Goldwater Scholarship

Barry Goldwater Scholarship University endorsement  STEM

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship provides funding to college sophomore and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. It is the oldest and most prestigious national scholarship in STEM fields in the U.S. The scholarship seeks to identify college students who show exceptional promise of becoming the next generation of research leaders in STEM fields. It provides $7,500 per year for up to 2 years (if applying as a sophomore), which can used for tuition, fees, books, and/or room and board.

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a sophomore OR junior at the time of application
  • Intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering:
    • Chemistry
    • Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering
    • Engineering
    • Geosciences
    • Life Sciences
    • Materials Research
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Psychology
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.00
    • Most applicants have at least a 3.70 GPA
Application Material

  • Goldwater Application
  • Research Essay
  • 3 letters of recommendation (preference from full professors)
    • 1 from a faculty member who can discuss the applicant's potential for a career in STEM
    • 1 from a faculty member in the applicant's field of study
    • 1 from a faculty member who can discuss the applicant's research endeavors
  • University Endorsement
University Endorsement Process:
University endorsement is a competitive process and not guaranteed. Students seeking University of Utah endorsement must submit certain application components by the University’s deadline. The University of Utah may endorse up to 4 students per year for the Goldwater Scholarship. A fifth candidate can be nominated if the candidate is a transfer student.
Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Record of research experience in your field of future graduate study
    • At least 1 year of research experience is recommended
  • Potential for and commitment to a research career in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering
    • Most competitive applicants plan to pursue a research PhD
  • Potential for a significant future contribution to research in your chosen field
  • Strong letters of recommendation

  • September 8, 2020

    Goldwater Scholarship Application Opens
    1. Create an Goldwater Scholarship account at
    2. Fill out the pre-application on the student portal
    3. The pre-application will be sent to the Campus Representative, who will review the information submitted
    4. The Campus Representative will contact the applicant regarding any questions or concerns
    5. The application will be opened for qualified applicants
    6. Letter of recommendation writers will be contacted by the Campus Representative to submit letters directly via email
    7. Fill out the application and submit it by the University deadline
  • November 23, 2020

    University deadline
    • Submit the application
    • The Campus Representative will submit the letters of recommendation and unofficial transcripts
  • Early December

    Notification of nomination by University
    • Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been nominated
    • The University of Utah can nominate up to 4 students per year
  • January 29, 2021 by 4:00 pm MST

    Goldwater Scholarship national application deadline
    • Revise and submit the application for national review
  • March 26, 2021 by 10:00 am MST

    Notification of selection
    • Nominated applicants will be notified whether or not they have been select

  • ~300 per year
Length of Scholarship

  • 1 year, if applying as a junior
  • 2 years, if applying as a sophomore
Make an Appointment with an Advisor

Contact Information

Director: Ginger Smoak


Advisor: Alison Shimko