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.

Who May Apply

Full-time college sophomores or juniors planning careers in mathematics or the natural sciences. Eligible fields of study include life science, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geoscience, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and psychology. Students pursuing careers in medicine are eligible if their career goals include a significant component of research. Sophomore applicants should be especially prepared to demonstrate significant research experience.

Eligibility Limitations

Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Permanent residents must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

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 institution.

Campus Requirements and Deadline

Interested students may contact the campus representative to express interest early in the fall semester of the year they wish to apply. Students may self-nominate or be nominated by a member of the science faculty. Earlham may nominate up to four students for the national scholarship competition. Final candidate selection is done via a small committee of faculty who review a draft of the students’ research statement during early November.

Application Requirements and Deadline

Complete application, research statement, three letters of recommendation, and college transcripts must be uploaded to the Goldwater website by the second Friday in January. Campus representative formally nominates candidates no later than the last Friday in January.



Previous Recipients:

  • 2022 Marisol Cora Cruz ’23, Neuroscience
  • 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