Scholarships

Shoemaker-Strickler Memorial Scholarship
Total award up to $15,000 (Equal to resident cost of tuition, fees, and books).

This scholarship is open to newly admitted students who will begin their undergraduate studies the next fall semester. Eligible applicants must be majoring in Chemistry or Physics and have an ACT composite score of 30 or above and an ACT Math subscore of 30 or above.

This award is renewable for a total of four years or to graduation, whichever comes first, as long as the student remains enrolled full-time as a Chemistry or Physics major in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and maintains a 3.50 University of Iowa grade point average.

For more information, visit the Shoemaker-Strickler Scholarship page.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Awards up to $7,500.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 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, visit the The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship website.

The Strayer-Rairden Scholarship in Physics
One award of $1,000 (renewable for up to three sucessive years following the initial award).

Deadline: January 31st

The Strayer-Rairden scholarship is available 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.

For guidelines and application procedures, please see the Strayer-Rairden Scholarship Packet.

Edward B. Nelson Scholarship
Award amount varies (number varies).

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.

Myrtle K. Maier Scholarship
Award amount varies (one or two awards annually).

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.

George S. Schaeffer Scholarship
One or two award(s) of $3,000.

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.

For more information, visit the George S. Schaeffer Scholarship page.

Waldo Edward & Martha Althaus Smith Memorial Award
Award amount varies (one award annually).

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.

Velma E. Stuit Scholarships
Awards up to $2,500.

These scholarships are given to qualified female science majors. For more information, visit the Velma E. Stuit Scholarship page.

James A. Van Allen Award
Award amount varies (number varies).

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

Van Allen Research Grant
Award amount varies (number varies).

Deadline: February 1

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. See the application form here.

Contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy 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 the department after the project is completed.

John and Stacey Wahl Scholarship
Two awards of $2,000.

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.

Charles Wert Scholarship
Award amount varies (number varies).

Deadline: February 1

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. See the application form here.

Contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy 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 the department after the project is completed.

Other Scholarships and Fellowships

General UI Undergraduate Scholarship Information
Scholarship Portal for Undergraduate Students (filtered for "Physics" and "Astronomy")
Scholarships for First-Year Students and Transfer Students
Office of Student Financial Aid Scholarships

CLAS Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supports numerous scholarships through the college's annual scholarship competition. For a list of scholarships available in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and information on applying for scholarships, visit the CLAS Scholarships page.