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Scholarships by Major

Your college major will determine much of your future decisions. The classes you take in college can shape your perspective and approach to a variety of situations. the people you meet in your classes can shape your social world, and all experiences combined can and will determine your career prospects. Your intended area of study plays an important, large role in the financial aid available to you.

There are a number of state and federal grant and loan forgiveness programs targeted at specific college majors. The most common areas of study for such programs are education, healthcare, and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Students pursuing degrees in these areas may find substantial financial aid opportunities to offset the costs of their education. Engineering and computer science have some of the highest-paying jobs and best job prospects, adding further incentive for students to pursue these very challenging majors.

However, if your passion doesn’t lie in education, healthcare, or science and technology, there are still ample reasons to pursue your chosen major, as well as sources of college funding to assist you. Students in any number of majors will find a variety of scholarship opportunities that play to their academic strengths and the knowledge and abilities they gain while pursuing their area of study.

Scholarships by Interest Area

Most scholarship providers are looking for specific criteria when handing out awards. These criteria can range from excellent writing to original thinking to great research skills to demonstrated commitment to service. The characteristics sought by specific scholarships may also align themselves well with particular majors. English, journalism, and philosophy majors may find themselves excelling at essay scholarships, as their writing-intensive coursework and demanding reading assignments prepare them uniquely for the task. Competitions that ask for original artwork or designs are likely to draw art students, fashion majors, and design majors who have experience and interest in creating something new. Students most familiar with the rigors of scientific research and engineering projects will shine at competitions that emphasize those skills, even if they are open to students of all academic backgrounds.

Major-Specific Scholarships

Some scholarship awards will also be limited to students pursuing a particular major or one of a small group of majors. In addition to the state and federal aid programs for specific majors, colleges and independent scholarship providers also award scholarships by major.

Departments on college campuses often receive donations from alumni to establish scholarship funds for students pursuing a particular major. These awards are typically small but since you’re only competing with other students at your college for funding, they may be fairly easy to get. Departments, such as business schools, whose graduates can expect to go on to earn enough money to make sizeable donations to their alma mater will likely have the most major-specific scholarship opportunities, even though fields that typically produce relatively low-wage workers may have funds available. Your college advisor, your college’s financial aid office, or your department’s main office or website will likely have information on scholarships available for students pursuing your intended major.

National organizations also offer scholarships by major. Professional organizations or companies affiliated with majors with high earnings potential likely have money to spare for future members of their profession. Majors that prepare students to serve “high-need” areas, fields where a shortage of workers is anticipated, such as nursing and education, may also have a variety of scholarship opportunities available as various groups attempt to entice students into these fields. Companies and organizations interested in promoting diversity may also do so through major-specific scholarship awards. Women or minorities entering fields where they are still underrepresented are likely to also see a wide variety of scholarships meant specifically for them.

Your major is only part of who you are as a student. The listings of scholarships by major you’ll find in this section can get you started on funding your education, but they don’t represent the full range of financial aid available to you. In order to find more scholarships that cater to students with your background and interests, complete a profile and a free scholarship search on Scholarships.com.

Some Examples:

  • Accounting Scholarships
  • For the students who thoroughly love and enjoy mathematics, accounting is a strong option as it is heavily numbers-based. Accounting is an excellent career path for the intelligent and detail-oriented student.

  • Anthropology Scholarships
  • As an anthropology major, you will study the origins of humankind, how our human beginnings shaped us into the people we are today and what the future could possibly bring based on the past. Classes in history, biology and archaeology are typically required in addition to the departmental classes on culture and language.

  • Biology Scholarships
  • Biology is a popular major among college students and whether or not you plan to acquire an M.D., you have plenty of options as a biology student:. Your employment options include working in aquariums, schools, hospitals, parks, zoos, laboratories and so forth. Due to the increased demand for specialization, biology careers range widely in order to advance medical knowledge on the world's most mysterious phenomenons.

  • Business Scholarships
  • Business Management and Administration was reported to be among the most popular college majors to-date. Not only is business a profitable major, but business majors also have more options in comparison to others as far as future employment prospects. If you're not settled on a career yet, business should be strongly considered due to the plethora of options.

  • Communications Scholarships
  • Students who major in a subject within the college of communications or those who directly major in communications can enter an interesting array of fields. They can find careers in journalism, photography, radio announcing, advertising, publishing, graphic design and more.

  • Computer Science Scholarships
  • If you have a passion for invention, making people's lives easier and more efficient, finding and solving problems, as well as working with new technologies, computer science would be a great field to pursue. Technology is used to solve problems and requires more than basic computing. Especially with the ever-changing, emerging technologies, new apps are constantly being created. Job opportunities are present from small, non-profit organizations to larger corporate and government agencies.

  • English Scholarships
  • A completely different specialization than the aforementioned majors, English majors are trained in the world of words. They focus on writing well, grammar, spelling, critical analysis, researching, and developing independent ideas. Career opportunities include publishing companies, hospitals, professional schools, television networks, and so forth. The well-roundness of English majors allows them to pursue opportunities in fields ranging from medicine to public service or business. Teaching is a popular career, but not all students with a baccalaureate degree in English will end up teaching it.

  • History Scholarships
  • A small percentage of history majors will end up becoming professional historians. However, there are ample career options such as becoming a lawyer, librarian, businessperson, writer, archivist, researcher, teacher, politician, and so on. The critical analysis and researching skills required for history majors, as well as strong writing skills and critical thinking are typically exercised by educators.

  • Math Scholarships
  • Considered to be the most rigorous and demanding of intellectual pursuits, mathematics majors provide some of the top-tier job opportunities in business, law, and medicine. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are necessary to be successful and job salaries tend to be highest for those pursuing and receiving a math major.

  • Nursing Scholarships
  • Nurses are in high demand and have many job opportunities to-date. Attending college for nursing can pay off big time: According to government records, registered nursing is projected to be the second most popular new profession for students across the nation, but bear in mind that placement is competitive as well.

  • Psychology Scholarships
  • Psychology has remained a popular major for many years. Due to the fascinating nature of humankind and the brain, this degree allows you to both study human behavior and help those in need. Psychology majors also have many career options; whether it is pursuing graduate work or to go straight into a career, a psychology degree can help you along the way.

  • Social Work Scholarships
  • If you want to make a difference in the world, majoring in social work, counseling or human development and family studies is a perfect step in achieving that ambition. Key figures in history have used social work for social movements, researching social issues, and designing policies to help citizens.

Last Edited: August 2015

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