Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

For New Students | For Continuing Students

For New Students

Edward B. Nelson Scholarship

To incoming first-year students majoring in physics and astronomy. The scholarship is named after Professor Edward B. Nelson, a long-time professor in the department from the 1940s to the 1980s. Professor Nelson made the first precision measurement of structure of the ground state of the hydrogen atom, a result of tremendous importance for fundamental physics and radio astronomy. Professor Nelson was also heavily involved in undergraduate teaching during his career at Iowa. The winners of this scholarship are chosen by a faculty committee from incoming students, on the basis of ACT score results and high school records. No application is required; all qualified applicants are automatically considered.

Value: $1,000 (one award).

Shoemaker-Strickler Memorial Scholarship

These scholarships are for high-achieving first-year chemistry and/or physics majors. Up to two awards are given each year. Read more about the Shoemaker-Strickler Scholarship.

Value: Equal to resident cost of tuition, fees, and books. This total is approximately $13,000.

The Strayer-Rairden Scholarship in Physics

The Strayer-Rairden scholarship provides a $1,000 award, renewable for up to three successive years following the initial award, to an entering freshman from the state of Iowa. This person is selected by the Department of Physics and Astronomy as the state's best-qualified applicant who has declared physics or astronomy as their major. This scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit, not financial need.

As long as a scholarship winner maintains a 3.2 grade point average, and remains in the declared major specified above, the scholarship may be renewed for a total of four years or the completion of a baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first.

Value: $1,000 (one award).

Deadline: January 31.

For guidelines and application procedures, please visit http://www.physics.uiowa.edu/undergraduate-program/undergraduate-scholarships-and-awards/strayer-rairden-scholarship-physics.

For Continuing Students

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater. The purpose of the Program is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Funding for awards and administrative expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Students cannot apply directly to this program; they must be nominated by their departments. For more information, see The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Myrtle K. Maier Scholarship

For a junior physics major with preference to a female student. Award based primarily on scholastic ability, need, potential for success and ambition toward securing an advanced degree. May be renewed for one year with satisfactory academic progress. No application is required; qualified students are automatically considered.

Value: Amount varies (one or two awards annually).

William R. Savage Award

To a promising junior physics major who demonstrates academic excellence and shows promise of successful achievement in the field of physics. Award funds will be available for the student's senior year. Preference will be given to a student who has been an undergraduate research assistant, or who worked in experimental physics, or who participated in the Honors Program. Financial need is considered. Qualified students are automatically considered.

Value: Amount varies (one award).

George S. Schaeffer Scholarship

To be eligible for this scholarship, the applicant's family must reside in Iowa and be currently or historically engaged in agriculture. Up to 2 scholarships are awarded each year. Read more about the George S. Schaeffer Scholarship.

Value: Up to $3,000.

Waldo Edward & Martha Althaus Smith Memorial Award

To a senior (or less commonly, a junior) for outstanding work in physics and astronomy. This award is to encourage, promote, and foster interest in geophysics specifically by directing the award to a student with excellence in the relevant sciences, who has expressly manifested an interest in pursuing a career in geophysics. This award alternates between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Geoscience. It is awarded by the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the even years. Qualified students are automatically considered.

Value: Amount varies (one award).

Velma E. Stuit Scholarships

These scholarships are given to qualified female science majors. Read more about the Velma E. Stuit Scholarships.

Value: Up to $2,500

James A. Van Allen Award

To a senior for outstanding work in physics or astronomy. Qualified students are automatically considered.

Value: Amount varies (number varies).

Van Allen Research Grant

Personal stipends and ancillary expenses for undergraduate majors in physics and/or astronomy who undertake research projects under faculty guidance. Such grants are based on a brief written proposal, including budget, by the student and an endorsement by a mentoring member of the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Value: Amount varies (Number varies).

Contact: Heather Mineart in Room 203, Van Allen Hall (VAN) to view the list of potential projects available. The student will be able to review the list and work with the faculty mentor to develop the proposal. A short report is due to Heather after the project is completed.

Deadline: Early May--contact Department of Physics and Astronomy for exact date each year.

John and Stacey Wahl Scholarship

Scholarship is for graduate or undergraduate students studying physics. Recipients should be married, with preference given to those students with children. May be renewed. No application is required; qualified students are automatically considered.

Value: $2,000 (two awards)

Charles Wert Scholarship

Personal stipends and ancillary expenses for undergraduate majors in physics and/or astronomy who undertake research projects under faculty guidance. Such grants are based on a brief written proposal, including budget, by the student and an endorsement by a mentoring member of the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Value: Amount varies (Number varies).

Contact: Heather Mineart in Room 203, Van Allen Hall (VAN) to view the list of potential projects available. The student will be able to review the list and work with the faculty mentor to develop the proposal. A short report is due to Heather after the project is completed.

Deadline: Early May--contact Department of Physics and Astronomy for exact date each year.