Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship


Campus Contact: Dr. Meg Streepey Smith, Professor of Geology, Department of Earth and Environmental Science,

Authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program fosters and encourages excellence in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

The endowed recognition program awards 300 scholarships each academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. Goldwater Scholars are selected from a pool of over 1,000 applicants on the basis of academic merit, commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to their fields. Virtually all Goldwater Scholars intend to obtain a Ph.D. These one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 a year.

This fellowship requires institutional selection and nomination. A copy of all materials must be submitted electronically to Earlham’s Graduate Fellowship Committee. The GFC will nominate candidates for this fellowship.

Who May Apply

Full-time college sophomores or juniors planning careers in mathematics or the natural sciences. Sophomore applicants should be especially prepared to demonstrate significant research experience. All applicants should be able to articulate commitment to obtaining a Ph.D. in an eligible field of scientific study.

Application Pool Description

Every year over 300 scholars are chosen from a pool of approximately 1,100 applications.

Eligibility Limitations

Open to U.S. citizens or resident aliens who can submit a letter of intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Alien Registration Card. Students pursuing the pre-med track with a medical career in mind are not eligible. Although a minimum of a B average is the official pre-requisite, the mean GPA of Goldwater Scholars nationwide is ~ 3.95. Earlham may nominate up to four students in a given year.

Award Description and Duration

Awards range to $7,500 a year (i.e., a total of $15,000 may be awarded to sophomores for their junior and senior years, or $7,500 awarded to juniors for their senior year). Funds are to be used towards tuition at the student’s home university.

Campus Requirements and Deadline

Two essays (see below) and the names of three references are due by November 30. A pdf of a sample essay is available.

Application Requirements and Deadline

Complete application, nomination forms, three letters of recommendation, institutional endorsement, high school and college transcripts must be submitted by February 1.



Essay Questions for 2010, due in November:

  • Discuss a significant issue or problem in your field of study that is of particular interest to you, related to your chosen career. Your essay should be typed or computer generated, double-spaced, and printed on one side of the page only (600 words maximum).  (An expanded version of this essay will be part of the application you send to the Goldwater foundation in late January.)
  • Please describe those activities, achievements, awards, and work experiences that demonstrate your strong interest in your field of study and your potential for making a contribution to that field.  (This essay will be used internally at Earlham, but will not be forwarded to the Goldwater foundation.)

Previous Recipients:

  • 2021 Miette Hennessy ’22, Biochemistry
  • 2021 Cade Orchard ’22, Biology and Earth and Environmental Science
  • 2004 Brandy Bennett ’05, Biology
  • 1993 Scott Moulder ’95, Physics
  • 1992 Sean Connolly ’94, Biology
  • 1991 David May ’93, Physics and Math
  • 1991 Steven Kosak ’93, English and Biology
  • 1991 Rebecca Dyer ’93, Biology

Honorable Mentions:

  • 2002 Jie Chen ’03, Biochemistry