English Scholarships & Awards

Departmental Scholarships

Beverly Atkinson Scholarship for Outstanding Non-Traditional English Majors
This scholarship of approximately $1,000 is awarded to non-traditional English majors, registered for 15 credits per semester, with a GPA in the 3.0-3.5 range; other full-time undergraduate non-traditional English majors may be considered. Students must be eligible for financial aid according to the standards of the University's One Stop Student Services. Complete and file your FAFSA by the annual deadline.

Examples of non-traditional students include, but are not limited to, displaced homemakers (regardless of gender), students with disabilities, individuals starting their college careers after age 23, students with family responsibilities, individuals experiencing mid-career changes, etc. The purpose of this award is to congratulate and encourage exceptional CLA English majors who have overcome remarkable odds by enrolling and successfully pursuing their college degrees.

To be considered, students also must either (a) complete the statement required for the CLA Alumni Scholarship for Outstanding Non-Traditional Students in the common application form for CLA Continuing Student Scholarships, or (b) email to the Department of English a statement of two or three sentences explaining the extraordinary demands in their lives that have taken time away from their academic studies. Send statements to englmaj@umn.edu, Attn: Rachel Drake, no later than 4 pm, February 26, 2016.

Sharon Borine Scholarship
This scholarship of approximately $1,000 for each of two students is awarded to continuing students enrolled as University of Minnesota English majors. Sharon Borine is an alumna of the University and was an English major. She and her family have made this award possible through their generosity.

Jessie M. Comstock Scholarship
This scholarship of approximately $2,000 is awarded to a continuing major student enrolled as a University of Minnesota English major. Students must be eligible for financial aid according to the standards of the University's One Stop Student Services. Complete and file your FAFSA by the annual deadline.

Joan C. Forester Scholarship
Undergraduate students selected to receive this approximately $1,000 scholarship will be among the strongest students majoring in English.

Donald V. Hawkins Scholarship
Donald V. Hawkins Scholarships provide a stipend of approximately $2,000 for juniors or seniors with at least a 3.3 grade point average in their English major courses. Junior-year recipients may apply for the scholarship in their senior year as well. Donald V. Hawkins Scholarships are made possible by an endowment established in honor of Donald V. Hawkins' education and because of his love for the University of Minnesota. The endowment is intended to foster and support student and faculty excellence in undergraduate education in English and Communication Studies.

To be considered, students also must email to the Department of English (1) an essay written for one of their 3000-level English literature classes and (2) a second letter of recommendation written by a faculty member in the Department of English. Students should inform their English faculty recommenders that faculty should email the second letter of recommendation to englmaj@umn.edu, Attn: Rachel Drake, no later than 4 pm, February 26, 2016.

Typical Hawkins Scholars emphasize communication and the arts by taking courses in the Departments of English, Communication Studies, Theatre, Art History, Journalism, and Cultural Studies. Recipients will be offered the opportunity to work on the Department of English's undergraduate journal, do research or an internship with a faculty mentor, or work on a project with one of the department's committees, depending on their interests.

Moses Marston Scholarship
Moses Marston Memorial Scholarships provide approximately $1,000 of support for English majors who demonstrate outstanding achievement in literary studies. Moses Marston held the Professorship of English Language and Literature from 1874 (five years after the University began instruction) until his death in 1883 (the Department of English was organized in 1885).

Robert Etheridge Moore Scholarship
Robert E. Moore Scholarships provide a stipend of approximately $1,000 for English majors who have demonstrated a high potential for graduate studies in literary scholarship. We anticipate giving two awards each year: one to a junior who will receive the same award for the senior year pending continuing high academic achievement; and a second award to a senior who was a Moore Scholar in her/his junior year. Established in the 2006-2007 academic year, Robert E. Moore Scholarships are made possible by a gift established by a former student of Professor Moore, whom the student described as one of the four best teachers he had in 11 years of higher education. Professor Moore was expert especially in the literature, opera, and visual arts of the 17th and 18th centuries, and he was a lively and influential teacher.

Captain Dewitt Jennings Payne Memorial Scholarship
Captain DeWitt Jennings Payne Memorial Scholarships provide a stipend of approximately $2,000 for the academic year. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, with particular attention paid to depth of study in the major, general breadth of coursework, and interest in advertising and similar pursuits. These scholarships come from a fund established by the late Olivia Payne Stover in memory of her brother, Captain Payne, who was the first American aviator killed in World War I. It is awarded to students "who show special capacity for literary studies."

Anna Augusta Von Helmholtz Phelan Scholarship
This scholarship of approximately $1,000 is awarded annually to a currently enrolled undergraduate student in English or in an individually designed major with an emphasis in creative writing, whose creative poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction show much potential. Eligible applicants are juniors who have a financial need as determined by the the University's One Stop Student Services. Complete and file your FAFSA by the annual deadline. Criteria include quality of writing, academic progress, and financial need. This fund was established by former students of Anna Phelan, who taught journalism and creative writing.

To be considered, students also must email to the Department of English a creative writing sample of 6-8 pages of poetry or 15-20 pages of literary fiction or nonfiction. Samples may be sent to englmaj@umn.edu, Attn: Rachel Drake, no later than 4 pm, February 26, 2016.

Martin B. Ruud Memorial Scholarship
Martin B. Ruud Memorial Scholarships provide a stipend of approximately $3,000. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of outstanding achievement in literary studies and writing, with particular attention paid to depth of study in the major, general breadth of coursework, and clarity of academic purpose. Ruud was a Professor of English in the 1920s and 1930s.

CLA Scholarships Requiring Departmental Nomination

The Selmer Birkelo Scholarship requires departmental nomination. Complete the common application form for CLA Continuing Student Scholarships to be considered for the Birkelo Scholarship Department of English nomination.

The Talle Family Scholarship also requires departmental nomination.

Departmental Awards

Mark David Clawson Award
The Mark David Clawson Award (two per year, approximately $400) is an annual prize awarded for an outstanding summa cum laude thesis by an undergraduate whose major is English. Established in 1991, the award is in memory of Mark David Clawson, a summa cum laude English major graduate at the University of Minnesota. All graduates who have received a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in English during the previous academic year are eligible to compete for the prize and are automatically considered.

The honors thesis may be a partially or completely creative work, a literary analysis essay, or a literary theory essay, but it must be completed and approved by the thesis adviser and the other two readers by the last day of classes in the spring semester. This competition is publicized each year to thesis writers and to their thesis advisers. Selection criteria are determined by the Department of English Scholarships and Awards committee, who will select one or two recipients from among all candidates.