Goldwater Scholarship Program


The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is a distinguished undergraduate scholarship initiative that provides up to $7,500 per year for college sophomores and juniors in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering pursuing careers in research. This highly prestigious and competitive award is granted to up to 300 students nationwide.


  • U.S citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • Sophomore or junior (1-2 years of study remaining after applying)
  • 3.0 GPA or higher (3.7 or higher, highly recommended)
  • Intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering

Application Materials:

  • A completed application
  • Research essay (three pages; guidance here)
  • Three letters of recommendation from research mentors, research active faculty members, or course instructors (guidance here)
  • Transcripts
    • For the campus evaluation process, we will print advising transcripts on your behalf. If chosen as a nominee, an official transcript will need to be submitted.
  • Permanent resident card and letter of intent to become a citizen, if applicable
    • This is only required if chosen as a nominee

Application Procedure:

Office Pre-Application Deadline – October 7, 2024

To be considered, you must first submit a pre-application in the Goldwater application system. Pre-applications will be reviewed and approved as long as you meet Goldwater’s criteria for eligibility and have identified three potential recommenders.  You will be notified by email whether your pre-application has been approved.

If approved, you are expected to meet with a member of the office to confirm that your recommenders fall into the following categories: research mentors, research active faculty members, and course instructors. Once your recommenders have been approved, they will receive an email notifying them of your intent to apply.

Office Application Deadline – November 12, 2024

Given that the University is required to nominate its candidates, there is an office application deadline and evaluation process.  The University can nominate up to four applicants who have been enrolled exclusively at University Park and one additional for transfers (from other Penn State campuses or different colleges).

You must submit a completed application through the Goldwater online application system. The office will share the submitted materials with the interview committee. Afterward, you will be notified if you’ve been nominated or not. Nominees will work with the office to revise their materials prior to final submission.

            National Application Deadline - January 31, 2025

Applications must be submitted directly using the online application system.

Year at Time of Application: 
Sophomore, Junior
Duration of Award: 
None (Award Only)
No Preference
Office Nomination
Area of Interest: 
Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Computer Science, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Statistics
Earliest Application Deadline: 
Sept. – Dec.
Penn-State Sponsored: 
Fellowship Components: