Goldwater Scholarship

College of Science & College of Engineering Goldwater Scholarship Internal Competition

I am writing to all sophomores and juniors in the College of Science and the College of Engineering, along with Mathematics majors in other colleges, to announce the opportunity to apply to be a Notre Dame nominee for a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship ($7500 per remaining year of undergraduate study).

A Goldwater Scholarship is a very prestigious award, and is also one in which Notre Dame has had a proven record of success: one to three of our nominees win a scholarship each year, and many of the winners go on to further academic achievements, gaining admission to prestigious graduate programs and receiving other highly competitive national awards. For instance, Goldwater Scholars have a much higher than average success rate in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship competition. The Scholarship has long-term impacts beyond the monetary award.

Over the past 6 years, 8 Notre Dame students have won this scholarship. Students have majored in a variety of fields: Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Biochemistry, and Civil Engineering. Even those who have not received the award indicate that the process of applying for scholarships as a sophomore or as a junior is a helpful learning experience for graduate school applications and other fellowship and grant opportunities later in life.

Every year, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation contacts the University to ask for the nomination of four students for an award. Following the suggestions of this foundation, we have created an internal competition for students who wish to be considered to be one of the four nominees.

Eligibility. To be considered for nomination, a student must:

  1. Be a current sophomore or junior pursuing a bachelor's degree on a full-time basis.
  2. Have a GPA of at least 3.70.
  3. Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, or resident alien.
  4. Have a demonstrated interest in obtaining a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. leading to a research-oriented career in mathematics, computer science, 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.

Characteristics of successful nominees.

  • Participation in research. Letters of recommendation from research mentors are very helpful.
  • Evidence of intellectual curiosity.
  • Outstanding academic achievement. Early participation in advanced courses is one way to demonstrate this.
  • Extracurricular or professional experiences related to mathematics/science/engineering. While this is not essential, it can strengthen an application.

For more information, visit the national Goldwater Scholarship website.

Application Process: Interested sophomores and juniors should complete the pre-application form as soon as possible, and no later than September 30, 2014. The pre-application form can be accessed at the bottom of this page. If it is after September 30, please contact to see if we are still accepting applications.

Mentors can be from outside of Notre Dame; in fact, if you have done research outside of Notre Dame, then you are required to have letters from those who have mentored you in that research.

Information Sessions and Application Advice: An information session will be held on September 25, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. in CUSE (110 Brownson). You can also view an online information session at Dr. Thibert will host the information session, and he will also be available for application feedback and advice.

Deadlines: Please submit the pre-application form to by September 30, 2014. After meeting with Dr. Thibert to discuss your eligibility, you will be given access to the campus application, which is due on November 18, 2014.

Notification: The four students who are chosen to be nominees will be notified in December. If chosen to be one of the four nominees, you will be able to work with us on refining the application material before the final deadline at the end of January.

Good luck!

Margaret Dobrowolska
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of Science
Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Professor of Physics
Designated Notre Dame faculty representative for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Jeffrey Thibert
Assistant Director of National Fellowships
Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement

Download the Notre Dame Goldwater Scholarship Pre-Application (Word Document).