The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

General Eligibility

Please see the program website for specific eligibility requirements.

Accredited 2- and 4-year academic institutions that have identified a Goldwater Campus Representative with the Foundation may nominate up to four students annually (up to five if one is a transfer student). No direct student applications or nominations by campuses without a Goldwater Campus Representative will be considered. 

  • Class year: Full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution of higher education during the application year.
  • Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen from the 50 states or the District of Columbia or a permanent resident. A permanent resident nominated for the scholarship must include a letter stating his/her intent to become a U.S. citizen. A photocopy of the nominee’s Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Alien Registration Card or Green Card, must also be submitted.
  • GPA: 3.0 minimum

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • Must intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering. Refer to the Goldwater Foundation’s list of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics fields and sub-fields used to determine eligibility. 

The characteristics the Foundation seeks in a Goldwater Scholar include:

  • Strong commitment to a research career in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering,
  • Effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, and
  • Potential for a significant future contribution to research in his/her chosen field.

Application Process

To be eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship, the applicant must be nominated by Davidson College. Davidson Goldwater candidates must apply to Davidson first to be considered for nomination, followed by the official Goldwater process if nominated. Davidson will select up to four students to be nominated (five if at least one is a transfer student). The Goldwater Foundation will not consider direct student applications. 

The campus endorsement application process and resources are in the Goldwater Fellowships Toolkit article (Handshake login required). 

Learn More

For more information, schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Associate Director for Fellowships & Experiential Learning, through Handshake (login required). 

Recent Davidson Goldwater Scholars

2021 - Paul Gomez, Andrea Liu

2020 - Katie Soden

2019 - Hossein Bakshandeh, Katie Barlis, Ellie Mackintosh

2016 - Dennis Akrobetu

2015 - Annalee Tutterow, Jenni S. Isaac

2014 - Chris Peek, Emma Domingoes (Honorable Mention)

2013 - Justin Strickland, Eric Sawyer

2010 - Matt DiNiear, Erin Feeney

2009 - Natasha Meyer, Pallavi Penumetcha

2008 - Sarah Rhodes

2007 - Kelli Carrol, Adam Topaz

2006 - Emma Garren, James Sanchez

2005 - Barratt Park

2003 - Sarah Robison

2001 - Stephanie Corchesne

2000 - James Herbert

1995 - Kelly M.Constantine, Valerie W. Leesch