What is the Goldwater?

Campus deadline: The First Friday in January
Foundation deadline:
The last Friday in January


 Established by Congress in 1986 to honor the career of Senator Barry Goldwater, the scholarships recognize promising undergraduates who plan to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD followed by a research career in engineering, mathematics or the natural sciences. The scholarships provide $7,500/year toward undergraduate expenses junior and/or senior year, including tuition, required books and living expenses. Junior level recipients may receive a maximum of two years of support. Senior level recipients will receive a maximum of one year of support. Up to 300 scholarships are awarded annually.

Eligibility Criteria

Full-time sophomore or junior during academic year of application (defined as two years or one year of undergraduate study remaining after application year); planning to pursue a PhD and research career in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering research (MD alone does not qualify, but MD/PhD does); outstanding undergraduate academic record (3.7 + GPA); engaged in undergraduate research; U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident.

Note: Candidates must be nominated by LMU and may not apply directly. Students interested in applying should contact the Office of National & International Fellowships (ONIF) for more information about the application process. Contact person: Dr. Stella Setka, 310.338.3792,

Selection Criteria

Academic achievement (grades, level of courses, awards, scholarships); progress toward research goals (research activities, career goals, course work); research essay (technical content, bibliography, organization/grammar); letters of recommendation (commitment to research, intellectual curiosity, potential for research contributions). Equal weight is given to the four evaluation criteria.

Application Process

To be considered for nomination, students must submit a completed application by the campus deadline. In early January, the LMU campus nominating committee reviews applications and endorses up to four nominees. Nominees will have the opportunity to revise their applications based on feedback from the campus committee. The Foundation deadline is late January. In March, the Goldwater Scholars and alternates are selected; in April, nominees are notified of their final status in the competition.

Campus Nomination Process

Please submit the following materials via email to ONIF by 5pm on the date of the campus deadline.

  1. Goldwater Nomination Form‌ (Available in late August.) Submit electronically to Dr. Setka.  If you are selected as a nominee, your application can be returned to you for editing.
  1. Letters of Recommendation from three professors who have supervised your undergraduate research and/or your undergraduate coursework in the sciences, engineering or mathematics. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all letters of recommendation have been posted online by the campus deadline. Recommenders do not need to send a paper copy of their letter to the campus Goldwater Nominating Committee. We cannot guarantee that the committee will review late letters.
  1. Transcripts from all colleges attended.  For campus purposes, an unofficial transcript or a copy of your LMU student record is fine, as are photocopies of transcripts from other institutions.  Submit via email attachment or in hardcopy.
  1. Research Essay, typed, two pages (one side only), in 2 column format, font size no smaller than 11 point (please include your name at the top of each page). Sample research essays available for viewing in the Office of National & International Fellowships (ONIF) (UHall 1879).  Please make an appointment by emailing Dr. Setka. Submit via email attachment.

For official information on the Goldwater Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here), please see the Goldwater Scholarship Website.


Application Essay TipsLetters of Recommendation Tips, Goldwater Checklist