The Burchard Scholars Program 
Expand your horizons at dinner seminars with distinguished MIT faculty

Students, you can apply here.
Program open to MIT sophomores and juniors.
Application deadline October 31, 2017

Expand Your Horizons at Dinner Seminars with Distinguished Faculty

The Burchard Scholars Program brings together distinguished members of the faculty and promising MIT sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated excellence in some aspect of the humanities, arts, or social sciences. About 35 MIT undergraduates are selected each year for the competitive program. Each cohort of "Burchards" participates for one calendar year, from February through December.

The format is a series of dinner seminars that reflect the vast range of inquiry and research in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science. The Burchard Program consists of nine events throughout a calendar year — a large reception at the beginning of spring term, seven dinner-seminars, and one cultural event in the fall. Seminars are held monthly, on Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm, during the school year.

Application Information

The Burchard Scholars application must include the following materials:

  • Curriculum Vitae or résumé
  • List of HASS classes you have taken at MIT
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has taught you in a HASS course
  • An essay on one of three essay topics in less than 500 words:
    • If you could require every incoming MIT student to read one book, what would it be and why?
    • "Great ideas change the world.” In your essay, personalize the SHASS motto by addressing the following question: How have one or two “great ideas” changed you and your views of “the world”?
    • Write about an experience in which you encountered a tension between personal freedom and community standards. Discuss the experience and the underlying issues, how you dealt with the tension, and whether or not there was a satisfactory resolution.

Students submit applications online here. You are expected to contact your HASS faculty/lecturer referee directly no later than the application deadline to make arrangements for them to supply a recommendation directly to no later than one full week after the application deadline. You should supply them copies of your résumé and your list of HASS subjects. Please allow your referees time to do their job!

Applications are due on October 31, 2017 for the 2018 Burchard Program.

Please note:

A Burchard Scholar can be a major in any department of the Institute; no preference is given to HASS majors. All sophomores and juniors in good standing are eligible to apply. If you have a question about the Program or how to apply, please email

Information on the Burchard Program

Burchard Events
Past Burchard Scholars



Congratulations to the 2017 Burchard Scholars!  

Meia Alsup '19
Materials Science and Engineering

Natasha Batten '19
Chemical Engineering

Jaclyn Baughman '19

Margaret Bertoni '19
Mechanical Engineering

Phoebe Cai '18
Mathematics; Economics

Samantha Cawthon '19
Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Ann Chen '18
Mechanical Engineering
minor, History

Herng Yi Cheng '18

Matthew Coupin '18
Materials Science and Engineering

Caralyn Cutlip '18
Mechanical Engineering
minor, German

Anshula Gandhi '19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ying Gao '18
Mathematics; Economics

Benjamin Harpt '18

Christopher Hillenbrand '19

Nicholas Hoffman '18
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

Yuliya Klochan '18
Philosophy; Political Science

Tinna-Solveig Kosoko-Thoroddsen '19
Chemical Engineering
minor, Chinese

Jennifer Lee '18
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Feng Ping "Angela" Leong '18
Mechanical Engineering

Jessy Lin '19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Stacie Lin '19

Ian MacFarlane '18

Oghenefejiro Oruerio '18
Mechanical Engineering

Audrey Pillsbury '19
Chemical Engineering

Mary Jane Porzenheim '19

Ankita Reddy '19

Uma Roy '19

Megan Schussman '18
Brian and Cognitive Sciences; Linguistics and Philosophy

Jacqueline Shen '18
minor, Applied International Studies

Nafisa Syed '19

Emily Tang '19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Amanda Wu '18
Brian and Cognitive Sciences

Sefa Yakpo '18
Sloan School of Management
minor, French

Rachel Yang '18
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Jingyi Zhao '18