University of Minnesota
Department of History

Department of History's home page.


Departmental Application Requirements

Minimum requirements for scholarship applications include:

  • an overall cumulative GPA of 3.2 from all schools attended
  • a cumulative history-course GPA of 3.5 from all history courses taken at any school
  • a minimum of 50 credits completed at the time your scholarship is dispersed
  • 3 upper division (3xxx or above) history courses at the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities campus completed before your scholarship is dispersed
  • registered undergraduate student at the University during the upcoming academic year (i.e., the next fall and spring semesters)

Submit the following materials to the Undergraduate Studies (UGS) Office, 1135 Heller Hall, along with your application and related materials specific to each scholarship:

  • a completed checklist/cover letter (available at the UGS office) acknowledging which scholarship(s) you are applying for, and including your current email address, mailing address, name of reference, and phone number
  • a current transcript (including your previous fall semester grades); unofficial copies are fine
  • a letter of reference from a historian at the University of Minnesota
  • any additional material required for the specific scholarship for which you are applying (see specific scholarships for additional requirements)

Hedley Donovan Scholarship

The Donovan scholarship program was established by a generous bequest from the family of Hedley Donovan. Mr. Donovan graduated with a history major in 1934 from the University of Minnesota. After a long career in journalism, Mr. Donovan became editor in chief of Time, Inc. Following his retirement from this position, Mr. Donovan served as an advisor to President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Donovan died in 1990. The scholarship was founded because Hedley Donovan credited much of his success in life to his education at the University of Minnesota.

The Donovan scholarship annually rewards up to three exceptional history majors who demonstrate the potential for the kind of leadership Mr. Donovan displayed. The scholarship provides major funding ($8,000) to permit the Donovan scholar to undertake an exceptional program of study, research, or work in Minnesota or elsewhere. Projects might include conducting research in regional, national, or international archives or libraries; serving an internship with a government, cultural, or social service agency here or abroad; or working with an international scholar.

Applications for the Donovan scholarship must include, in addition to the items noted below:

  • 5-page detailed plan of study for the scholarship and a description of its importance to the applicant's career. This is the most significant part of the application and should demonstrate the importance and feasibility of the proposed plan of study.
  • 3-5 page essay titled, "Historical Perspective and the Modern World," in which you consider the importance of an historical perspective to issues and/or problems confronting the contemporary world, in general or in reference to one or more specific issues.
  • biographical statement 500-1000 words in length, including a brief statement of your accomplishments as a student of history.
  • Due date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

Talle Family Merit Scholarship for Excellence in History

Margaret and Kenneth Talle graduated in 1966 from the University of Minnesota in the College of Liberal Arts.  Margaret’s degree was from the Departments of French and English, and she went on to have a very successful French teaching career at Breck School.  Kenneth graduated with a degree from the Department of History, and he co-founded Thies and Talle, a prosperous Management Company with properties located throughout the Midwest.  Inspired by former University President Ken Keller’s commitment to focus and excellence, as well as their own son’s merit-based scholarship awards, the Talle’s were moved to create a scholarship, to be awarded to the best undergraduate senior with a major in History.


The Talle Family Merit Scholarship for Excellence in History covers an amount up to $12,000 to be used for the payment, partially or totally, of tuition, living expenses and travel, or the purchase of books and other research materials during the student’s senior year.


  • Admitted U of M Student
  • History major
  • Minimum 3.6 cumulative GPA from all schools attended
  • Full time status (minimum of 15 credits each semester)
  • Minimum of 75 credits completed at time the scholarship is dispersed

Application Procedure:

(three copies of the following materials)

  • Application cover sheet picked up in History Undergraduate Studies Office
  • Current, unofficial transcripts of all schools attended
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a UM History faculty member)
  • A scholarly writing sample (a paper, preferably historical, from a class taken at the U of M)
  • Personal narrative of no more than two single-spaced pages describing:
    1. your previous engagement with the study of history,
    2. what receiving the Talle Scholarship would make possible for you, and
    3. future educational plans/goals, if any
    4. if applicable, the applicant may wish to explain how his or her background and experience contributes to the History Department’s goal of promoting excellence through diversity.  The applicant may also wish to speak to any obstacles he or she has faced in his or her studies to date.
    5. DUE DATE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014.

Norman Moen Scholarship

This scholarship commemorates Norman W. Moen, an outstanding teacher and administrator at this University for 41 years. Moen played an active role in educational outreach and advocated for campus diversity. Moen held a love of Minnesota history and community involvement that is honored with the Norman W. Moen Public History Scholarship.

The Moen Scholarship of $500 shall be awarded annually to one exceptional CLA undergraduate to support the student’s participation in a mentored public history internship. The funds may be used for the payment of tuition, fees, and/or purchase of academic books.  Preference will be given to students who have taken coursework in public history or have participated in the History Day mentorship program.

Application procedure:

submit three copies of a packet of material that includes:

  • A short description (no more than 250 words) of the internship you intend to pursue or are currently engaged in
  • A 500-word essay that discusses what you see as the importance of history in public (popular culture, political debates, governmental policy, cultural organizations, or any other venues that are outside the educational establishment).

In addition, you need to supply the materials listed below for all departmental scholarships.  The specific focus of your essay is your choice. The deadline for the Moen Scholarship is: Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

CLA Continuing Student Scholarships

Waller Scholarships

This scholarship is open to all CLA students. Waller scholarships provide one year of scholarship support for approximately 130 CLA undergraduates and transfer students. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, with some consideration given to co- or extra-curricular involvement. Financial need is not a consideration. To apply, you must:

  • complete at least 45, but normally not more than 75, semester credits by the end of fall term of the academic year in which you apply
  • have a cumulative college GPA of 3.5 or better, including transfer coursework
  • officially declare a CLA major by fall semester of the academic year in which you apply
  • intend to pursue a degree from the College of Liberal Arts
  • fill out the CLA Scholarship Application for Continuing Students
  • Due date: Friday, January 31, 2014.

Selmer Birkelo Scholarship

This scholarship is open to all CLA students. Selmer Birkelo scholarships provide one year of scholarship support for approximately 15 outstanding CLA students majoring in fields relating to history, modern languages, classics, or the social and behavioral sciences.

The scholarships are awarded exclusively on the basis of academic merit, with particular attention paid to depth of study in the major, general breadth of coursework, and clarity of academic purpose. Financial need is not a consideration. (see CLA Scholarship Application for Continuing Students). To apply, you must:

  • intend to pursue a degree from the College of Liberal Arts and not be enrolled in any other college
  • have a formally declared eligible major and at least 30 (but normally not more than 75) semester credits by end of fall term of the academic year in which you apply
  • send your application to your department or program for an initial screening; each eligible department or program may propose two or three nominees who will be considered for this award
  • Due date: Friday, January 31, 2014.

Undergraduate Features

Undergraduate Studies
Rich Kott
1135 Heller Hall
271 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-5227

  • 11 History Undergrads Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

    For 2014, 11 students with History undergraduate majors have been elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa by the Alpha Chapter of the University of Minnesota. Congratulations to all of these exceptional students!

    Fried,Benjamin J
    Goeke,Megan T
    Housewright,Victoria V
    Johnson,Erik M
    Kiefer,Matthew Scott
    Larsen,Craig Andrew
    Neisen,Samuel Thomas
    Owen,Stephen M
    Ryan,Nicholas M
    White,Torrie Jay

    June 16th, 2014
  • CLA and History Scholarship and Paper Prize Recipients

    Congratulations to these exceptional History undergrad students!

    CLA Continuing Student ScholarshipsHistory undergraduate Elizabeth Bushard is among the winners for 2013-14 of the Selmer Birkelow Scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts

    History Department Scholarships and Paper Prizes

    Talle Family Merit Scholarship for Excellence in History
    Rebecca Whitmore

    Moen Scholarship:
    Kevin Kallmes

    Donovan Scholarship:
    Kevin Kallmes—"Silchester Field School--Summer Excavation Opportunity"
    Samuel Neisen—"Citizen Schools and Public Achievement"
    Rebecca Whitmore—"Senegalese Elementary Education in the Shadow of International Presence"

    George Green Prize:
    Sara Norlin—"Not All in the Same Boat: Gender and Class Inequalities in Popular Cultural Accounts of the RMS Titanic and the RMS Lusitania"

    Class of 1889 Memorial Prize:
    Renae Rodgers—"Transitions in Textbooks: National Identity in the Volksschule History Texts, 1939-1949"

    Howard Reinmuth Prize:
    Drew Horwood—"A consulting Imperialist: Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle, and the Ethos of Empire"

    April 23rd, 2013