The Goldwater Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent under-graduate award of its type in these fields.

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 their chosen field.


    • Class year: Full-time matriculated sophomores and juniors
    • Citizenship: U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents. Permanent residents must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card.
    • 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. 

    Applying & Resources

    Davidson College may nominate up to four eligible candidates (five if at least one if a transfer student) each year for the Goldwater Scholarship. To be considered for nomination, follow the instructions for submitting an application to Davidson's nominating committee in the Goldwater Scholarship Application Toolkit (Davidson login required).

    Schedule an Office of Fellowships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Director of Fellowships, to discuss your candidacy.


    Davidson Goldwater Scholars & Honorable Mentions

    2023 - Susannah Armstrong '24, Madeline Fitzgerald '24

    2021 - Paul Gomez '22, Andrea Liu '23

    2020 - Katie Soden '21

    2019 - Hossein Bakshandeh '21, Katie Barlis '20, Ellie Mackintosh '21

    2018 - Nikole Fendler '19 (Honorable Mention)

    2016 - Dennis Akrobetu '17

    2015 - Jenni S. Isaac '16, Annalee Tutterow '17

    2014 - Chris Peek '15, Emma Domingoes '15 (Honorable Mention)

    2013 - Eric Sawyer '14, Justin Strickland '14

    2012 - Eric Sawyer '14 (Honorable Mention)

    2011 - Kelvin Bates '12 (Honorable Mention), Ree Lightsey '12 (Honorable Mention)

    2010 - Matt De Niear '11, Erin Feeney '11

    2009 - Natasha Meyer '10, Pallavi Penumetcha '11, Matt De Niear '11 (Honorable Mention)

    2008 - Sarah Rhodes '09, Christopher Boswell '09 (Honorable Mention)

    2007 - Kelli Carroll '09, Adam Topaz '08, Daniel Orr '08 (Honorable Mention)

    2006 - Philip James Sanchez '07, Emma Garren '08 (Honorable Mention)

    2005 - Barratt Park '06

    2003 - Sarah Robison '04

    2001 - Stephanie Corchesne '02

    2000 - James Herbert '01

    1997 - Kenneth J. Howard '98

    1994 - Kelly M.Constantine '95, Valerie W. Leesch '95

    1990 - David C. Campbell '92