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Prizes and Honors / Lipson Scholarship

Description. The Lipson Scholarship, established in 2001, is a full, two-year scholarship of up to $10,000 per year and is available to eligible students who submit winning essays for the Lipson Essay Prize. To receive the Lipson Scholarship, students must win the Lipson Essay Prize and be a freshman or sophomore when they apply, with a minimum of a 3.5 grade-point average (GPA). The Lipson Scholarship will fund the costs of the scholars' sophomore and junior years at UC Berkeley for those who apply as freshmen, and the costs of the scholars' junior and senior years for those who apply as sophomores, based on their financial need as determined by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Students who are Regents' or Chancellor's Scholars without financial need will receive a $1,000 honorary award in addition to the prize.

Scholars are expected to pursue at least two courses or seminars related to humanistic values, such as courses in the fields of ethics, political theory, history, sociology, or public policy, during the two-year period covered by the scholarship, under the guidance of their faculty mentors or advisors. In addition, scholars interested in enrolling in a Berkeley Summer Sessions course related to humanistic values may submit a request for Lipson funding for the course; please contact the Prizes and Honors Coordinator for more information. 

Leslie Lipson Biography. The Leslie Lipson Program is endowed in memory of Professor Leslie Lipson, who taught political theory and comparative government at Berkeley for 33 years. As a professor, Lipson's first love was the undergraduate curriculum, and undergraduate students twice selected him as the best teacher in the Department of Political Science. Berkeley honored Lipson in 1980 with the Berkeley Citation, for individuals of extraordinary achievement in their field who have given outstanding service to the campus. Lipson's books include The Great Issues of Politics, which has been published in ten editions, translated into numerous foreign languages, and used in introductory political science courses across the country; and his seminal work, The Ethical Crises of Civilization, in which he analyzed the historical developments in world civilizations that have resulted in both better and worse ethical choices. "Humanistic values are the fundamental values of good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust, as carried out by individuals and societies in service of or against humanity" (Leslie Lipson).