The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields. Complete details can be found on the Barry Goldwater website:

Amount & use

Amount equal to the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board minus the amount of support provided for by other sources, up to a maximum of $7,500. Scholars who receive the award as sophomores can expect to receive support for a maximum of two years (4 semesters) or until graduation, if sooner. Scholars who receive the award as juniors can expect to receive support for a maximum of one year (2 semesters) or until graduation, if sooner.


Accredited 2- and 4-year U.S. academic institutions that have identified a Goldwater Campus Representative (CR) with the Foundation may nominate up to four students annually. A four-year school may nominate a 5th student if one or more of the nominated students is a transfer student. Direct student applications or nominations by campuses without a Goldwater Campus Representative will not be considered. The nominees must:

  1. be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution of higher education during the 2020-2021 academic year;
  2. intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering;
  3. have a college grade point average of at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale; and
  4. 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 must submit a photocopy of their Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Green Card.
  • Late November: Monday, November 27th, 2023 is the individual internal campus deadline for pre-application submissions.
  • Early January: Friday, January 5th, 2024 is the internal campus deadline for students to submit their formal application.
  • Last Friday in January: Friday, January 26th, 2024 – National Nomination Deadline (5:00PM CT)
Selection criteria
  1. Student creates a profile, and submits a pre-application.
    • Pre-application materials are reviewed (early-November).
  2. Student is given full access to the Goldwater application if approved (mid-November).
    • Student completes the online application and writes the Research Essay.
    • Student identifies and asks letter writers to provide letters of recommendation, and tells them that the Campus Representative (CR) will contact them with additional information and due date.
    • Student collects, and sends transcript(s) to CR.
    • CR will send the deadline for letters of recommendation, and then upload letters and transcript(s) to Scholarship America.
  3. The PBSci Undergraduate Award Committee reviews, and selects up to 5 nominees. (early-January).
  4. CR submits nominations (late-January).

How to apply

General Guidance for Applicants

  • Carefully read and review all of the required application information and materials.
  • Complete a Student Profile and Pre-Application.
  • Contact the Goldwater Scholarship Campus Representative (CR) as early as possible to inform the CR of your interest in applying. Carefully follow your CR’s instructions regarding the campus application process. You can contact the current UCSC CR, Brooke Eichenlaub, by email at or by phone (831) 459-2931.
  • Know and stay on top of all deadlines (including those set internally by our campus and those established by the Goldwater program).
  • Complete the Online Goldwater Application.
    • The online application has several components, including: 1) online questionnaire, 2) research essay, 3) three letters of recommendation, 4) transcript(s), and 5) for a Permanent Resident, a copy of your Permanent Resident Card.
  • Make certain the information provided is accurate and reported in a way that is asked for in the application.
  • Proofread, reflect, revise, and again proofread, reflect, revise-all application materials! Enlist others to review the application for science, grammar, format, etc. 

Nomination: The names and complete set of application materials for students selected as an institution’s Goldwater nominees must be uploaded to the Goldwater nomination site by the CR on or before the application deadline, the last Friday in January at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Typically, CRs have an earlier final campus deadline by which they must have the nominees’ final materials. Check with your CR. (Friday, January 5th, 2024)

Application instructions & forms