MHS Scholarships

The Minnesota Herpetological Society (MHS) started the scholarship program to give financial aid to students in order to support their academic goals. Each application is carefully reviewed by the Board of Directors and is judged for fit with the Society’s mission and goals as well as alignment with the MHS budget. Scholarships are awarded to individual students, and funds are sent directly to their institution.

Scholarships range from $500 to $2,000 and are open to any students with herpetology-related studies, goals, or passions. Preference may be given to students with a connection to Minnesota or the MHS, but the application is open to anyone, so all are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM (CST) on March 31st in any given year. A complete application includes:

  1. A completed scholarship application form.
  2. A current copy of your high school or college transcript (can be unofficial).
  3. A letter of recommendation (sent by your recommender to
  4. A current copy of your resume or CV.
  5. A short essay (500-700 words) on your future plans and goals related to your education and career as well as a short response (100-200 words) detailing your connection to the MHS, if any.

Scholarship applications are initially reviewed by the Scholarships Committee in April. The Board of Directors will consider applications in early May. Applicants can expect to receive results by the end of May. Scholarships will be dispersed directly to schools/institutions after the chosen applicants send the required information.

Email applications to:

The MHS Scholarship Committee

Application form: PDF



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My major or future career aren’t directly related to herps. Can I still apply?

Yes! This scholarship isn’t restricted to students with traditionally herp-related majors or career plans. If you are passionate about herps and want to incorporate them into your studies/future in a way that isn’t obvious, tell us about it. For example, a student majoring in political science may not be enrolled in herpetology courses, but they could still love reptiles and amphibians and plan to work towards conservation-related legislation in their career. Convince us!

How do I choose someone to write my letter of recommendation?

Professional references are best, but the recommender should also be someone who knows you well enough that they can accurately describe your qualities and work. This can include teachers, professors, coaches, supervisors, and more. If you do not have a professional reference that can write your letter of recommendation, a personal reference, such as a family friend, can also work, but this is not ideal. When asking someone to write you a letter of recommendation for this scholarship, make sure to explain what the scholarship is, the deadline, and where they should send the letter.

How do I write my short essay?

Your essay should give the MHS an idea of what sort of person you are and what you want to accomplish. We want to see that you are committed to success and have goals that broadly align with the MHS’ mission/goals. If you have something elsewhere in your application that you want to highlight or explain, you can do it here. For example, if you have been volunteering at a nature center and working with herps for years, you could highlight how the experience guided your academic or career goals. On the other hand, if you have something that may be troubling in an application, such as a low GPA on your transcript, you can use part of the essay to explain your circumstances and what you are doing or want to do to improve your academic success. Use the essay as a tool – tell us what you want to do and how you’re getting there.

Which transcript should I include?

Your most recent transcript is preferable. If you are a student that is already in college, it would be best to include your college transcript. If you are a student that has not started college, you would include your high school transcript. College students could include their high school transcript in addition to their current college transcript if they feel it would be of benefit (ex: only been in college for one semester, so few grades or courses have been posted).

Are scholarships only awarded to students in Minnesota?

No, applications from students anywhere in the US are considered. The MHS is a Minnesota-based organization, so there is slight preference given to applicants with a connection to Minnesota. However, a very strong application from a student outside Minnesota would not be placed below a weaker application from an MN student just because of their MN connection.

Do I need to be an MHS member to apply?

No, non-members are welcome to apply. Even if you have not attended MHS meetings or events, you can apply for this scholarship. Applicants with a connection to the MHS may be given slight priority, similarly to students with a connection to MN, but this is not one of the most important factors considered.

Any other questions can be emailed to