Goldwater Scholarship


About the Goldwater Scholarship
Application Instructions for University Nomination
Campus Deadline & National Deadline
Applicant Resources
2016 USC Goldwater Recipient

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.

Visit the Goldwater Scholarship website here.


Goldwater applicants must:

  • be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • be a sophomore or junior at the time of application
    • **PDP students must enroll in at least 12 units of undergraduate coursework each semester following grant receipt (you must be classified as an undergraduate rather than a graduate student while receiving the Goldwater Scholarship)
  • have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA (Please note Goldwater is very competitive and the average GPA of 2016 recipients was 3.96)
  • have selected a field of study that will permit admission to a graduate or professional program in preparation for a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Please review Fields of Study to ensure eligibility.

Applicant Instructions for University Nomination

  1. Thoroughly review the Goldwater Scholarship website.
  2. Schedule an initial meeting with Katie Calvert to review the requirements of the Goldwater Scholarship by November 18, 2016
  3. Complete a Goldwater Scholarship Student Profile and Pre-Application
  4. Students seeking the University’s nomination will submit the following materials via email to Katie Capra ( by Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 5pm.
    • 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)
    • 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 (1,5000 characters max)
    • Research essay (See instructions here)
    • Resume (include all research activities)
    • STARS Report
    • Three letters of reference (Recommenders can email letters to OR mail in hard copy to Katie Calvert, STU 300, Mailcode: 0896)
    • Permanent Residents: 1 copy of your Permanent Resident card, and letter of intent to become a U.S. citizen.

NOTE: If selected as a USC Goldwater nominee, you will be given access to the complete Goldwater application.

Important Deadlines

Campus Deadline

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by 4:30pm

National Deadline

Last Friday in January

USC Applicant Resources

Richelle Smith Wins 2016 Goldwater Scholarship

Richelle Smith received the Goldwater Scholarship as a junior studying Electrical Engineering. She has conducted research at USC’s Optical Materials and Devices Lab, Stanford’s Brains in Silicon Lab and USC’s Computational Oncology Lab. She has served as the Engineering Honors Colloquium Moderator, USC Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) Vice Chair and Treasurer and is a starter on the USC Horse Polo team. Richelle is dedicated to working on intellectually stimulating problems in electrophysics science and technology, and developing novel circuits and devices to improve the lives of people affected by disease or disability. Richelle’s career goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, conducting research on integrated circuits and teaching at a research university.

Richelle went on to win the Astronaut Scholarship in Spring 2016.


Back to Top