Goldwater Scholarship


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.

By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields. Over its 30-year history, Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to win other prestigious awards like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship that support our Scholars’ graduate school work. Today, Goldwater alumni can be found conducting research that is helping defend the Nation and finding cures for catastrophic diseases and teaching future generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.


  • U.S. citizen, U.S. National, or Permanent Resident
  • Full-time matriculated sophomore or junior at the time of application
  • Intend to pursue a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering,*
  • Strong undergraduate record
  • record of engagement in undergraduate research

* The natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics fields and sub-fields used by the Goldwater Foundation to determine eligibility include: Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology. View the extensive list of sub-fields here.

Students interested in pursuing careers in medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship IF MEDICAL RESEARCH IS A CENTRAL PART OF THE STUDENT’S CAREER GOALS.


  • Outstanding academic achievement (grades, level of courses, scholarships, awards, other recognition)
  • Demonstrated potential for a research career (undergraduate research activities, coursework, career goals, presentations)


The Goldwater Scholarship requires institutional nomination.  To be considered for BU nomination, please submit the following materials (after completing Step 1 below) to by December 12, 12 noon EST.

  1. Student Profile and Pre-Application form. After reviewing your Goldwater pre-application, the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships will provide you with access to the Goldwater online application. Complete and submit the full Goldwater applicationJeff Berg, as the Goldwater Campus Rep, will access and download your completed application from the Goldwater portal for campus review.
  2. 3 letters of recommendation. Letters from faculty who can discuss in detail, with specific examples and enthusiasm, your potential for a career in mathematics, natural science, or engineering. Give the highest priority to faculty and directors who understand your desire and passion to pursue a research career. At least one of the letters should come from someone who has supervised your work. Signed letters on official letterhead should be addressed to the “Goldwater Scholarship Nomination Committee.” Recommenders should email their letters to by the internal deadline. Share this important guidance with your writers. And more on helpful letters.
  3. Transcripts from all colleges attended.  Unofficial is fine for the campus deadline. Email to
  4. Research Essay, typed, three pages (inclusive of references, citations, if any), font size no smaller than 12 pt, uploaded to the Goldwater online application and emailed to