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Goldwater Scholarships


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.

The Scholarship

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support.

The Application

Four-year institutions are eligible to nominate up to four students who are in the sophomore or junior class at the time of application. To be considered, a student must be nominated by his or her college or university using the official nomination materials available to each institution on the Foundation's website.

Who Should Apply

The Foundation awards undergraduate scholarships on the basis of merit to students who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Students who plan to study medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career as a medical doctor in a private practice. To be considered for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar, a student must:

  • Be full-time matriculated sophomore or junior currently pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education.
    • Sophomore nominees can expect to receive a maximum of two years of support.
    • Junior nominees can expect to receive a maximum of one year of support.
  • Have a college grade-point average of at least "B" (or the equivalent) and be in the upper fourth of his or her class.
  • Be a United States citizen, a permanent resident, or, in the case of nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a United States national. Nominations from permanent residents must include a letter of the nominee's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card).

Campus Procedure

All candidates for scholarships are nominated by their college or university. The Foundation will not solicit or accept applications directly from candidates but will advise applicants as to the appropriate procedures.  Nominations must be submitted on the official forms provided on the Foundation's website. One original and one copy of all required documents for each nomination must be submitted by the faculty representative. Nominations must include:

  • Institution Nomination Form, which verifies the nominee's eligibility and academic status and formally transmits the nomination to the review committee. This document must be completed and signed by the faculty representative or the nomination cannot be considered.
  • Nominee Information Form, which affirms the nominee's wish to be considered for the scholarship; provides biographical information about the nominee's background, interests, and plans; and provides a statement that describes the nominee's intent to enter an appropriate career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and specifies how the student's educational plans will provide preparation for that career.
  • Nominee's Essay, which is written by the student and relates to the student's chosen career.
  • Three Independent Evaluation of Nominee forms.
  • Transcripts of all the nominee's college grades, including fall semester if available. Nominees must also provide a transcript of their high school grades.


Three are required. The nominee must secure letters of recommendation from a faculty member who can discuss the nominee's potential for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering; a faculty member in the nominee's field of study; and another individual/faculty member who can attest to the nominee's potential.

Application Deadline

Davidson campus deadline generally occurs in October or November. Goldwater Foundation’s nomination submission deadline (5 p.m. Central Time) is the last Friday in January.

Learn More

For more information, contact Erland Stevens, Chemistry Department. For additional resources, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program, Center for Career Development at or schedule an appointment through Handshake. Also, visit the official Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation website.

Recent Davidson Goldwater Scholars

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