Goldwater Scholarship

College of Science & College of Engineering Goldwater Scholarship Internal Competition

Dear Sophomores and Juniors:

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 ($7,500 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 five years, six 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 PhD or MD/PhD 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 download the campus nomination application (96.9kb PDF).  The best way to edit the application is to save the PDF directly to your to your computer.

Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation from faculty members and/or research mentors. Mentors can be from outside of Notre Dame.

It is strongly recommend that interested students discuss applying with their advisor or (if appropriate) with a research mentor.

Deadlines: Both the campus nomination application and the three letters of recommendation are due via email to Lori Goffeney, senior administrative assistant; by 4:30pm on Monday, December 2, 2013. If preferred, hard copies can be submitted to the College of Science Dean's Office (215 Jordan Hall) by this deadline.

Information Sessions and Application Advice: Information sessions will be held October 29 at 4:00 p.m. in 301 Riley; October 30 at 5:00 p.m. in the Jordan Hall of Science Reading Room; and November 1 at 3:00 p.m. at (The November 1 session will also be archived as a video at that site.) Dr. Jeffrey Thibert, who has advised successful Goldwater applicants in the past, will be hosting the sessions. He is also available for application advice and/or feedback; contact him via email.

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 Application (96.9kb PDF).