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Goldwater Scholarships

December 11, 2017 (internal deadline)
United States
Full Year
2 or More Years


A program of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, Goldwater Scholarships aim to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. To this end, the foundation awards up to 300 scholarships each year to rising juniors and seniors who intend to pursue careers in these fields and who have been nominated by their undergraduate institutions. 

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.  Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support.  Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year.  Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's budget.

In awarding scholarships, the foundation's board of trustees will consider the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.  Nominees include a statement of their career interests in their application materials, detailing how their academic program and overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal.  The foundation expects that most scholars will eventually pursue advanced degrees.  (Students who plan to study medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career as a medical doctor in a private practice.)

A candidate for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or, in the case of nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a U.S. national;
  • Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education during the year of application--"sophomore" is defined as a student who plans two more years of full-time undergraduate study beginning in the following fall, and "junior" is defined as a student who plans one more year of full-time undergraduate study beginning in the following fall; and
  • Have a college grade-point average of at least "B" (or the equivalent) and be in the upper fourth of his or her class

University nomination:  Columbia University may nominate a total of four eligible undergraduates for consideration each year.  Students in Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies who will be current sophomores or juniors at the time of application are eligible.  The internal campus competition places students into consideration for nomination.  Students may not apply directly for these fellowships without having first been nominated.

To apply: Complete and submit your application here no later than 11:59pm EST on the deadline provided above. You should arrange for your letters of recommendation to be submitted to no later than this date as well.

Meet Columbia's most recent Goldwater Scholars:  Shreyas Vissapragada '17CC (Astrophysics and Computer Science double major); Ritish Patnaik '16 SEAS (BME); Brian Trippe '16 CC (Biochemistry, Computer Science); Nilay Kumar ’15CC (Physics); Tyler St. Denis ’15CC (Chemistry); Samuel Zeng ’15CC (Biochemistry).