English Department Undergraduate Scholarships

The Department of English offers numerous merit scholarships totaling more than $100,000 in an annual competition in the spring. These scholarships recognize and reward outstanding achievements by English, Creative Writing, or Teaching of English students.

In order to be eligible for these scholarships, an applicant must:

  • be an English major planning to be enrolled for at least one semester of the coming academic year
  • at the time of application have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.0 overall
  • at the time of application have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75/4.0 in English courses
  • by the end of the spring semester in which you are applying, have completed at Illinois a minimum of four English, Creative Writing, or Rhetoric courses beyond Composition I
  • be in good standing with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences throughout the application process

Applications are due mid-March (specific deadline TBA) to Nancy Rahn in Room 200 of the English Building.

The award amounts vary widely; for more information, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Andrea Stevens.

Awards for English Department Majors (English, Creative Writing, or Teaching of English)

  • Delmar G. Cooke Scholarship
  • Carolyn Joyce Pape Award
  • Emily J. Friedrich Memorial Scholarship
  • Robert D. Novak Scholarship
  • Miles W. O'Loughlin III Scholarship
  • Raymond Seng Scholarship
  • Paul J. Cooke English Award
  • Leo B. Kneer Scholarship
  • Tessa M. Oberg Scholarship
  • E. Veda Streitmatter & Arlys Streitmatter Conrad Scholarship

Awards for Teaching of English Majors

  • Ethel F. Crate Scholarship
  • J. N. Hook Scholarship
  • Alfred & Norma Tanner Snap Scholarship

Other Awards & Prizes

Kevin T. Early Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded for freshman poetry writing and is open to students in all majors. Upcoming deadline for submissions: Monday, October 30, 2017. Detailed instructions available here.

Awards for Honors Students

  • Smalley Prize for Outstanding Honors Achievement awarded to the best English Honors Essay
  • Carol Kyle Prize for Outstanding Honors Achievement awarded to the runner-up in the annual competition for the best English Honors Essay

Wallace Stevens Memorial Prize

$500 will be awarded to the best critical essay on modern American or British poetry (1900-1939) submitted each year. The prize alternates yearly between undergraduates pursuing an English major or minor at Illinois, and graduate students in the English Department. The Spring 2018 award will be made at the undergraduate level. For more information, contact Professor Tim Newcomb at tnewcomb@illinois.edu

Creative Writing Competitions

The competitions listed below for creative writing are held in the spring. For more information, contact the Associate Director of Creative Writing, Steve Davenport.


  • John L. Rainey Prize
  • Josephine M. Bresee Memorial Prize
  • Leah Trelease Prize


  • Folger Adam Jr. Prize
  • American Academy of Poets Prize
  • Charles and Susan Shattuck Prize

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