Fund Details
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Award Amount
Competition Type
Global/National - Yale Endorsement


Established by Congress in 1986 to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation operates an educational scholarship program designed to provide opportunities for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding research potential. Goldwater Scholarships support study in the fields of mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences as preparation for research careers in these areas. The Foundation will award up to 300 Goldwater Scholarships to students who will be college Juniors or Seniors during the academic year following application. Awards are made on the basis of merit.

Each award covers eligible undergraduate expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Goldwater Scholars are eligible for one or two years of support.

Yale College is invited to nominate up to four applications from Sophomores or Juniors to the national competition each year.

Application Information:

Note: The next deadline by which to apply for Yale's nomination for Goldwater is 1pm on November 18, 2019

Interested Yale applicants should first carefully read all the information given on the official Goldwater website, as well as the Yale application information here. Please disregard any instructions to complete a pre-application on the Goldwater site; the pre-application questions are duplicated in this form. Only nominated candidates will need to use the Goldwater system. 

Yale applicants may refer questions to Fellowship Programs at the Yale Center for International and Professional Experience (meetings by appointment).

To apply for Yale's nomination for the Goldwater, you will need:

  1. Three letters of recommendation: One must be written by a faculty member in the applicant's field of study and one by another person who can discuss the applicant's potential for a career in mathematics, engineering or the natural sciences. If the applicant has been involved in research, one evaluation must be from the individual who supervised the applicant's work. 

  2. A completed application via the Student Grants Database. If you are selected as a nominee you will complete an application via the Goldwater application tool. 

  3. Research Essay – typed and confined to three pages. The essay should discuss a significant issue or problem in the applicant's field of study that is of particular interest to her/him. This essay must include a description of the issue or problem, discuss an idea for research that could have significant impact on the issue or problem, describe an aspect of the research in which the applicant would be involved (or, ideally, has been involved already), and explain the relevance of the issue or problem to the applicant as a mathematician, scientist, or engineer. The content and style of the essay will be important to the success of the scholarship application, as it should demonstrate the applicant's ability to think and to write as a researcher. Assume that the reader is knowledgeable in mathematics, science, and engineering, and will have the expertise to read, review, and understand the complexities of the applicant's field of specialty. If the essay describes research in which the applicant is or was involved (as it should, ideally), the role of the applicant should be specified: sole researcher or collaborator with another individual involved. Include a bibliography, references, or illustrations, when appropriate, as part of the essay. Essays should be single spaced and use 12 point or larger Arial font and must not exceed 3 pages. The essay must include the following identifying information at the top of each page: a) Student’s Name & b) Name of student’s college or university. Single or double column format may be used.

  4. Transcripts: For the initial campus competition, applicants may submit unofficial transcripts. However, for the ensuing national competition, nominees will need to request official transcripts from the Yale University Registrar. An official transcript must also be requested from any other institution attended for post-secondary studies (to be sent directly to the Fellowships office). Only one official copy of each transcript is required.

Candidates whose applications are nominated by Yale to go forward to the national competition will have an opportunity to finalize their applications, with advice from the Yale committee, in advance of the national deadline in late January.  Following the national selection process, the new class of Goldwater Scholars, together with Honorable Mentions, are normally announced in late March. 

Special Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible are US citizens, resident aliens, or US nationals who are current full-time sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, engineering or the natural sciences. It is expected that Goldwater Scholars will pursue advanced degrees and research-oriented careers. Candidates who intend to study medicine (e.g. an MD/PhD) are eligible only if they plan a career in research rather than a career in medical practice.

Yale applicants must have a grade point average of 3.70 or above. The average GPA of Goldwater Scholars is 3.9+.

In selecting the award recipients, the candidate's field of study and career objectives will be considered, as will the extent to which the candidate has demonstrated the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field. Financial need is not a criterion for selection.

Restrictions to Use of Award:

This Scholarship is only for students hoping to pursue research careers in STEM fields.

Links to Additional Information:

  1. official Goldwater website
  2. Yale Fellowships application advice
  3. Book a Fellowships advising appointment
  4. STEM research opportunities for Yale College students

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Lindsay Lawton at

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