Goldwater Scholarship

Is it for you?

The Goldwater Scholarship was established to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics in the U.S. Awards are made annually, with each scholarship providing a maximum of $7,500 per year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Sophomore applicants are eligible for two years of support; junior applicants are eligible for one year of support.

What are the key dates?

Information sessions:

  • Thursday, October 29, 2020, at noon ET – please register on Zoom with your JHU email* to receive the link for this session
  • Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 5pm ET – please register on Zoom with your JHU email* to receive the link for this session

*Registration requests made without a Hopkins-affiliated email will not be accepted. Please note: the sessions are the same; no need to attend both.

Pre-application deadline: Monday, November 9, 2020 at 9am ET

By the deadline, you’ll need to submit the pre-application form on the Goldwater Applicants Blackboard site (to be added to the page and access the form, please email Dr. Barry a request to be added and include your JHED ID).

JHU campus deadline: Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9am ET

By this date, applicants who’ve been working with the NFP will submit their completed Goldwater campus application to the Blackboard site (more details on Blackboard).

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Goldwater Scholarship must:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • be sophomores or juniors in an eligible field of study (natural sciences, mathematics, engineering).
  • have a GPA in the top quarter of their class (3.7 or higher).
  • be intent on pursuing a Ph.D. and a career in research. Students interested in an M.D./Ph.D. may apply but must be intent on a career in research. The competition is not appropriate for students intending to go to medical school or to stop their education at the master’s level.
  • have significant lab research experience as the basis of and qualification for the Goldwater project proposal.

How do you work with the NFP?

JHU nomination is required through a campus selection process (JHU may nominate up to four candidates). Goldwater applicants work closely with Dr. Barry, meeting the various deadlines below, for the duration of the application process.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process. Your first steps are to attend an information session and then complete a JHU pre-application form. In preparation, have a closer look below for more resources to learn about the Goldwater.

late October-early November Attend an info session
mid-November Submit pre-application form; have an individual advising meeting with Dr. Barry
November – December Work on research essay and other application materials
early January Meet campus JHU deadline
mid-January Revise applications (for nominees)
late January Meet official Goldwater deadline

Are you competitive?

About 400-450 scholarships are awarded each year. Applicants first submit their materials to a campus committee for review. JHU chooses four students as nominees to the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. The campus committee offers the four nominees advice on how to improve their materials for final submission and nominees submit the final version of their applications shortly before the official deadline.

Selection decisions (both on-campus and at the national level) are based on the following criteria:

  • Academic record: A GPA above 3.7, evidence of intellectual intensity as shown by early participation in graduate courses, and accomplishments outside the classroom make a strong record. Selection committees also look for the applicant’s potential to make significant future contributions in his/her chosen field.
  • Research essay: The essay, written as if it were an article to be published in a scientific periodical and read by a professional audience, is not a research proposal. Typically, a strong, focused essay refers to past and future work. It describes a past research experience and your contribution to/involvement in that project, and then uses the experience either: 1) to describe research you might do to finish the project, for unfinished research projects; or 2) to use the experience, and the respective skills developed, to propose an entirely new project that builds on the previously developed research skills.
  • Commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering: Internships, research, and related employment strengthen a student’s application. Students should also have shown involvement in math/science/engineering student or professional organizations.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Evaluations must be from two faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in math, science, or engineering. At least one of these must be in your direct field of study. One letter must be from the person who has supervised your lab research. The third letter should be from a faculty member who can attest to your potential as a researcher in a STEM field.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about 2020 Goldwater Scholars

HUB article about 2019 Goldwater Scholars

HUB article about 2018 Goldwater Scholars

HUB article about 2017 Goldwater Scholars

HUB article about 2016 Goldwater Scholars

Read Sample Essays

A portfolio of previous applications is available after the first info session of each application cycle (typically early November). To view it, inquire at the Study Abroad Office in Levering Hall 04B, during regular walk-in hours (2:00-3:30pm, M-F). You must remain in the Study Abroad Office while viewing the portfolio and may not digitally reproduce any included materials.