, criminal justice, public policy, international affairs, anthropology, sociology, and Arab studies. Qualified students must be active members of the Muslim community, be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and have attained at least sophomore standing. Recipients must agree to complete a certain number of hours of community volunteer service in their respective field.


ISF National Scholarship Program
2140 Shattuck Avenue Suite 706
Berkeley, CA 94704
(650) 995-6782

Scholarship Link

9. Mellon Mays Predoctoral Research Grants

Deadline: November 1st

Administered through the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Mellon Mays Predoctoral Research Grants are designed to provide $1,500 to $3,000 to outstanding graduate students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in anthropology, archaeology, art history, geography, environmental science, film studies, history, linguistics, political science, religion, sociology, or other social science fields. To qualify, candidates must be enrolling in an accredited Ph.D. program in the United States, be selected as undergraduate students, have financial need, maintain good academic standing, and be committed to social science research.


Mellon Mays Predoctoral Research Grants
300 Cadman Plaza West
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(212) 377-2700

Scholarship Link

10. Morris and Lenore Mandelbaum Scholarships

Deadline: February 2nd

At the University of Iowa, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers the Morris and Lenore Mandelbaum Family Scholarships annually to award up to $3,000 to three currently enrolled social science students who have declared a major in anthropology, geography, political science, history, sociology, economics, social work, psychology, or international studies. All applicants must have graduated from a Des Moines area high school, demonstrate financial need, be seeking their first bachelor's degree, carry six or more credit hours per term, and exhibit great academic promise. Online applications must include one faculty letter of recommendation and an essay highlighting educational goals.


Morris and Lenore Mandelbaum Scholarships
120 Schaeffer Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-2633

11. New Leader Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 10th

Now in its 15th year, the New Leader Scholarship Program is hosted by the Marin Community Foundation each year to provide up to $8,000 to upper-division undergraduate students who are planning to pursue advanced education in the social sciences or human services to fulfill their commitment to serving others. Qualified candidates must come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, demonstrate leadership potential, have high academic achievement, and carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.2. Recipients must attend California State East Bay, San Francisco State, San Jose State, Sonoma State, or University of California at Berkeley in the Bay Area.


New Leader Scholarship Program
5 Hamilton Landing Suite 200
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 331-5853

Scholarship Link

12. NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Deadline: November 3rd

As a national program that encourages students to enter STEM fields, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships are also available for students in the social sciences who are studying archaeology, anthropology, communications, economics, geography, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, public policy, sociology, or urban planning. In order to qualify for receiving the 12-month stipend of $32,000, candidates must be enrolled full-time in a research-based master's or doctoral program, attend an accredited institution in the United States, demonstrate research competence, submit three letters of reference, be U.S. citizens, and have not completed more than 24 credits of graduate studies.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
(866) 673-4737

Scholarship Link

13. Social Sciences Bachelor's Degree Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Funded by, the Social Sciences Bachelor's Degree Scholarship is awarded annually for $500 to undergraduate students who are earning a four-year degree related to history, political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, or other social sciences. Qualified candidates must be enrolled full-time during the academic year, attend an accredited higher learning institution, have good academic standing, and write a short personal statement describing how their degree will help achieve their dreams. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievement, employment history, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and career aspirations in the social sciences.


Social Sciences Bachelor's Degree Scholarship
156 East Dana Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 488-5017

Scholarship Link

14. Smithsonian Minority Internship Program

Deadline: February 1st and October 1st

Every semester, the Smithsonian Minority Internship Program is available for students from underrepresented ethnic minority groups who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the social sciences, including animal behavior, anthropology, archaeology, ecology, environmental science, folklife, history, and sociology. Qualified applicants must attend an accredited U.S. institution, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and exhibit research competence. Interns will earn a $550 stipend each week with travel allowances to work full-time at any Smithsonian museum for 10 weeks.


Smithsonian Minority Internship Program
470 L'Enfant Plaza SW Suite 7102
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 633-7070

Scholarship Link

15. SSSS Student Research Grants

Deadline: June 1st

Through the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), Student Research Grants for $1,000 apiece are granted annually to two graduate student members who are pursuing a degree in the social sciences and conducting research related to human sexuality. Eligible candidates must be pursuing a master's or doctoral degree, attend an accredited U.S. graduate school, be starting their thesis or dissertation research, and have IRB approval for their upcoming project. Applications must include a letter of recommendation from a department chairperson, a 150-word abstract of the proposed research, and a short biographical sketch.


SSSS Student Research Grants
881 Third Street Suite B-4
Whitehall, PA 18052
(610) 443-3100

Scholarship Link

16. The Beinecke Scholarship Awards

Deadline: February 20th

Since 1975, the Bienecke Scholarship Awards have been presented annually by the Sperry and Hutchinson Company to support the graduate-level education of college juniors who plan to enroll in a master's or doctoral program in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or lawful residents, be currently pursuing a bachelor's degree full-time, attend an accredited American college, have a history of receiving need-based institutional aid, demonstrate superior intellectual ability, and be dominated by a faculty member. Recipients will receive $4,000 immediately upon their selection and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.


The Beinecke Scholarship Awards
8240 Peach Lane
Fogelsville, PA 18051
(610) 395-5560

Scholarship Link

17. Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships

Deadline: January 16th

As part of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships are presented annually for up to $37,500 to undergraduate and/or graduate students in the social sciences who have a sincere interest in pursuing a career in foreign service with the U.S. Department of State. Qualified candidates must be United States citizens, attending an accredited American college, have attained at least junior standing, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2, and be available to fulfill summer internship obligations. Applications must include unofficial transcripts, proof of citizenship, SAT/ACT scores, a current resume, financial aid reports, income tax forms, and a 600-word personal statement.


Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships
5 Vaughn Drive Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 452-7007

Scholarship Link

18. Udall Undergraduate Scholarships

Deadline: March 4th

Annually, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year who are earning a degree in the social sciences to eventually work towards solving social issues related to American Indian nations and/or the environment. Eligible candidates must be attending an accredited four-year university, be actively involved in community service, showcase leadership abilities, have good academic achievement, and be committed to improving Indian country. All 11-question applications must include three letters of recommendation, college transcripts, and an 800-word essay describing how the Udalls impacted their career interests.


Udall Undergraduate Scholarships
130 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 901-8564

Scholarship Link

19. VIP Fishing Charters Annual Scholarship

Deadline: July 30th

With the goal of relieving some financial stress for hard-working individuals, the VIP Fishing Charters Annual Scholarship is granted for $500 annually based on merit to lower tuition expenses for undergraduate programs centered on an emphasis in applied social sciences. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be currently enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in an accredited university, possess a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and exhibit a need for financial support. Application forms must include a current transcript and a maximum 800-word blog post that expresses applicants' opinion on what factors contribute to a successful day of fishing.


VIP Fishing Charters Annual Scholarship
540 San Marco Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(888) 336-9718

Scholarship Link

20. William Y. and Nettie K. Adams Fellowship

Deadline: January 12th

Funded by the School of Advanced Research (SAR), the William Y. and Nettie K. Adams Fellowship is offered annually to doctoral-level graduate students from the social sciences who are interested in pursuing research that promotes understanding of human behavior, culture, society, and the history of anthropology. Interested individuals must submit a 150-word abstract of their goals, a four-page research project proposal, a short bibliography of sources, a current curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references. Selection for the seven-week summer fellowship will be based on candidates' publication record, academic achievement, research competence, proposal presentation, and professional promise.


William Y. and Nettie K. Adams Fellowship
660 Garcia Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 954-7201

Although social science programs aren't well-known for leading to top-paying careers, they do offer inquisitive students the chance to explore the relationships among people and potentially create changes that better our society. Depending on your chosen social science, you could spend anywhere from four to 10 years in post-secondary education to become an expert in one of the field's many branches. Make sure you apply to some of these great social science scholarships to supplement your funding and cover the tuition costs for delving into fascinating topics on human nature.

See also: Top 9 Cheap Online Social Science Degree Programs (Bachelor's)

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