Goldwater Scholarship: An Overview

At A Glance...

Official Name: 
Goldwater Scholarship
Campus Deadline: 
Thursday, November 14, 2024
Who Should Apply?: 

Sophomores and juniors, U.S. citizen or permanent resident

What It's For: 

Undergraduate study in natural sciences, engineering, mathematics (STEM fields)

Fields of Study: 
STEM fields such as engineering
natural science (student must be planning a research career)

Click here for more Goldwater Scholarship application resources...


The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The aim of the foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scholars to work as scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Goldwater Scholarships support students with a passion for research and potential to contribute to their disciplines, and who plan to pursue a graduate degree. Up to 300 U.S. students will be selected each year for scholarships of up to $7,500/year.

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for nomination for a Goldwater Scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree
  • Intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering*
  • Have a college grade point average of at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Be a U.S. citizen from the 50 states or the District of Columbia; a U.S. national for those students nominated by institutions in Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or a permanent resident. A permanent resident nominated for the scholarship must include a letter stating his/her intent to become a U.S. citizen. A photocopy of the nominee’s Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Alien Registration Card or Green Card, must also be submitted.

* The natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics fields and sub-fields used by the Goldwater Foundation to determine eligibility are those used by the National Science Foundation for its Graduate Research Fellowship Program. These include: chemistry, computer & information sciences and engineering, engineering, geosciences, life sciences, materials research, mathematical sciences, physics & astronomy, and psychology.

While research in medicine is not supported by the National Science Foundation, students interested in pursuing careers in medicine or veterinary medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship if research is a central part of the student’s career goals.

Candidate Profile

  • Outstanding academic performance, especially in the major
  • Commitment to pursuing an advanced degree in science, engineering, computer science, technology, or mathematics
  • Potential to make a significant contribution to one's field through a commitment to research
  • Significant participation in research
  • Extracurricular activities and/or work experience (e.g., internships) consistent with the applicant's intellectual interests and career goals

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members
  • 3-page research essay
  • Transcript
  • If applicable: copy of Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card) and a letter of intent to become a U.S. citizen

Application Procedure

All applicants MUST be nominated by their college or university. As such, UMass Amherst applicants are reviewed by an internal committee and four nominees are sent forward to the Goldwater Foundation for consideration.

Detailed campus application information is provided directly to applicants once they meet with ONSA advisers.