20 Great Scholarships for History Majors

Historical societies nationwide have reserved money to support scholarships for history majors.

Studying history allows you to master the art and science of meticulously analyzing historical records to produce compelling, fact-based stories of the past. Among the humanities, history is a versatile major that sharpens students’ research and communication skills for diverse careers.

Resource: Online Master’s in History

Many history majors excel as historians, curators, archivists, librarians, nonprofit administrators, teachers, journalists, and cultural resources managers. However, history degrees can also be applied into business, medicine, law, public relations, and more. Those finishing a doctorate could become post-secondary professors where jobs will grow faster-than-average by 13 percent through 2024.

Cash in on the following scholarships for majoring in history and studying the world’s colorful past.

Scholarships for History Majors

1. Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship

Deadline: February 28th

Through the Willa Cather Foundation, the Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship awards $500 annually to graduating high school seniors who plan to major in English or history. Eligible candidates must reside within Nebraska, be incoming freshmen at regionally accredited U.S. colleges, display intellectual promise, and showcase creativity. The four-page application must include a 1,500-word essay in MLA format discussing the characters, themes, and lessons in Cather’s novel My Antonia.


Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship
413 North Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970
(866) 731-7304
Scholarship Link

2. B. Phinizy Spalding Scholarship

Deadline: February 12th

Each year, the Georgia Trust grants two $1,000 scholarships for history majors, including the B. Phinizy Spalding Scholarship. Qualified recipients must be enrolled full-time as freshmen at accredited colleges in Georgia, demonstrate sincere commitment to historic preservation, intend to remain in-state after graduation, have academic merit, and exhibit leadership ability. Finished applications must include proof of registration, an official transcript, resume of preservation-related experience, and three recommendation letters.


B. Phinizy Spalding Scholarship
1516 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 874-5835
Scholarship Link

3. Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship

Deadline: July 31st

Created by the Keyser Law, P.A. firm in Minneapolis, the Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship presents $1,000 to undergraduate students nationwide who are working towards a legal career with majors in criminal justice, history, political science, pre-law, and related fields. Eligible applicants should be attending an accredited four-year U.S. college and intend to enroll in ABA-accredited law schools after graduation. Selection is based on a 2,000 to 3,000-word essay responding to assigned legal topics.


Christopher W. Keyser Scholarship
400 South Fourth Street Suite 806M
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 338-5007
Scholarship Link

4. F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship

Deadline: February 28th

Since 1998, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) has funded the F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship to bestow $10,000 upon graduate students majoring in archival studies, historic preservation, history, or museum studies. Meritorious applicants should be affiliated with accredited U.S. graduate schools, have outstanding academic records, hold SAA membership, and intend to become archivists. Completed applications must include an official transcript, cover letter, curriculum vitae, and reference letter.


F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship
17 North State Street Suite 1425
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 606-0722
Scholarship Link

5. Finnish American Social Club Scholarship

Deadline: March 7th

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF) grants the Finnish American Social Club Scholarship annually for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors of Finnish descent who are enrolling full-time in bachelor’s programs for history, political science, or economics. To qualify, candidates must reside in central Massachusetts’ Worcester County, be entering any accredited U.S. college this fall, possess a cumulative GPA above 2.5, and demonstrate unmet financial need.


Finnish American Social Club Scholarship
370 Main Street Suite 650
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 755-0980 ext. 116
Scholarship Link

6. Graydon A. Tunstall Undergraduate Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Sponsored by the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, the Graydon A. Tunstall Undergraduate Scholarship gifts $1,000 every year to exemplary student members who are entering their senior year of an on-campus bachelor’s program for studying modern European history from 1815 to present. Three copies of the application are required with official transcripts, a resume or CV, a letter from the History Department chair, and three references.


Graydon A. Tunstall Undergraduate Scholarship
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620
(800) 394-8195
Scholarship Link

7. Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship

Deadline: November 1st

The Archaeological Institute of America offers the Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship for $5,000 to graduate students in archaeology, history, Classics, and related fields who are taking on scholarly research projects pertaining to the Aegean Bronze Age. Interested AIA members must be U.S. or Canadian citizens, be actively pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at an accredited North American university, and demonstrate academic merit. Priority is given to projects involving travel to the Mediterranean.


Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship
656 Beacon Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 358-4184
Scholarship Link

8. Helen James Brewer Scholarship

Deadline: June 15th

Valued at $1,000, the Helen James Brewer Scholarship is awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to descendants of Confederate soldiers or marines who are enrolling full-time in an accredited four-year undergraduate program for studying history or literature. Residents of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia may apply. Eligibility criteria requires being a U.S. citizen, attaining a minimum GPA of 3.0, and being endorsed by a Chapter President.


Helen James Brewer Scholarship
328 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 355-1636
Scholarship Link

9. Henry Salvatori Graduate Fellowships

Deadline: January 23rd

Annually, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) grants two Henry Salvatori Graduate Fellowships for $10,000 apiece to U.S. citizens who are enrolled full-time in an accredited master’s or doctoral program related to the American Founding, especially history. Interested ISI members can apply by submitting three academic recommendations, official transcripts, a 10-page writing sample, one-page curriculum vitae, and 2,500-word essay describing the significance of the American Founding in the evolution of the free society.


Henry Salvatori Graduate Fellowships
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19807
(800) 526-7022
Scholarship Link

10. Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship

Deadline: May 15th

The Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship is one of the scholarships for history majors available through the Coordinating Council for Women in History. For this $1,000 award, eligible CCWH members must be doctoral candidates, have passed to A.B.D. status, be affiliated with an accredited United States university, demonstrate financial need, submit a current CV, and devote their historical dissertation to investigating matters of race or gender.


Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship
7 Neilson Way
Northampton, MA 01063
(413) 585-2970
Scholarship Link

11. J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship

Deadline: April 1st

The American Historical Association (AHA) grants the J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship for $5,000 annually to late-stage doctoral and post-doctoral students who hold a PhD in history from an accredited U.S. institution. Chosen fellows benefit from spending two to three months full-time in residence at the Library of Congress to spark their academic career in history. Graduate students studying history could also receive the $1,000 Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant or $1,000 Albert J. Beveridge Grant.


J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship
400 A Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-2422
Scholarship Link

12. James Madison Memorial Junior Fellowships

Deadline: March 1st

Aspiring educators wishing to teach American history, social studies, or government to secondary students in grades 7-12 could receive up to $24,000 from the James Madison Memorial Junior Fellowships. Qualified fellows must be U.S. citizens, have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree, intend to complete a master’s degree in history or teaching in two years full-time, undertake at least 12 credits of constitutional study, and participate in the foundation’s four-week Summer Institute.


James Madison Memorial Junior Fellowships
1613 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(800) 525-6928
Scholarship Link

13. King V. Hostick Scholarships

Deadline: March 31st

To honor the late manuscript dealer, the Illinois State Historical Society has created the $5,000 King V. Hostick Scholarships for history majors writing doctoral dissertations interrogating some aspect of Illinois history. Interested graduate students must be enrolled in an accredited PhD program, have unmet financial need, display research competence, and submit a maximum six-page research proposal with a historiography. Preference is given to candidates studying historical documents in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.


King V. Hostick Scholarships
5255 Shepherd Road
Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 525-2781
Scholarship Link

14. Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Scholarship

Deadline: February 10th

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) administers the Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Scholarship to provide one-time $2,000 awards to deserving high school seniors who are pursuing their advanced interest in history. Suitable applicants must work towards a bachelor’s degree full-time, attend an accredited four-year college in the United States, and achieve a minimum grade point of average of 3.25. Graduate history majors also qualify for the $2,500 DAR Centennial Scholarship.


Lucinda Beneventi Findley History Scholarship
1776 D Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 628-1776
Scholarship Link

15. Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship Program

Deadline: January 15th

In 2017, the Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship Program will award $20,000 for extraordinary female graduate students who are studying Greek literature, language, history, or archaeology. The Phi Beta Kappa Society seeks women who are pursuing a doctorate with A.B.D. status, between 25 and 35 years old, unmarried, affiliated with an accredited university anywhere worldwide, and devoted to full-time research work. Applications must include a detailed dissertation proposal, including budget.


Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship Program
1606 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 745-3287
Scholarship Link

16. NFWL-NRA Bill of Rights Essay Scholarships

Deadline: July 15th

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) partners with the National Rifle Association (NRA) annually to host a Bill of Rights Essay Contest that presents six $3,000 scholarships for history majors. Eligible participants must be female college-bound high school juniors and seniors who plan to enroll full-time at accredited U.S. institutions. Judges carefully review 400 to 600-word essays concerning the milestone 19th Amendment and its importance to American democracy.


NFWL-NRA Bill of Rights Essay Scholarships
1727 King Street Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 518-7931
Scholarship Link

17. Phi Alpha Theta Doctoral Scholarships

Deadline: March 1st

As the nation’s history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta grants four Doctoral Scholarships annually for $850 to $1,000 to advanced graduate students who are completing a PhD in history and its sub-specialties. Successful applicants must be verified Phi Alpha Theta members, attend regionally accredited U.S. universities, have passed their department’s qualifying exam by February 15th, submit a dissertation prospectus, and show dedication to careers in academia.


Phi Alpha Theta Doctoral Scholarships
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620
(800) 394-8195
Scholarship Link

18. Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship

Deadline: January 15th

Carrying a $5,500 stipend, the Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship is proudly granted by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research to outstanding doctoral students who have devoted their dissertation research to American Jewish history, especially the Jewish labor movement. The three-month program includes studying at the YIVO Library and delivering a college lecture. History majors interested in Jewish culture must attend an accredited U.S. university to apply.


Rose and Isidore Drench Memorial Fellowship
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 246-6080
Scholarship Link

19. Samuel Eliot Morison Naval History Scholarship

Deadline: April 29th

Named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning maritime historian, the Samuel Eliot Morison Naval History Scholarship presents $5,000 annually by the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). Active duty commissioned officers of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps who are undertaking graduate study in history, military history, international relations, or related areas are eligible. Candidates must display high academic qualifications, leadership potential, and exemplary military service.


Samuel Eliot Morison Naval History Scholarship
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374
(202) 433-7880
Scholarship Link

20. William G. Saletic Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 16th

The Independent Colleges of Washington established the William G. Saletic Scholarship Fund to award $1,000 each year to undergraduate juniors and seniors who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in history or political studies. Qualified recipients must attend an ICW member college full-time, such as Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, Seattle University, and Pacific Lutheran University. Applications must include a one-page resume, unofficial transcript, financial aid form, and 3,000-word character essay.


William G. Saletic Scholarship Fund
600 Stewart Street Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 623-4494
Scholarship Link

Investigating events and ideas of the past can lead to future career success. Although history degrees receive a bad reputation like other humanities, they can provide great return on investment. According to PayScale, the average lifetime ROI for history majors is $537,800! The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that historians make $61,220 and museum curators earn $56,990 each year on average. Affording the advanced degrees required for these titles can become expensive though. Luckily, these are just 20 of the scholarships for history majors to nip tuition costs.