About the Goldwater Scholarship
Barry Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to outstanding undergraduates who are studying mathematics, natural sciences or engineering and who intend to pursue a research career. The scholarship awards up to $7,500 for the remaining year(s) of study at USC. Desired qualities of applicants include a highly competitive grade point average, demonstrated research experience and commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to the fields of mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. Applicants interested in pursuing medicine must demonstrate a desire for medical research, rather than medical practice. USC may nominate a maximum of four candidates, dividing the nominations between the Viterbi School of Engineering and Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.
USC may nominate up to four applicants each year for the Goldwater Scholarship.
For additional information, visit the Goldwater website here.
Goldwater applicants must:
- Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution of higher education during the 2017-2018 academic year,
- **If you are a current PDP student, you must enroll in at least 12 units of undergraduate coursework each semester following grant receipt (In other words, recipients need to be classified as an undergraduate rather than a graduate student while receiving the Goldwater Scholarship.)
- Intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering,*
- Have a college grade point average of at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale (Please note Goldwater is very competitive and the average GPA of 2017 recipients was 3.96)
- Be a U.S. citizen from the 50 states or the District of Columbia; a U.S. national for those students nominated by institutions in Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; 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.
* The natural sciences, engineering and mathematics fields and sub-fields used by the Goldwater Foundation to determine eligibility are those used by the National Science Foundation for its Graduate Research Fellowship Program. These include: Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology. View all fields and sub-fields.
While research in medicine is not supported by the National Science Foundation, students interested in pursuing careers in medicine or veterinary medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship IF RESEARCH IS A CENTRAL PART OF THE STUDENT’S CAREER GOALS.
Applicant Instructions for University Nomination
- Thoroughly review the Goldwater Scholarship website to understand eligibility and application criteria.
- Schedule an appointment with Katie Capra to review the requirements of the Goldwater Scholarship by November 10, 2017.
- Complete a Goldwater Scholarship Student Profile and Pre-Application.
Students seeking the University’s nomination will submit the following materials via email to Erica Lovano McCann firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, December 10, 2017 by 11:59pm. Please submit materials #1-7 compiled together as as one PDF in the order below. Be sure to include the prompts of the essays for questions #1-2.
1. What are your career goals and professional aspirations? Indicate which area(s) of mathematics, science or engineering you are considering pursuing in your research career and specify how your current academic program and your overall educational plans will assist you in achieving your career goals and professional aspirations. (3,000 characters max)
2. Describe an activity or experience that has been important in helping shape or reinforce your desire to pursue a research career in science, mathematics or engineering. (1,500 characters max)
3. Research essay (See instructions here)
4. Resume (include all research activities)
5. OASIS Grade Report or official USC transcript(s)
6. Transcripts from previous institutions (if you are a transfer student)
7. Permanent Residents: 1 copy of your Permanent Resident card, and letter of intent to become a U.S. citizen.
8. Three Letters of Recommendation – Recommenders should email letters directly to Erica Lovano McCann email@example.com and title letter, “Dear Goldwater Scholarship Review Committee”
PLEASE NOTE the Goldwater Campus Representative will not reach out to your recommenders on your behalf. It is your responsibility to request the three letters of recommendation and provide faculty the following instructions:
The mission of the Goldwater Foundation and its scholarship program is to help develop the nation’s next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Your letter should discuss the nominees overall potential and, in particular, the nominee’s potential to become a successful research scientist, mathematician or engineer. It is important, of course, for you to describe the context in which you know the student and for how long you have known the student. Do you see in this student the motivation, creative thought, stamina and ability to collaborate that are characteristics of those successfully practicing in these areas? Particularly helpful to the reviewers are your comparisons of the nominee to other students you have known and worked with who have successfully pursued doctoral degrees and/or have previously won Goldwater Scholarships or other nationally competitive awards. If there are any special circumstances or challenges the student has had to face that have negatively affected the student’s performance or that the student has faced and has successfully addressed and performed well in spite of these challenges, please discuss these in your letter. Tips for writing a Letter of Recommendation for Goldwater Scholarship nominees can be found on the Goldwater website at: https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/application-tips-for-references/
NOTE: If selected as a USC Goldwater nominee, you will be given access to the complete Goldwater application.
Sunday, December 10, 2017 by 11:59pm
Friday, January 26, 2018 by 5pm CST
USC Applicant Resources
- FAQs for Applicants – Pay special attention to: What’s the best strategy for writing the research essay?
- Application Tips for Students
- List of 2017 Goldwater Scholars by Institution State (includes Field of Study and Career Goals
- Read binder of successful Goldwater essays by USC students in STU 300 (no appointment needed, 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)