Carnegie Mellon University

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship


The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is designed to attract outstanding students into careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit to students who are sophomores or juniors during the current academic year and who have excellent academic records and demonstrated interest in and potential for careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.  The scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board to a maximum of $7,500 per academic year.  Junior scholarship recipients can expect to receive a maximum of two years of scholarship support.  Senior scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support.

  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident or U.S. national
  • Sophomore or Junior with a college grade-point average of at least “B” in the upper fourth of his or her class.
  • Majoring in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.

Nominees are evaluated on:

  1. Demonstrated potential for and commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.  Applicants should be planning on a Ph.D. in a STEM field, with the goal of pursuing a research career.  
    • Students who plan on the MD-Ph.D. are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career in medical practice.
  2. Outstanding academic performance (typically not less than an "A" in coursework for his or her major).
  3. Institution Nomination – verifying the nominee’s eligibility and academic status
  4. The extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.
  5. Three Recommendation Letters.
  6. Research - past, current and proposed research experience.


Students must first create an online account and complete the pre-application on the Goldwater website.  Potential applicants should submit the pre-application by October 24, 2018.  

Dr. Richelle Bernazzoli, the Goldwater campus liaison, will contact all pre-applicants to meet with her before they proceed to the full application.  In some cases, applicants may be advised to consider alternative scholarship programs.


Carnegie Mellon may nominate four students for the national competition.  The four nominees are chosen by a campus selection committee comprised primarily of faculty that meets in December.

Required Materials:

  • A signed FSO Scholarship Waiver
  • A complete Goldwater Scholarship application (including the research essay) submitted online. The research essay must use 12 pt Arial font and may not exceed three pages. If you receive a nomination, you will be able to make changes to your application ahead of the final deadline.
  • Transcripts for all colleges or universities attended, including study abroad (unofficial CMU transcripts are okay at this stage)
  • Three recommendation letters from STEM faculty. Letters must use 12-point Arial font and may not exceed three pages. Recommenders should email their letters directly to FSO.

Tips for applicants and recommenders:
Goldwater Application Tips (pdf)
Writing Recommendations for Goldwater (pdf)


Those students who have been nominated will work with mentors in their field of study to revise their materials for the final deadline.  They will then submit their final application packet online. The Fellowships and Scholarships Office will obtain and attach your transcripts to your application. Nominees are responsible for ensuring that any updated letters of recommendation are received by our office.