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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
13. Social Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Funded by Learn.org, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.