To help the United States maintain its world leadership in science and technology, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation annually awards stipends of $10,000 to support outstanding students in math, science, and engineering. The Foundation seeks to recognize college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major.
To be eligible for the Astronaut Scholarship, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Candidates must be nominated by faculty members. Students may not directly apply for the scholarship.
- Nominees must be U.S. citizens.
- Nominees must be engineering or natural or applied science (e.g. astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, computer science) or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. Students intending to pursue a practice in professional medicine are not eligible for the scholarship.
- The Astronaut Scholarship is awarded only to students entering their junior or senior year (as determined by time to graduation).
- Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.
Although many students may be eligible to apply for this award, not all eligible students are competitive. Astronaut Scholars are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
- High Academic Achievement: A GPA above 3.8 and evidence of “intellectual intensity” as shown by a demanding curriculum and accomplishments outside the classroom. Selection committees also look for indicators that the student will make significant future contributions in his or her chosen field.
- Commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Internships, research, and related employment strengthen a student’s application. Students should also have shown involvement in math, science, or engineering student or professional organizations. Activities not related to math, science, or engineering bear little weight, however. Competitive applicants clearly demonstrate initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.
- Letters of recommendation: Evaluations should come from faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in math, science, or engineering. At least one of these must be in the applicant’s field of study. Applicants who have done research must obtain a letter from the individual who supervised his or her work.
To apply for this award, students must first be nominated by the University. The deadline to submit a completed application to Honors & Undergraduate Research is March 14, 2011. The University may nominate up to two students for this award.
To be considered for University nomination, one must submit the following materials to the Honors Programs office:
- A completed Faculty Nomination form accompanied by a letter of recommendation providing “examples of the [student’s] involvement and commitment to sciences beyond the formal classroom, as shown on the transcript, [recognizing that] creativity is an important attribute” in selecting Astronaut Scholars.
- An additional letter of recommendation
- A short (i.e. one-page) statement that discusses the applicant’s interests, activities, and goals.
- A one- or two-page resume
- An official transcript of all colleges and universities attended (as a degree-seeking student)
- A completed Financial Summary Form.
Nominations and letters of Recommendation should be sent directly to
Honors & Undergraduate Research
c/o Astronaut Scholarship Committee
MS 4233, TAMU
College Station TX 77843
Direct all questions to Kyle Mox, National Scholarships Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979.845.1957.