About the Scholarship
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was established in 1984 as the Mercury Seven Foundation by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury Seven astronauts. Since its founding, more than 100 astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs have united to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships for the very best students pursuing science, technology, engineering or math degrees. The Foundation awards over 50 scholarships annually, each worth up to $15,000, to exceptional college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major.
Scholarship nominees are those students who have shown initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field. Competitive nominees will be:
- U.S. citizens
- high-achieving sophomores and juniors; transfer students must have completed at least three semesters at USC to be eligible
- majoring in Natural or Applied Science, Engineering, Technology or Mathematics (biomedical research students are eligible, however, those pursuing a practice in professional medicine are ineligible)
- experienced researchers in their specific field
- nominated by a USC faculty member who will provide a nomination letter on the nominee’s behalf
- Must have conducted a considerable amount of work outside the classroom in their chosen field of study. This may include laboratory research, cooperative education, internships, relevant military experience, entrepreneurial endeavors, and/or documented independent work resulting in technical papers, patents, or similar work product
- Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.