Graduate students can cash in English literature scholarships to afford their master’s or doctoral tuition while studying the written word. Advanced literature programs foster critical multi-genre analysis of texts to gain insight into the literary process. It’s ideal for imaginative thinkers who are passionate about reading realistic fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, satire, and more. Graduate degrees in English literature allow post-baccalaureate scholars to immerse themselves in researching historical works from Shakespeare to Hemingway. According to Fortune, earning a master’s in English literature provides a median salary of $69,500 with projected job growth of 6.2 percent through 2024. Graduates could work as archivists, librarians, translators, writers, editors, journalists, publishers, and professors. Whatever your goals may be, these scholarships for graduate degrees in English literature can help.
1. Alfred J. Lindsey Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
At Western Illinois University, the English Literature & Language Department has established the Alfred J. Lindsey Memorial Scholarship to gift $1,000 to junior, senior, and graduate students pursuing the Master of Arts in English full-time. Eligibility criteria mandates studying at the Macomb campus, possessing a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, and exhibiting exceptional skill in writing. The committee will review up to 10 pages of candidates’ writing samples.
Alfred J. Lindsey Memorial Scholarship
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
2. Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Fellowship
Deadline: October 26th
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) presents over $18 million to more than 300 doctoral scholars nationally. One such fund is the Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Fellowship, which bestows $5,000 in university tuition coverage with a $30,000 stipend. Qualified PhD candidates must be studying the humanities like English literature, have obtained ABD status at accredited U.S. graduate schools, be no more than six years into the program, and submit one completed dissertation chapter.
Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Fellowship
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
3. Aubrey E. Galyon Scholarship Award
Deadline: March 6th
Valued at $1,000, the Aubrey E. Galyon Scholarship Award is granted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Iowa State University annually. This non-renewable award helps full-time ISU seniors who will commence work on a PhD in English literature, linguistics, or rhetoric at any accredited U.S. institution. Selection is based upon students’ academic record, potential for theoretical work in literature, faculty recommendations, and statement of financial need.
Aubrey E. Galyon Scholarship Award
2433 Union Drive
Ames, IA 50011
4. Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship
Deadline: November 15th
Endowed by a Philadelphia philanthropist who passed in 1979, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship is awarded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for $25,000 over 12 months of full-time dissertation work. Graduate English literature students who are researching religious or ethical issues reflected in writing could apply. Eligible U.S. citizens or resident aliens must be PhD candidates, hold ABD status at accredited universities, and expect to complete their dissertation within two years.
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship
5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08540
5. Debbie Lopez Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
At the University of Texas San Antonio, the Debbie Lopez Memorial Scholarship is funded under the Department of English to support graduate students with at least $1,000. It’s intended for individuals enrolled full-time with 9+ credits per semester to finish the Master of Arts in English or Doctor of Philosophy in English. Interested UTSA Roadrunners must attain a minimum GPA of 3.4, provide a maximum 10-page writing sample on American or British literature, and submit suitable GRE scores.
Debbie Lopez Memorial Scholarship
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
6. F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship
Deadline: December 15th
Since 1964, the Waverly Community House has honored the philanthropic Belin family by presenting the F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship for $12,000 yearly. Both undergraduate and graduate students originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, Nanticoke, Hazleton, and Carbondale, may apply. It’s designed to fund U.S. citizens’ formal training or travel for mastering the noble arts, including English literature. Past recipients have excelled at Marywood, Albright, Juilliard, and more.
F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship
P.O. Box 142
Waverly, PA 18471
7. Frances Mayhew Rippy Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
In remembrance of her 42-year tenure with the English Department, Ball State University bestows the Frances Mayhew Rippy Scholarship for $1,000. Full-time graduate students must be pursuing the Master of Arts in English – Literature or PhD in English – Literature with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. For consideration, outstanding literary majors should submit two faculty references, a financial need statement, and a description of their research project.
Frances Mayhew Rippy Scholarship
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie, IN 47306
8. GRCF Ladies Literary Club Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Filling out the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s (GRCF) general online application could qualify you for the Ladies Literary Club Scholarship and up to $3,000. Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in English literature or related literary arts at accredited Michigan universities with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and unmet financial need could apply. The regional scholarship is reserved for graduates from Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Montcalm, and Barry counties.
GRCF Ladies Literary Club Scholarship
185 Oakes Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
9. Hannah Beiter Graduate Research Grants
Deadline: February 1st
Ranging from $500 to $1,500, the Hannah Beiter Graduate Research Grants are given by the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) to assist master’s or doctoral English literature students who are devoting their thesis research to juvenile stories, books, and poetry. Being affiliated with accredited U.S. academic institutions full-time is expected. To apply, submit a cover letter, detailed research proposal, curriculum vitae, and faculty advisor recommendation.
Hannah Beiter Graduate Research Grants
1201 West 22nd Street Suite 202
Oak Brook, IL 60523
10. Lambda Iota Tau Literature Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
Admitted to the ACHS in 1965 as the honor society for English literature, Lambda Iota Tau has created two scholarships for $1,000 each to support members pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Suitable applicants will attend U.S. institutions with an active chapter, attain at least fifth-semester standing, present a minimum GPA of 3.5 in English courses, rank in the upper 35th percentile of their class, and submit a five to six-page creative or research paper.
Lambda Iota Tau Literature Scholarships
1749 Hamilton Road Suite 106
Okemos, MI 48864
11. Lynn Langer Meeks Fellowship
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University in Logan awards the Lynn Langer Meeks Fellowship for $2,000 to graduate students in the English Literature M.A/M.S. program who are interested in teaching expository writing. Priority is given to licensed English teachers with three or more years of classroom experience who are returning for graduate study. Eligibility requires taking at least six credits per term, sustaining a minimum 3.0 GPA, and exhibiting financial need.
Lynn Langer Meeks Fellowship
3200 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322
12. Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship
Deadline: January 15th
Named for a Durant Scholar at Wellesley College who was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest academic honor society, the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship is given for $20,000 in two installments. Annually, unmarried women between 25 and 35 years old who are carrying out doctoral dissertation research full-time on Greek or French literature are chosen. Aspiring fellows should submit an official transcript, resume or CV, three references, and a detailed literary research proposal.
Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship
1606 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
13. Merv Aubespin Scholarship Fund
Deadline: November 16th
The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) created the Merv Aubespin Scholarship Fund to provide $2,500 annually in memory of the Kentucky Journalists Hall of Fame member who served as NABJ President until 1985. College juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled full-time at accredited universities to study English literature or related majors for careers in copy editing are eligible. Scholars must submit a resume, six original headlines, three references, and a 500-word personal essay.
Merv Aubespin Scholarship Fund
3909 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
14. Patrick Michael Ewing Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: October 28th
In memory of a beloved alumnus who taught English at UC Davis at the time of his unexpected passing in 2012, the Patrick Michael Ewing Memorial Scholarship gifts $2,500 yearly from the Sacramento State English Department. Eligible recipients must enroll full-time with 8+ units, be classified as graduate students for the English Master of Arts (M.A.), have unmet financial need, achieve an overall post-baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better, and attach a 500-word biographical statement displaying their commitment.
Patrick Michael Ewing Memorial Scholarship
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819
15. Retha M. Ford Endowed Scholarship
Deadline: February 7th
The United College Negro Fund offers the Retha M. Ford Endowed Scholarship for a maximum of $5,000 to minority bachelor’s and master’s students who are majoring in English, literature, rhetoric, writing, communication, or related fields. Qualified applicants must attend a UNCF-member historically black college, maintain full-time enrollment, carry a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, and display outstanding writing skills with a 500-word essay response.
Retha M. Ford Endowed Scholarship
1805 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
16. Richard M. Weaver Fellowship
Deadline: January 23rd
Devoted to “Educating for Liberty,” the Intercollegiate Studies Institute distributes Richard M. Weaver Fellowships of $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 apiece to 15 distinguished graduate students annually. Eligible ISI members with U.S. citizenship must be enrolled full-time at accredited graduate schools and studying the humanities, including English literature, to teach. The application process includes attaching an official transcript, three academic references, a three-page autobiography, and an original 2,500-word essay.
Richard M. Weaver Fellowship
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19807
17. Stephanie G. Hoffman Scholarship
Deadline: March 2nd
The Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund provides the Stephanie G. Hoffman Scholarship for $2,000 to $5,000 yearly to undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in library science, English literature, reading education, and related fields. Interested Jewish applicants must attend accredited U.S. institutions, have permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area from Sonoma to the Peninsula, take 12+ units per term, and intend to promote literacy in underserved children.
Stephanie G. Hoffman Scholarship
200 N. San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903
18. Taliesin Nexus MFA Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
As a network of film and television producers, Taliesin Nexus has created the MFA Scholarships to grant $4,000 to storytellers who are pursuing a Master of Fine Arts with concentrations like literary arts, creative writing, filmmaking, or video production. Qualified graduates must have a background in writing, have penned fiction or non-fiction pieces, be admitted into an accredited U.S. graduate school, be at least 21 years old, and demonstrate a passion for a free society.
Taliesin Nexus MFA Scholarships
3328 Oakhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
19. Vivian L. Kwiatek Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 4th
At Montclair State University, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has several English literature scholarships like the Vivian L. Kwiatek Scholarship Fund. For this $8,000 award, outstanding graduate students pursuing the M.A. in English or M.A.T. in Teaching English full-time must excel in literature analysis with a minimum 3.2 GPA. Applications through Canvas must be accompanied by a FAFSA form, transcript, faculty recommendation, and at least three work samples.
Vivian L. Kwiatek Scholarship Fund
1 Normal Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043
20. William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship
Deadline: April 10th
Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, presents the William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship for $5,000 annually to honor the Executive Director’s outstanding service. Full-time undergraduate and graduate members who have taken at least two English literature courses, ranked in the upper 35th percentile of their class, attained a minimum 3.3 GPA, and exhibited leadership in chapter involvement could apply. There’s also the $2,000 P.C. Somerville Award for Future English Teachers.
William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship
711 North First Street
DeKalb, IL 60115
Gaining a deep understanding of written English is invaluable to many fields, but advanced higher education isn’t cheap. The NCES reported that U.S. graduate students pay an average tuition price of $10,408 at public and $23,698 at private, nonprofit institutions. Unless you’re lucky enough to find a fully funded program, you’ll likely need financial aid. Scholarships and fellowships are excellent alternatives to loans that don’t come with post-graduate repayment stipulations. In addition to these 20 great English literature scholarships, ask your university’s department about tuition waivers through graduate assistantships.
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