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


The application for the Burchard Scholars Program is now open and closes December 8, 2023
Please note: this program is only open to MIT sophomores and juniors.

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 eight events throughout a calendar year. 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 (to be submitted by the Faculty member no later than the application deadline)
  • An unofficial MIT transcript
  • 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, or contemplate one work of art, or listen to one piece of music, 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 can submit applications online. Applicants are expected to contact their HASS Faculty recommenders directly to arrange for an emailed recommendation letter no later than the application deadline. Applicants should supply recommenders with copies of their résumés and a list of HASS subjects. A complete application MUST include a confidential letter of recommendation from a HASS Faculty Member by the application deadline. Please allow recommenders time to do their jobs!

Contact us with questions about the program or how to apply.


Information on the Burchard Program

Burchard Events
Past Burchard Scholars



Congratulations to the 2023 Burchard Scholars!

Jennifer Ai 
Antti Eero Asikainen 
Elizabeth Athaide 
Stephen Alexander Brennan 
Matthew Caren 
Anushree Chaudhuri 
Diana Degnan 
Diego Delarue 
Katherine Ellison 
Iana Ferguson 
Ishan Ganguly 
Willow Huang 
Selena Liu 
Rachel Loh 
Benjamin Lou 
Joy Ma 
Grace McMillan 
Raj Mehta 
Emmi Mills 
Laker Newhouse 
Katherine Reisig 
Ananda Santos Figueiredo 
Teddy Schoenfeld 
Alexis Spinetta 
Olivia Steger
Pedro Suarez 
Amber Velez 
Daisy Wang 
Felicia Xiao 
Yi Jun Yang 
Alexis Zitzmann