Apply to Undergraduate Scholarships/Awards

Below you find information about some of the more relevant award and scholarship opportunities for Sociology students, including a few through the Sociology Department and the Social Sciences Division. Students should also work with the financial aid office for grants and scholarships.

Popular Award & Scholarship Opportunities:

  1. The Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender Senior Thesis Award
  2. The Fanny Carruthers Sociology Scholarship
  3. Walsh Family Scholarship
  4. Deans', Chancellor's, and Steck Award
  5. The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship
  6. The Rick Hooper Scholarship
  7. Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship
  8. Blum Scholar Grant Award
  9. Joel Frankel Memorial Scholarship
  10. Nancy Pascal Field Study Scholarship
  11. Cynthia Mathews Scholarship
  12. The Keeley Coastal Scholars Program
  13. Donald A. Strauss Scholarship


Looking for additional funding opportunities? A new resource is now available for students to find award, scholarship, and grant opportunities. Click on the button below to review additional opportunities, and use the worksheet tabs at the bottom of the excel document to search by due date month. Please note that these are annual awards so the deadlines, criteria, etc. may change year to year. Always review the information directly on the website provided.

click to search an excel sheet with awards



The Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender Senior Thesis Award

Sociology Award
Award amount varies each year, subject to funding.

Deadline: by Noon (12pm) on Friday, May 8th 2020

This award is given to a Sociology major who has completed the best senior thesis on race, class, and gender during the academic year. The award amount varies yearly. Students who are currently working on their thesis but are not yet ready to apply, are eligible to apply in Spring of the following academic year, even if the student has graduated. This means students who are working on their senior thesis for the 2019-20 academic year but are not ready to apply, may apply in Spring of the 2020-21 academic year.

Application Materials Required:

1) A letter by the senior thesis faculty advisor to the Sociology Department’s Undergraduate Education Chair, with a copy to the Department’s Undergraduate Advisor, nominating the senior thesis; specifying how it examines issues of race, class, and gender, and describing the merits of the thesis.

2) A letter by the nominee stating that a) they are submitting their senior thesis for consideration for the Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender Senior Thesis Award, and b) that, should they receive the award, they are willing to have their name and the title of their senior thesis announced as the recipient of the award.

3) The nominee submits the PDF version of the senior thesis emailed to the Sociology Undergraduate Advisor, Tina Cossaboom, Due by noon (12pm) on Friday, May 8th 2020.



Fanny Carruthers Sociology Scholarship Fund

Sociology Award 

Award amount varies each year, subject to funding.

Deadline: By Noon (12pm) on Friday, May 8th 2020

Anne Jane "Fanny" Carruthers Howard died on February 15, 1972, leaving a portion of her estate in a trust to be used to fund scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students attending the University of California, Santa Cruz, who have need of financial assistance. This award is specific to undergraduate and graduate students who graduated from a High School in Santa Clara County and have chosen Sociology as their major. This award is based on financial need and academic merit. The award amount varies each year.


  • Current undergraduate or graduate student of UCSC.
  • Graduated from a high school in Santa Clara County.
  • Majoring in Sociology.
  • Have financial need. (Currently receiving financial aid through UCSC.)
  • Have high academic merit.

Application Materials Required:

  1. Submit a one page letter explaining why you are a good candidate for this scholarship. Indicate whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, your student ID number, the high school you graduated from, and contact information including address and phone number.
  2. Submit a faculty letter of recommendation

 Please email your materials to the Undergraduate Advisor, Tina Cossaboom, at Due by noon (12pm) on Friday, May 8th 2020




Walsh Family Scholarship

Rotating Divisional Award  - 2020 Sociology

Deadline EXTENDED TO: By noon (12pm) on Friday, April 24th

Distinguished Professor of Economics Carl Walsh, and his wife Judy Walsh, established the Walsh Family Scholarship Endowment for Social Science majors in honor of Eugene and Bessie Walsh. "This is a lasting way of honoring my parents," said Carl Walsh. "They set a good example of doing things they thought would make the world a better place."

In recognition of the gift, the conference room in Social Sciences 1 was renamed the Eugene and Bessie Walsh Conference Room. A plaque inside the room describes the careers and philanthropy of Eugene and Bessie Walsh.

Eugene Walsh, after being forced to cut short his studies at UCLA to support his parents during the Great Depression, followed by his service in the 94th division during WWII, returned to the classroom decades later, graduating from UCLA's executive program in 1964, and receiving an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 1972.

He retired in 1977 as president and CEO of Ralph's Grocery Company and vice president and assistant to the chairman of Ralph’s parent company, Federated Department Stores. Eugene and Bessie Walsh are active in the Food Industry Circle of the City of Hope charity in Los Angeles, which has raised more than $100

million for cancer research, and Eugene Walsh has received numerous awards for his civic work in the Los Angeles area. The elder Walshes have also supported research activities in UC Santa Cruz's Economics Department for years.

Carl Walsh joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 1987 after being affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he continues to be a visiting scholar. Previously, he was a faculty member at Princeton University and at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research focuses on issues in monetary economics, including the effects of institutional reforms on monetary policy. Judy Walsh is a member of the pioneer class of Crown College, earning a bachelor's degree in history in 1971. In 1990, she received a master's degree in applied economics. She served as the Development Consultant and Development Director for the New Teacher Center until 2007.

The Walsh Family Scholarship is an award to one or more undergraduate students in any of the majors within the Division of Social Sciences. This award rotates annually among the departments in the division. Selection is based on academic merit and financial need. This year there is a total of $5000 available, which can be awarded to one or more sociology undergraduates.

Application Materials Required:

  • A maximum two page, single spaced essay explaining why you are a good candidate for this scholarship

  • Resume

  • Unofficial transcript(s)

How to Submit Application:

Please email your application materials to the Undergraduate Advisor: Tina Cossaboom by 12pm (noon) on Friday, April 24th




Deans', Chancellor's and Steck Awards

Campus Awards

The Deans and Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz wish to recognize excellence in research and creativity among undergraduate students as evidenced through projects and theses performed in the normal pattern of academic activity at UCSC. Click here to see a listing of current and previous winning projects.

The online application for the 2020 Deans' and Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards will begin at noon on February 5, 2020. 

Please read the application guidelines below and contact a faculty mentor to confirm they are willing to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Due Dates:

  • April 2 – Student application submissions due on application portal by 5p.m.
  • April 12 – Faculty mentor recommendations due on application portal



Dean's Awards are granted to fifty of the most excellent undergraduate research theses or projects (ten from each academic division) completed at UCSC during the academic year. Each Dean's Award project will receive $100 for outstanding achievement in their division.


Fifteen Chancellor’s Awards are granted to the most outstanding top three theses or projects from each division's Deans' Awardees. Each Chancellor's Award project will recieve an additional $500. 


The Steck Award will recognize the most outstanding research project chosen from the fifteen Chancellor’s Awardees. This student (or team) will receive (or share) an additional $1,000. In addition, the winning research project will be bound and copies given to the student(s), the research supervisor, the UC Santa Cruz Library, and the Steck Family whose generous contributions have made this award possible.

The Steck Award winner will be posted on the winners page of this site by the end of Student Acheivement Week.

Winners of the Deans', Chancellor's and Steck awards will be honored during Undergraduate Student Achievement Week, June 1 – June 5, 2020. The names of the 2019 winners are posted here and they were acknowledged at the 2019 UCSC College Commencement ceremonies.


  1. All research project submissions must include at least one supporting statement by a faculty mentor/sponsor, who will be emailed a link to submit the letter of recommendation online after. All undergraduate students applicants must contact their mentor/sponsor before submitting their application in order to confirm that a letter of support will be possible.
  2. All applications must include either an attachment of a completed thesis or completed project or performance (by URL). Research projects must be finished when the application is submitted. Projects that are still in progress, or are planned to be completed after the application deadline, should be submitted in the following application cycle. Submitted applications that are incomplete, or do not have a project attachment or link, or are projects that are not yet completed, will be rejected.
  3. The applicant should choose the one faculty mentor/sponsor of their project who is most familiar with the project and who will be able to provide the strongest letter of recommendation. Only one letter of recommendation is required. Mentors should be UCSC faculty/lecturers/post-docs/researchers etc that have a blue CruzID.
  4. The faculty mentor/sponsor will receive an email with a link to submit their letter of recommendation after the student submits their application. The deadline for faculty to submit their letter will be provided in the email and is usually one week after the student application deadline.  
  5. For group projects, only one student in the group (usually the lead in the project) completes an application. They then must list the other students as project students. Each project member must approve of the application that is submitted. 
  6. When the faculty mentor/sponsor submits their letter of recommendation, they must also approve the submitted project. Faculty sponsor recommendations and approvals must be submitted online immediately after the student application deadline. It is recommended that the mentor/sponsor write the letter as soon as possible after being contacted by the student.
  7. Foreign language projects must be accompanied by appropriate translation.
  8. Technical papers must include an abstract in non-technical language.
  9. Projects completed in spring 2019 (and therefore not submitted in last year’s competition) are eligible for the 2020 awards competition, even if the student has already graduated. Students who have graduated must activate their UCSC email forwarding option (UCSC email accounts deactivate 12 months after graduation).
  10. Previous award winners are only eligible to submit projects in the current application cycle if those projects are significantly different in scope or topic from the previously awarded project.
  11. Winner's will be posted on this web site during the last week of April. 

Click Here to Apply for the Deans', and Chancellor's Award 

Application requires use of your CruzID Blue password

Please contact if you have any questions regarding the application or the application guidelines 



The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

Social Science Division Award


Sociology Department Deadline EXTENDED TO: By Noon on Friday, April 17th 2020 (Departments in the Social Sciences Division set their own internal deadlines. If you are majoring in another department, please check their deadline to apply).

The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to support undergraduate students in the Division of Social Sciences who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service. Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman graduated from UC Santa Cruz (Sociology) and was working for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as her Director of Community Outreach when he was tragically shot and killed. Generous donations from more than 520 alumni, faculty, community members, and the general public funded this endowment.

The Gabriel Zimmerman Scholarship is awarded based on a meritorious, ongoing, and demonstrated commitment to public service combined with academic excellence. In 2020 up to $4,000 is available to award to one or more outstanding undergraduate students majoring in any of the departments within the Division of Social Sciences. More information about the award, and about the past recipients of this award, is available on the Social Sciences website.

Undergraduate majors in the social sciences are invited to apply for this scholarship through their department by submitting a short essay (2-3 pages maximum) about their passion for social issues and commitment to public service as well as a copy of their resume. Candidates must be in excellent academic standing and submit an unofficial copy of their transcripts with their essay and resume. Each department may select up to three ranked candidates for this award and submit their application packet for review along with a nomination letter detailing why these candidates were chosen. The selection committee, appointed by the Dean, includes two faculty and three community members. This year up to $4000 is available to be awarded to one more undergraduate in the division of Social Science

Application Materials Required:

  • A 2-3 max page essay about your passion for social issues and commitment to public service

  • Resume

  • Unofficial transcript(s)

How to Submit Application:

Please email your application materials to the Undergraduate Advisor: Tina Cossaboom by 12pm (noon) on Monday, April 17, 2020.



The Rick Hooper Scholarship

The Rick Hooper Scholarship
Call For Applications
Due February 21st, 2020

The Rick Hooper Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Richard M. "Rick" Hooper, who died at age 40 in the August 19, 2003 terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

Administered through the Division of Social Sciences, the Rick Hooper Scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need. Preference will be given to undergraduate students in any UC Santa Cruz department who have a demonstrated interest in or are pursuing studies in one or more of the areas in which Rick Hooper focused his life's work. The award is intended to fund travel expenses for the selected undergraduate student or students for any of the following purposes:

  • increasing understanding of the Arabic language or the Arabic-speaking or Muslim world
  • study at a college or university in an Arabic-speaking or Muslim majority country
  • an internship in peace and conflict resolution or human rights
  • study or work in Palestinian human rights issues

Candidates must be UCSC undergraduate students in good academic standing with demonstrated financial need. 

To apply: submit a 500-word proposal and a copy of your unofficial academic transcript via e-mail to  The proposal must concisely explain your experience, preparation, and concrete goals related to the topics above.


Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship


Become a Koret Scholar! 
$2000 Scholarships for Undergraduate Research

The Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Student Success with funding from the Koret Foundation will award 64 Undergraduate Research Scholarships of $2000 from any discipline.

Scholarship Eligibility:

  • The applicant must be an enrolled UCSC undergraduate student in good academic standing. Applicants will be required to provide access to educational records for verification purposes.
  • The applicant must have a UCSC faculty (or, in some cases, graduate student) mentor for the project. Applicants will be required to submit a letter of support from the mentor.
  • The project must be completed prior to the student's graduation.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Scientific, scholarly, and/or creative merit of the proposed research project.
  • Evidence of ability to carry out the proposed research project (as shown by a letter of support, transcripts, proposal narrative, and project timeline).

Koret Scholars are expected to work with their mentors in 2- or 5-credit independent studies. Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarships are intended to enable students to participate in a research project outside of their courses in collaboration with faculty and/or graduate students. As such, scholarships will not be awarded for assignments in regular courses but new research projects might be developed out of previous coursework. Projects can be a student or faculty-originated, by means of independent study, over 1 or 2 quarters.

Additional Student Requirements:

  • Submit a one-page final report on their project by May 30, 2019.
  • Participate in the "Koret Scholars Research Slam" during Student Achievement Week, June 7, 2019. 

Application Components:

  • Applicant information: Name, email, etc. Major(s) or proposed major, Expected Graduation Term, unofficial transcript, and College.
  • Mentor information: Name, email, Mentor status, Mentor department, and letter of support from mentor.
  • Research project information: Title of project, project timeline and description, and personal statement from student.

Application deadline: October 31, 2018. Applications must be completed by the student participant. Students are encouraged to work with their mentor in submitting their application. 


Information for Mentors

Frequently Asked Questions

A note to financial aid recipients: If you are a financial aid applicant, this award would be incorporated into your aid offer to meet your budgeted cost of attendance. In most cases, it will reduce your loan obligation. Once factored into your aid offer, the award is paid through to your UCSC student account. If you owe the university any fees, the award will apply to those first and any remaining funds will be issued to you via direct deposit or by check, depending upon how you are signed up to receive refunds. If you have questions about how this award would affect your current aid, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office by visiting 201 Hahn Student Services Building or calling 831-459-2963. 

Questions? Contact Don Bard, Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities at


Blum Scholar Grant Program

Campus Award

Deadline Extended to is April 10, 2020

+/- 10 awards up to $3,000 each

The UCSC Blum Scholars program provides funding to undergraduate and graduate students to conduct community-based research projects either domestically or abroad that addresses poverty, social enterprise, or participatory governance. Approximately ten awards are granted annually.

Award: Student grants are limited to a maximum of $3,000 for community-based work completed in the summer months (June – September). The award serves as a stipend to cover project expenses related to travel (e.g., air and ground, lodging, meals) and/or research (e.g., participant compensation, photocopying). Any equipment purchased with the award must be returned to the UCSC Blum Center for use by future Blum Scholars.

Eligibility: Funding is offered to highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled and in good standing at UC Santa Cruz. Students must return for at least one quarter after completing their project and participate in a public event highlighting their work. Funding is not available for use for EAP, UC Summer Abroad, or to individuals that have previously received Blum Scholar funding. Equipment is generally not funded when rental options are available.

Evaluation Criteria: Student applicants should describe a specific community-based project, how the project aligns with the Blum Center, outline a budget, and develop a realistic time frame for completion. A strong proposal will include a clear description of the project’s objective, anticipated outcomes, and how the work is to be carried out. Examination of the applicant's research interests, relevant background skills, experience, goals and their alignment with the UCSC Blum Center's mission will all be determinants of award evaluation.  Examination of the applicant's research interests, relevant background skills, experience, goals and their alignment with the UCSC Blum Center's mission will all be determinants of award evaluation.

The following requirements are essential to being considered for a Blum Scholar award.

1. A complete and on-time online application submitted by 11:59pm US Pacific time on March 20, 2020 to the online form at:

2. A brief letter of recommendation from a faculty member sent to by the application deadline.

3. A brief letter of sponsorship by a community organization supervisor or mentor sent to by the application deadline.

4. A final project report with at least 5 photos, due on or before October 1, 2020 by email. A presentation of findings will take place in the following fall or winter quarter.

If your proposal is awarded, applicants must apply for IRB approval/exemption and fill out a waiver of liability. We suggest you begin the IRB process as soon as possible.

If you are interested, see past awardees here.

For Additional Questions Contact: Lisa Nishioka, Program Manager,



Joel Frankel Memorial Scholarship

Latin American Latino/a Studies Award

New in 2020: Applications will be reviewed as they are received during the academic year!

Decisions within 4-6 weeks of submission: see below for guidelines

Joel Frankel Awardees

Joel Frankel Application Guidelines



Nancy Pascal Field Study Scholarship Application 

Completed applications are due via email to by 9am, Monday, May 18, 2020.

Awarded annually to students who participate in field study programs. The scholarship is intended to encourage and support real-world experiences that complement formal academic requirements. Nancy Pascal established the scholarship in honor of her retirement after 32 years of dedicated service to UC Santa Cruz in the the Registrar's Office.

Who is eligible? All UCSC undergraduate students planning a field study through any UCSC academic department or program Spring 2020 - Winter 2021 are eligible to apply. 

Guidelines, deadlines, and the application form can be downloaded here.

Cynthia Mathews Scholarship Application 

Completed applications are due via email to by 9am, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 

This scholarship is awarded to students in any UC Santa Cruz department or program who are pursuing studies or internships related to reproductive rights, health policy, healthcare professions, or public health.  It was established in 2007 through the generous donations of friends, family and colleagues of Cynthia Mathews to honor her 40 years of outstanding service in the area of reproductive health.

Who is eligible?All UCSC undergraduates pursuing research, field studies, or internships related to reproductive rights, health policy, healthcare professions, or public health from July 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021 are eligible to apply. 

Guidelines, deadlines, and the application form can be downloaded here.

The Keeley Coastal Scholars Program

Divisional Award

Deadline to apply: February 21, 2020

The Keeley Coastal Scholars program will support underrepresented undergraduate students from California with an unmet financial need doing summer research and policy work connected to Coastal Sustainability with a scholarship between $1,000 to $4,000, with an associated $1,000 in support of the sponsoring faculty member. These funds can be used for any expenses incurred during the summer months.


Undergraduate majors are invited to apply by submitting an online application, a project budget, and an unofficial copy of their transcripts by February 21, 2020. Candidates must be in good academic standing and have established financial need. The sponsoring faculty member must submit a letter detailing the student’s abilities and specific project responsibilities before the application deadline.



Donald A. Strauss Scholarship

National Award - Apply Through Campus

The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation allows students to pursue a public service project during their junior or senior year. The scholarship provides $15,000 for expenses of the public service project and for some tuition, fees, books, room and board. The Foundation will award scholarships to full-time students who have:

  • Demonstrated an interest in public service
  • Outstanding leadership potential
  • Developed and can demonstrate effective communication skills
  • The desire to "make a difference” in local, regional, national or international communities
  • One or two years remaining until graduation
  • A GPA in the upper 1/3 of their class
  • Submitted an innovative, original, public service proposal
More information can be found on the Strauss Foundation website:  
To read about UCSC's Strauss Scholarship winner from last year - Alyssa Marie Tamboura, click here.
Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 to Merrill Faculty Services and the Office of Campus Advising and Coordination mailbox, attn: Strauss Campus Representative. If you have questions about the application process, please email


See Also