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The Goldwater Scholarship

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2023 Goldwater Scholars: Emily Snell, Angelina Chan, Ben Przybocki, Xiaomian Yang, and Jenny Shi

2023 Goldwater Scholars. From left to right: Emily Snell, Angelina Chan, Benjamin Przybocki, Xiaomian Yang, and Jenny Shi. (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)


For outstanding juniors and sophomores who intend to pursue basic research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

  • Goldwater Pre-Application Deadline: Wednesday, 25 October, 2023, 5PM PST
  • Campus Final Application Deadline:  Monday, 27 November 2023, 5PM PST **SUBMIT EARLY: This deadline is strict**
  • Application Workshop: Wednesday, 18 October 2023, 2:30 pm by zoom. Register here.
  • Award:
    • Eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room + board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually
    • Sophomore scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support; Junior scholarship recipients are eligible for one year of scholarship support
  • Campus contact:
  • More information at: The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program national website


  • Nomination by Stanford through Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE)
  • Open to full-time registered sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue basic research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Students considering an MD or MD/PhD will be asked to clearly demonstrate how this degree serves a basic research agenda.
  • The selection process is highly competitive and experience indicates that only students with a GPA of 3.6 and above can expect to be successful in the competition (although the Goldwater Foundation website states that a GPA of at least a "B" or the equivalent is required, we have found it to be higher than this)
  • Applicants must be a US citizen, US national from Guam, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, or any other territory or possession of the United States, or a permanent resident (permanent residents will be asked to submit a copy of their permanent resident card)

How to Apply

The following steps must be completed for an application to be considered for campus nomination:

  1. Thoroughly read all materials found at the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Website. In addition, take note of the campus application process described below.
  2. Complete the Goldwater Pre-Application by the pre-application deadline to receive access to the full application and be matched with a Goldwater advisor.
  3. Meet with your assigned Goldwater advisor to review your intended letter writers and discuss your application.
  4. Request three letters of recommendation. By the Campus Application deadline, letters must be sent directly by the writer to
    • The Goldwater foundation requires letters to be formatted in a very specific way. Please provide the following Letter Writing Guidance to your recommenders when you make your request.
    • Ask your mentors to save the signed letter as a PDF and send the completed letter directly to
    • Begin this process early to give your mentors enough time to meet the campus deadline. We suggest you ask them at least a month before the application is due (the earlier is better) Tips for Soliciting Letters of Recommendation.
  5. Before the Campus Application deadline:

If you are selected as a Stanford nominee, you will work with the campus liaison and Goldwater advisors to refine your online application in early Winter Quarter.

Late applications will NOT be accepted.

Selection process

A committee of VPUE staff and faculty will review applications and select a maximum of four campus nominees. Goldwater permits a fifth nomination for a transfer student.

Additional Resources

  • You are strongly encouraged to consult with your faculty mentors and your assigned Goldwater advisor about the application.
  • Read sample application essays available at any of the following Academic Advising offices: Sweet Hall first floor; the AARC; the office of the Undergraduate Advising Director of your residence. If you will be away from campus while preparing your application, reach out to early to arrange an alternative way to view sample materials.
  • Get feedback from consultants at the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking or the School of Engineering’s Technical Communication Program on your essays