Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (sophomores and juniors)

Campus deadline: 12:00 (noon) pm EST on December 4, 2023

The mission of the Goldwater Foundation and its scholarship program is to help develop the nation’s next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, by awarding scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in these fields. 

All Wellesley College candidates for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship must first apply for Wellesley’s nomination. Wellesley is invited each year to nominate no more than four applications to go forward to the national competition. Interested Wellesley applicants are warmly encouraged to book a Fellowships advising appointment through Handshake or attend Fellowships Virtual Pop-ups (listings in Handshake).

**Recent Wellesley Goldwater Scholars include Medeea Popescu '17, Anne Shen '17, Catherine Nicoloff DS '19, Ella Mullikin '20, Ally Kim '21, Alexandra Martinez Lopez '22 and Harshini Raman '22Cora Barrett '23Lillie Godinez '24, and Kennedy Barnes, Jasmine Mosberger, and Rebeca Rodriguez '25!

Hear Goldwater Scholars' insights on graduate school, including applying for degree programs and scholarships, plus life as a graduate student: check out videos posted on the Goldwater website's homepage.

Application Planning

Worksheet with step-by-step advice coming soon!

Timeline overview for application process:

  • Spring and Summer: (i.e. the months before the December deadline):  

    • Visit the Goldwater website to learn more about the Scholarship and the application process.

    • Talk with faculty and research mentors about your interest in a research career and in applying for the Goldwater.

    • Identify reference-writers (the Fellowships team can help!) and request references.

  • August/September: Start writing, especially the research essay. Give yourself time to try several drafts and to seek feedback from faculty and the Fellowships team.

  • Early September: Goldwater application becomes available online.  

    • Note that you must complete and submit a brief pre-application before you’ll be able to access the full Goldwater application.

  • October 30, 2023: Optional Priority Draft Deadline for undergraduate fellowships and scholarships - submit drafts by this deadline via the form here to guarantee a draft review appointment before the campus deadline.

  • December 4, 2023 by 12:00 pm (noon) EST: Campus application deadline.  Application materials (see checklist below) should be submitted via the online form found here

  • December/early January: Campus review committee reads applications and sometimes interviews short-listed applicants before selecting no more than four applications to forward to the national competition.  

    • All applicants will be able to receive feedback, and nominees will be able to use this to finalize their applications in advance of the national deadline in late January.

  • Late January: Nominees’ final applications due so the campus fellowship advisor to forward materials to the Goldwater Foundation by the national deadline. All letters of reference must be submitted by this deadline.

  • Late March/early April: Scholarships and Honorable Mentions typically announced by the Foundation.


Who is eligible?

  • College sophomores or juniors planning to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering;
  • who have a college GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
  • who are United States citizens, permanent residents, and nationals.

What makes a strong applicant for this fellowship?

  • The student’s commitment to a research career and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field; and
  • Plans to pursue advanced degrees after college.

Where can I learn more?

Application checklist

  • You must first complete a very brief pre-application with preliminary information before you will be able access to the full application--this shouldn’t be difficult, but does require a little bit of extra advance planning.

  • Three recommendations: from STEM faculty, and including at least one from a research advisor if applicable. 

    • *NOTE that there are guidelines for recommenders on the official website, here, and format requirements for the submission of letters here. Please give your recommenders this link to allow them to submit their letters by the campus deadline - should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to

Submit the following, by the campus application deadline, via the online form found here:

  • Complete and submit the official online application form, then save a pdf to submit via the campus google form. (Even before the official online application opens, students may view a pdf version of the online application: under Step 4, see the link to the "online questionnaire.")

  • One essay discussing a research  issue or problem in your field of study that is of particular interest to you, typically describing research in which you are involved (no more than 3 pages, maximum; for further details, see the official tips for students)

  • CV/resume (not part of your official application, but helpful to the campus committee, thanks)

  • Unofficial copies of applicable transcripts (e.g. Wellesley, transfer, study abroad; see the note about transcripts on the official website); for the campus competition, all that's needed for a Wellesley transcript is the unofficial grade report students can access online)

  • Copy of Permanent Resident card if applicable.

  • Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials)