Goldwater Scholarship

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. Goldwater Scholars will go on to pursue a PhD and a research career in a STEM field.

This award requires university endorsement. UC may nominate up to four candidates for the award each year. You must contact NCA in order to apply.


Application Opens: First Tuesday of September (September 5, 2023)
Pre-Application Form Deadline: September 27, 2023
Campus Deadline: October 18, 2023
UC National Deadline: January 22, 2024 (we require you to submit early)
National Deadline: Last Friday in January (January 26, 2024 @ 5pm CT)

Scholarships of up to $7,500 a year are provided to help cover costs associated with tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board. A sophomore who receives a Goldwater Scholarship will receive up to $7,500 in each of their junior and senior years. A junior who receives a Goldwater Scholarship will receive up to $7,500 in their senior year.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply, you must:

  • be a sophomore or junior (have 1-2 years of full-time undergraduate study remaining)
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with intent to become citizen
  • be a full-time student in an eligible STEM field
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.00
  • have a strong commitment to a research career with plans to pursue a PhD in a STEM field (MD/PhD applicants are eligible but must write an additional essay)
  • be nominated by UC

Please refer to the Goldwater website for a detailed list of the eligibility criteria.

Selection Criteria

To be a competitive candidate, applicants should have:

  • strong research experience
  • 3.7+ GPA
  • publications and/or conference presentations
  • excellent recommendations
  • evidence of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering
  • potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field
  • Background information
  • Short answer essays
  • Research essay
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation (3): share this page with your recommenders and call attention to the very specific formatting requirements

Carefully review Goldwater’s Application Tips for Students.

  • In the fall, attend the NCA Learning Series session on the Goldwater Scholarship.
  • Request to be added to the UC Goldwater Canvas Community. All important Goldwater deadlines and details are laid out on this Canvas page to help you prepare your application. Email to be added. 
  • Complete and submit Goldwater’s Pre-Application Form by September 27, 2023. The form is available starting the first Tuesday of September (September 5, 2023). NCA recommends that you complete the form soon after it opens. NCA will set up a meeting with you to discuss your pre-application. You will then be given access to the full application.
  • Prior to the pre-application meeting, complete two NCA forms:
  • Submit your application, including letters of recommendation, by the Campus Deadline: October 18, 2023.
  • UC’s Goldwater Endorsement Committee will review applications and select candidates to interview in November.
  • Endorsed applicants complete application by UC National Deadline: January 22, 2024 (we require you to submit four days early).
  • Carefully review Goldwater’s Application Tips for Students
  • Information on this page is intended to supplement, not supplant, your own careful review of the official Goldwater website. If you find any discrepancy between the two, the Goldwater website takes precedence.
  • Though you should seek out others’ advice and feedback on your application, the essays should be your original work (no one should be writing your essays for you). UC’s Student Code of Conduct applies.
  • Greg Muha - Electrical Engineering, Scholar, 2023.
  • Nicholas Shaw - Medical Sciences, Scholar, 2022.
  • Sanjeeth Rajaram - Medical Sciences, Scholar, 2021.
  • Rishi Mehta - Medical Sciences, Scholar, 2020.
  • Zachary Thomas - Biomedical Engineering, 2020.
  • Chinmay Bakshi - Neuroscience; Public Health, 2019.
  • Nihar Rama - Medical Sciences, 2019.
  • Andrew Emmert - Medical Sciences, 2018.
  • Madelyn Leembruggen - Astrophysics; Mathematics, 2017.
  • Courtney Stockman - Engineering, 2017.
  • Rickey Terrell - Chemical Engineering; Applied Sciences, 2017.