Scholarships & Awards

Each year, the Department of History recognizes the scholastic achievements of its undergraduate students with award selection in the spring. The awards are presented at the spring reception hosted by the department. Following is a description of the department's awards. 

Certificate of Achievement Award

  • Purpose: This award, established in 1987, honors Department of History majors and minors.
  • Criteria and selection: This award is given to those students who have completed 15 hours of coursework in history with an A or B average while maintaining an overall academic average of at least 2.90. Students may receive this award each year.

Certificate of Superior Achievement Award

  • Purpose: This award, established in 1987, honors Department of History majors and minors.
  • Criteria and selection: This award is given to those students who have completed 30 hours of coursework in history with an A or B average while maintaining an overall academic average of at least 2.90. Students may receive this award each year.

David W. and Geryl L. Bischoff Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Purpose: This scholarship has been made available for an undergraduate history student(s) by the David W. and Geryl L. Bischoff Undergraduate Scholarship Endowment by David W. Bischoff (B.A. '70) in honor and memory of his wife, Geryl "Gerrie" L. Bischoff, upon her death in 2008. This scholarship is to support one or more undergraduate students, annually, in pursuing a degree in the Department of History
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by the Division of Financial Aid based on financial need (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Must be a registered undergraduate student pursuing a degree in the Department of History.
  • Award: Based on available income and financial need.

James J. Shevlin Study Abroad Scholarship

  • Purpose: This scholarship has been made available for undergraduate history majors by the Shevlin Endowment established by Catherine Shevlin Pierce and Thomas J. Pierce to help defray costs of travel and expenses. The scholarship may be awarded to undergraduate history majors participating in the Study Abroad Program for either a full semester (includes summer sessions) or the entire academic year. Please note: history graduate students may also apply and will be taken under consideration following disbursements to undergraduates.
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by Undergraduate Committee and Department Head based on academic excellence (min. 3.0 GPA) andsuitability of the experience for meeting the student's educational objectives. Must be a registered undergraduate/graduate history major at Purdue, West Lafayette campus, and scheduled to participate in history courses sponsored by the Department of History, of if approved through another university while studying abroad.
  • Application materials: Applicant must submit a vita (resume) and a one-page (double spaced) essay explaining how study abroad will be beneficial to the history major. Additional explanation of financial benefits will be taken into consideration by the committee. Materials may be mailed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or placed in the director's mailbox in University Hall Room 231. Please note: graduate students are to contact the Department Head.
  • Award: Based on the amount of available income.
  • Contact: Professor Nancy Gabin, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Purdue University, Department of History, 672 Oval Drive, University Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2087.
  • Deadline: Materials must be received by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by March 1st.  2012 Flyer

Lorena Murphy Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Purpose: Lorena Murphy worked at Purdue University from 1964 to 1993 as an Account Clerk for Housing and Food Services. She also had a passion for the past, took courses in the History Department, and received her B.A. in History in 1990. Lorena Murphy passed away in 2008. In her honor, the Lorena Murphy estate has made this scholarship available to outstanding history majors to help defray costs of their undergraduate education, specifically for the "purchase of history textbooks for deserving students."
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by the Undergraduate Committee and Department Head based on academic excellence, the recipient of the award must be an undergraduate History major who has completed at least four History courses with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in those courses and has an overall graduation index of at least 3.0.
  • Application materials:  Applicant must submit a transcript and a letter of application.  Materials may be mailed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or placed in the director's mailbox in University Hall Room 231.
  • Award: The recipient will receive reimbursement for the purchase of history textbooks.
  • Contact: Professor Nancy Gabin, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Purdue University, Department of History, 672 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2087.
  • Deadline:  Materials must be received by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by March 1st.  2012 Flyer

Outstanding Senior Award

  • Purpose: Each year, the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board presents an award to an outstanding senior from each of the departments in the College and one from the Interdisciplinary Programs. The Department Head or designee selects the student whose name is presented to the alumni board for approval. The student selected by the Department of History will also receive a book and his or her name on a plaque which is displayed in University Hall, as well as be honored by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by the Department Head or designee and presented to the alumni board for approval, the nominee must be a history major who has achieved academic success and demonstrated a commitment to his or her major. The student must have balanced an academic load with extracurricular activities and/or a job, while demonstrating leadership ability. The student will graduate any time during the current calendar year.

Stover Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Purpose: This award is given in honor of John F. Stover. He received his B.A. (1934) and M.A. (1937) from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. (1951) from the University of Wisconsin. John came to Purdue in 1947 and served 31 years, until his retirement in 1978. While on the faculty his many books and articles established him as a leading scholar of the history of American railroads, and he continued publishing actively in the field after his retirement and prior to his death in 2007. His wife, Marjorie, an author in her own right, still lives in Nebraska, where they moved after Professor Stover's retirement. Their generosity, with contributions from friends and colleagues, has established the Stover Scholarship for the outstanding sophomore history major.
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by the Undergraduate Committee appointed by the Head of the Department of History, all with the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the student must be an undergraduate history major in his or her sophomore year (3rd or 4th semester). The eligible student will have completed a minimum of three history courses with an A or B average, and earned a graduation index of at least 2.90.
  • Application material:  Applicant must submit a transcript and a statement (one-to-two pages) indicating academic goals both generally and with respect to the major.  Materials may be mailed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or placed in the director's mailbox in University Hall Room 231.
  • Award: The recipient receives fee reimbursement the following semester.
  • Contact:  Professor Nancy Gabin, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Purdue University, Department of History, 672 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2087.
  • Deadline:  Materials must be received by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by March 1st. 2012 Flyer

Waltmann Award

  • Purpose: This award is given in honor of Professor Henry G. Waltmann , who was a faculty member in the Department of History from 1962 until his death in 1978. Phi Alpha Theta is an international history honor society which is devoted to increasing the knowledge of history in its members via guest speakers, conferences, and activities. The Purdue affiliate is committed to this goal and works to provide an atmosphere where members can gain more knowledge about history, provide opportunities to meet history professors, and establish a group that will enable members to develop relationships with other history majors.
  • Criteria and selection: Selected by Phi Alpha Theta, annually, the student must be an outstanding junior in history, be active in Phi Alpha Theta, and have an excellent academic record and good qualities of citizenship.
  • Award: The Nu Omega chapter of Phi Alpha Theta presents the $200 Waltmann award. The award is to be used during the recipient's senior year.

Gordon R. Mork Award in Global History

  • Purpose:  The Department of History is pleased to announce its second annual, "Gordon R. Mork Award," for the best undergraduate student paper in a History course addressing a theme or topic in Global History, including such issues as cross-cultural comparisons, international relations, and global exchange and interdependence.  
  • Criteria: The paper (15-25 pages in length) may come from any History course (European, U.S., or World History) offered during 2012, as long as it addresses a global theme, integrates primary-source research, and offers an original interpretation. Students should submit their papers to the award committee by 22 February 2013; send an electronic copy to Professor Michael G. Smith at: mgsmith@purdue.edu
  • Award:  The winner will be announced at the departmental Spring Awards Reception on 11 April 2013 and will receive a cash prize of $200 with a certificate of recognition.