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.

Looking for additional funding opportunities? A new resource is now available for students to find award, scholarship, and grant opportunities (thanks to our Peer Advisor, Karla!). 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


Popular Award & Scholarship Opportunities Listed Below:

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



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

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

Due: Monday, May 7th by 4pm

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, 2018-19. Students currently completing a thesis may apply for the award within one year of their graduation term.

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) s/he is submitting her/his senior thesis for consideration for the Sociology of Race, Class and Gender Senior Thesis Award, and b) that, should s/he receive the award, s/he is willing to have her/his name and the title of her/his senior thesis announced as the recipient of the award.

3) The nominee submits one hard copy of the senior thesis as well as the PDF version of the senior thesis (emailed) to the Sociology Undergraduate Advisor, Tina Cossaboom, Rachel Carson College Rm 224/226, tboom@ucsc. After hours, there is a drop box at the beginning of the hall next to Rm 235.


Fanny Carruthers Sociology Scholarship Fund

Sociology Award 

Award amount varies each year, subject to funding.

Due: Monday, May 7th by 4pm

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

 You may email your materials to the Sociology Undergraduate Advisor, Tina Cossaboom, at or drop them off at the sociology department in Rachel Carson College Rm 224/226. After hours, there is a drop box at the beginning of the hall next to Rm 235.


Deans', Chancellor's and Steck Awards

Campus Awards

The Deans and Chancellor wish to encourage and stimulate outstanding scholarship and creativity among undergraduate students, based on work developed in courses or programs in the normal pattern of 2017-2018 academic activity at UCSC. Click here to see previous winning projects. The 2018 application opens February 5.  

Completed applications must be submitted by April 3, 2018

Faculty mentor on-line recommendations due April 10, 2018


Fifty undergraduate projects, 10 from each of the academic divisions, will receive a Dean’s Award of $100 for outstanding achievement in their division.


Fifteen Chancellor’s Awardees, three from each division, will be selected from the Deans' Award recipients to receive the Chancellor’s Award of 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 $1000. 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.

Winners of the Deans', Chancellor's and Steck awards will be honored during Undergraduate Student Achievement Week, June 4 – June 8, 2018.  The names of the winners will also be acknowledged at college commencement ceremonies.


  • All submissions must include one supporting statement by the faculty sponsor, who will be emailed a link to submit the letter of recommendation online. Faculty recommendations must be submitted by April 10, 2018.
  • All submissions must include either an attachment of a thesis or a URL to the project or performance.
  • Foreign language projects must be accompanied by appropriate translation.
  • Technical papers must include an abstract in non-technical language.
  • Projects completed in spring 2017 (but not submitted in last year’s competition) are eligible for the 2017-18 competition, even if the student has already graduated. Students who graduated in spring 2017 must activate their UCSC email forwarding option (UCSC email accounts deactivate 12 months after graduation).
  • Previous award winners are eligible only for projects in a completely different area.
  • The deadline to submit the online application is April 3, 2018.

Apply for the Deans', Chancellor's and Steck Awards <- Click here! 

Application requires use of your CruzID Blue password.

Questions regarding the guidelines can be directed to



The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

Social Science Division Award

$2,500 Award

Sociology department deadline for applications is: By 4pm on Thursday, April 12 2018.
(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 as a Sociology major, and he 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, community members, and the general public funded this endowment. This endowment will award $9,000 in 2018 to one or more outstanding undergraduate students majoring in any of the departments within the Division of Social Sciences. More information about the past recipients is available on the Social Sciences website.

Undergraduate majors in the social sciences are invited to apply for this scholarship by submitting a short essay (2-3 pages maximum) about her or his passion for social issues and commitment to public service, as well as a copy of their resume. Candidates must be in good academic standing and submit an unofficial copy of their transcripts. Each department may select up to three candidates for this award and submit their essay for review along with a nomination letter detailing the exceptional qualities of the nominee. The department nominees are reviewed by a committee in the division.

Application Materials Required:

  • A 2-3 max page essay about her or his passion for social issues and commitment to public service
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript(s)

How to Submit Application:

Application materials must be received through one of the following options by 4pm on April 12, 2018

  • Via email to (preferred)
  • In person at the Sociology Department advising office, Rachel Carson College Rm 226.
  • Or dropped off in the locked drop box in the Sociology Department next to Rachel Carson College Rm 235.


The Rick Hooper Scholarship

The Rick Hooper Scholarship
$1250 Award
Call For Applications
Deadline: April 20, 2018
The Rick Hooper Scholarship has been established to honor the memory of Richard M. "Rick" Hooper,
who died at age 40 in the August 19, 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

The Rick Hooper Scholarship, administered through the Center for Emerging Worlds, will be 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, please submit a 500- word proposal and a copy of your academic transcript via e-mail to  The proposal must concisely explain your experience, preparation, and concrete goals related to the topics above.


Rick Hooper, a 1985 graduate of UC Santa Cruz, spent many years in the Middle East and became one of the UN's chief experts on the region. He became interested in the Middle East as a UCSC undergraduate while studying abroad, and he returned to join a campus student organization, the Palestine Support Group, dedicated to promoting awareness of the culture, aspirations, and human rights situation of Palestinians. He spent an additional undergraduate year at Birzeit University, studied Arabic on a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Damascus and the American University of Cairo, and received a master's in Arab studies from Georgetown University.

Rick first joined the United Nations in 1990 as a refugee affairs officer in Gaza with the UN Relief and Works Agency. He later served at the agency's Vienna headquarters. Since 2001 he had been special assistant to the UN undersecretary general for political affairs. In 1995-96 and 1999-2001, he served as special assistant to the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. He had a long association with the Norwegian Institute for Applied Social Sciences and helped establish its Program for International Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. He was also founding director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in New York.

For information, please contact Suraiya Jetha at:
University of California
1156 High Street
Social Sciences 1
Santa Cruz CA  95064  USA
MAILSTOP:  Suraiya Jetha, Anthropology, Social Sciences 1 Faculty Services


Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarship

Become a Koret Scholar! 
$1500 Scholarships for Undergraduate Research

Start applying on September 18, 2017.

Applications Due October 31, 2017.

The Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Student Success with funding from the Koret Foundation will award 50 Undergraduate Research Scholarships of $1,500 plus expenses for students from any discipline.

 Apply now!

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.
  • 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 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 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, 2018.
  • Participate in the "Koret Scholars Research Slam" during Student Achievement Week, June 8, 2018. 

Application deadline: October 31, 2017. 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 Sara Sanchez, Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities at or (831) 459-5386.


Blum Scholar Grant Program

Campus Award

Due by April 6, 2018

The focus of the UC Santa Cruz Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance is to investigate, analyze, educate and train students, scholars and practitioners in mechanisms, policies and practices that will facilitate properly scaled, innovative and effective institutional management and operation.  Our approach is based on the premise that those who can realize the greatest benefits from increased capacity are also those who should play the greatest participatory role in implementation and operation of institutions.  To this end, the center actively fosters student engagement with, placement in and learning from civil society partners working on poverty and building participatory governance capacity.  
The UCSC Blum Scholars award program enables undergraduate and graduate students to complete a community-based research project either domestically or abroad that addresses poverty, social enterprise, or participatory governance. This year we will expand our awarding to include support for three research projects related to improving UCSC students’ access to basic needs (e.g., food security, housing). The average number of awards each year is 10.  
Deadline:  April 6, 2018
Anticipated Award Notification:  late April 
+/- 10 awards up to $2000 each
See attached flyer for further details 
FIND OUT MORE!  Former Blum Center Director, Nancy Chen, will host a proposal writing and information session on March 9, 2018 from 12-1pm in Humanities 1, room 202.  This is an excellent opportunity for anyone applying for grants to support their research.


Joel Frankel Memorial Scholarship

Latin American Latino/a Studies Award

DEADLINE April 6th, 2018 by 12 pm (to drop all four copies off in person to the LALS department)

The Joel Frankel Memorial Fund awards grants to UCSC undergraduates (with priority given to Merrill College students, LALS majors and Politics majors focusing on Latin American and Latina/o issues) who are planning to pursue field studies in Latin America or within Latina/o communities in the United States. The purpose of the fund is to learn from and assist in social change initiatives originating in Latin American and/or Latino communities. The fund is named in honor of Joel Frankel, Class of 1979, a Politics major with a strong interest in Third World Studies and a former coordinator of the World Studies Table.

To access the Philosophy, Guidelines, and Application Cover Sheet, visit the LALS Website.


Nancy Pascal Field Study Scholarship

Due to the Community Studies Department by 3pm Friday, April 27, 2018

See website for application and details.

After 32 years of dedicated service to the UC Santa Cruz in the Registrar’s Office, Nancy Pascal
retired. In honor of her retirement, Nancy and her family have established a scholarship fund to
benefit UCSC students participating in any of the campus’ numerous field study programs. The
scholarship is established with the intent to encourage and support real-world experiences that
complement formal academic requirements.

Cynthia Mathews Scholarship

Due to the Community Studies Department by 3pm Friday, May 4, 2018

After decades of public service with Planned Parenthood, Cynthia Mathews retired in
2007. In honor of her retirement, Cynthia and her family and friends established a
scholarship fund to benefit UCSC students pursuing studies or internships related to
reproductive rights, health policy, healthcare professions, or public health.

The Keeley Coastal Scholars Program

Campus Award

Deadline to apply: April 27, 2018

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. Scholarships will range from $1,000 to $4,000 per student with an associated $1,000 in support of the sponsoring faculty member. These funds can be used by students 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. Candidates must be in good academic standing and have established financial need. The sponsoring faculty member must also submit a letter detailing the student’s abilities and specific project responsibilities.

If you have any questions, please contact Pam Dewey at 831-459-2919 or


Donald A. Strauss Scholarship

The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation allows juniors to pursue a public service project during their senior year by providing $10,000 for educational expenses. The project may be a new undertaking or an extension of the recipient’s current activities. UC Santa Cruz can nominate three students for the Strauss Award. To qualify:

  • Students must have one full year remaining until graduation 
  • Students must have a GPA in the upper 1/3 of his/her class
  • Students plan to devote a significant part of your lives to public service

 Award amount: $10,000.

This award is applied through the Undergraduate Honors and Awards department. See their department for deadlines and requirements.



See Also