The purpose of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship program is to “foster and encourage excellence in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.” The Goldwater Foundation seeks scholars who are committed to a career in science, mathematics, or engineering, and who display intellectual intensity, and have the potential for significant future contribution in his or her chosen field.
The Goldwater Scholarship provides a grant toward the last year or last two years of undergraduate tuition and living expenses for students in science, mathematics, and engineering who are planning careers in research. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. MSU may nominate up to four candidates, who may be either juniors or sophomores at the time of nomination.
- Strong candidates have had the opportunity to participate in research. In their materials, the nominees discuss their research experience and request that the individual who supervised the work complete one of their recommendations. The research experience should be significant and demonstrate that they are “making meaning from science.” Students who may not have had opportunities for research will demonstrate intellectual curiosity in other ways, perhaps through independent investigation of a theory or issue related to their fields of interest.
- Abilities and potential are also shown by a candidate’s meeting significant responsibilities, involvement in mathematics/science/engineering student organizations, related employment, independent investigation and research, early participation in graduate courses, or other accomplishments outside the classroom. Among recent scholars, 25-30% have published their research, and 50% have made professional presentations.
- Strong candidates will provide evidence that demonstrates their individuality.
- Nearly all Goldwater Scholars intend to pursue doctoral degrees; this is now almost a prerequisite. Students who plan a career in secondary math/science education are not considered strong candidates for the Goldwater Scholarship.
- Nearly all Goldwater Scholars have a 4.0 GPA, or very close to it. According to the Foundation, the mean GPA among Scholars is 3.95, with a very small standard deviation.
*The Goldwater Scholarship requires an institutional endorsement. Make sure you know the MSU internal competition deadline.