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.
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
Congratulations to the 2023 Burchard Scholars!
Antti Eero Asikainen
Stephen Alexander Brennan
Ananda Santos Figueiredo
Yi Jun Yang