Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to second and third year students who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. The Goldwater Foundation seeks students who display intellectual curiosity and intensity and possess potential for significant future contributions in their chosen field.

Approximately 300 students nationwide will receive a Goldwater Scholarship, and UNC will endorse up to four students for the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. Second year students awarded the scholarship receive two years of support, and third year students receive one year of support.

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You must meet the following eligibility requirements to apply for the Goldwater Scholarship:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or a U.S. national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.
  • Be a full-time matriculated second or third year student pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education during the current academic year, as defined by the Goldwater Scholarship’s Conditions of Eligibility.
  • Possess a competitive GPA and rank in the upper fourth of your class. (Most competitive applicants have a 3.6 GPA or higher.)
  • Have your pre-application approved by ODS.
  • Be nominated by a faculty member during the current application year.
  • Receive UNC’s endorsement through the Office of Distinguished Scholarships (ODS).

Deadline to Apply for UNC Endorsement

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 (Students must be nominated by Wednesday, October 4, 2017)

Nomination by a UNC Faculty or Staff Member

Eligible students who are interested in pursuing a Goldwater Scholarship must be nominated for the award by a UNC faculty or staff member before they apply for UNC’s endorsement. Students may reach out to a UNC faculty or staff member and ask to be nominated. A call for nominations will be sent by late September.

The nominating faculty or staff member must submit the student’s nomination via email ( by the email nomination deadline in October. The nomination must include the student’s name, PID, and UNC email address, as well as the nominator’s name and email address. Faculty and staff members who want to nominate a student and did not receive the call for nominations from ODS should contact ODS for details.

Students may apply to the Goldwater Foundation only after they have been nominated by a UNC faculty or staff member and then endorsed by the UNC Goldwater Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application Deadlines

Email nomination deadline

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 (11:59 pm ET)

Application Deadline

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 (5:00 pm ET)

Tips & Advice

Students interested in applying for the Beinecke Scholarship should:

  • Review the ODS “Tips & Advice” document for general advice on applying for a distinguished scholarship
  • Attend an ODS information session to learn more about the application process.
  • Contact ODS and Professor Justin Sawon, Chair of the UNC Goldwater Scholarship Selection Committee, with questions.
  • Applicants who would like feedback on preliminary drafts of their essay and list of research experiences are encouraged to submit them to ODS before the end of the summer or at least two weeks before the endorsement application deadline.
  • Applicants for endorsement may also contact ODS either in person (by appointment) or at for application review and questions.

Recent Goldwater Scholarship Recipients

Scott Emmons (2016-17)

Sarah Miller (2016-17)

Chiara Pancaldo Salemi ’17 (2015-16)

Larry Han ’16 (2014-15)

Anya Katsevich ’17 (2014-15)

Mary Kaitlyn Tsai ’16 (2014-15)