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History Scholarships

In addition to scholarships offered by the university and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, we offer program-specific scholarships in history. 

students sitting in grass

Undergraduate Research Scholarship  

History majors with Junior or Senior standing who demonstrate academic excellence are eligible to apply. The Undergraduate Research Scholarship supports students undertaking research to complete a Senior or Honors thesis. 

Environmental History Scholarship

The Environmental History Scholarship supports students who have already completed preliminary research to allow them to expand and revise their work. 

Contact Person: Dennis P. Halpin

History Prize: Each year, Phi Alpha Theta and the History department recognize the Best Paper in History with the History Prize. The paper must be historical in nature, on any historical subject, and 10-25 pages in length. Longer papers may be considered. This award is open to all Virginia Tech undergraduates.

Curtis Award: The Curtis Award recognizes superior historical work that focuses on some aspect of the American Civil War or the History of Virginia. Entries might — but need not — have been submitted in classes in Historical Methods, History of the South, History of Appalachia, History of Virginia, or a 4000 level topics/research seminar course, and should comprise 10-25 pages. This award is open to all Virginia Tech undergraduates.

Digital History Prize: This award is available to both graduate and undergraduate students and is to all students at Virginia Tech. The project must have been produced as part of the work required in a History course. The project submitted may be the work of an individual or of a group.

James and Martha Banks Award: The James and Martha Banks Award was established by Mac Banks in honor of his parents. James Banks is an avid history buff, and he and Martha are both involved in the Monroe County Historical Society. The Award recognizes a history major with an exceptional academic record and particular interest in American history, demonstrated through completion of a work of undergraduate research, thesis, public or digital history project or other equivalent project, including outreach.

Gallagher Award: The Patrica A. Gallagher History Scholarship was established by Kathleen Gallagher Ray in honor of her mother, Patricia A. Gallagher, who was a “devoted student of history.” It supports the academic career of exceptional History majors.

Contact Person: Carmen Gitre

Students wishing to pursue a master’s degree at Virginia Tech are eligible for funding support from the program. Each year the program awards graduate assistantships with tuition waivers to most graduate students. These assistantships offer students pre-professional training in historical pedagogy or historical research as they support the work of individual faculty members. Students interested in careers in library or archival administration should ask to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship in Special Collections at Virginia Tech’s Newman Library.  

Duration of Funding

We normally offer 2 years of Assistantships for funded M.A students. Contracts are for one year, with renewal depending on progress in the degree program and satisfactory performance of assistantship duties. 

Benefits of Assistantships

Assistantships provide these benefits:


-Tuition waiver

-Health insurance program (see the Graduate School benefits page for details)

Applying for Funding

A question on the Graduate School application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. If you check yes, you will respond to additional questions and be added to our list of candidates. All new positions begin in the fall semester.

Please note that you do not need to submit separate applications to be considered for Graduate Assistantships.

Application Open Dates: Same as admissions

Deadline: February 1

Contact Person: Heath Furrow


-Up to $5000 awarded annually, renewable for a second year

-Supports research interests in the causes and consequences of the American Civil War, broadly construed

-Candidates for these scholarships may pursue a wide variety of research approaches (including social, political, cultural, military, or economic history) and topics (including—but not limited to—race, slavery, gender, memory and memorialization, violence, political protest, science and medicine, transformations in everyday life, industrialization).

-Recipients of these scholarships are also eligible to hold graduate assistantships.

To apply: submit a separate, one-page (maximum 400 words) essay that

-Explains how your specific research interests relate to the purpose of the scholarship.

-Describes any previous research experience in the area of Civil War studies.

-Discusses how this research will contribute to your career goals.

Application Open Dates: September 1 - February 1 

Deadline: February 1

Apply: To be considered for this scholarship please indicate your interest in the scholarship in your statement of purpose in graduate school application.

Contact Person: Heath Furrow

This prize recognizes the outstanding master's thesis by a graduate student in history during the preceding year.

The award recognizes outstanding performance by a graduate assistant.