Physics Scholarships

Physicists Work in Energy, Atomic and Plasma Specialties

Students pursuing degrees in Physics are often planning to embark on careers related to academia or scientific research.  Physics, and other technical disciplines also lead to employment with government agencies, particularly at the federal level.  Professionals physicists apply their education to work in a wide range of specialty areas, including energy and astronomy, as well as sub-specialties like plasma physics and molecular, atomic and optical physics.

Scholarships opportunities for academically talented physics students originate from diverse entities, including individual campus departments, which offer funding to support their academic programs. Colleges and universities also cooperate with private benefactors committed to science education, to create perpetual endowments for physics education.  Scholarships for science disciplines are highly competitive, because they draw top-shelf innovators, into prestigious programs.

physics scholarships

Government initiatives, and those sponsored by science associations and industry organizations, round-out the diverse scope of financial assistance available for physics majors.  The following resources are characteristic of available aid for physics education.

Federal Scholarships

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Scholarships are awarded to high-achievers pursuing degrees in technology, math, engineering and forward scientific fields, like physics. The purpose of the scholarships is to stimulate enrollment in STEM programs, in order to perpetuate the flow of qualified scientists and researchers.  Scholarship program participants must be prepared to work for the DHS, if positions are available following graduation. The program awards up to $1,000 monthly, to each participant, and recipients must accept summer internships with the DHS.

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors scholarships suited to Physics majors.  These recent initiatives provide funding for qualified STEM students:

  • The Federal Government remains focused on nuclear energy, so support for students pursuing nuclear physics education is high. The Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics Scholarship and Fellowship Program is designed for undergraduates enrolled in nuclear studies programs. Students applying for the scholarships must be enrolled at institutions participating in the program.  These academic powerhouses qualify, among others: Clemson University, Ohio State, Purdue and MIT.
  • Scholarships and fellowships in High Energy Physics provide students with generous opportunities in programs that offer such cutting edge studies as plasma physics. Students with excellent academic records may compete for internships at DOE laboratory and research sites. There are also programs available that are designed for women and minorities.

Professional and Organizational Scholarships

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships are among the most competitive and well-known math and science scholarships for the upper-crust of academia. Students must apply through participating colleges and universities, to earn these government-backed awards. Barry Goldwater Scholars are juniors and seniors enrolled in undergraduate programs that lead to science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. A few hundred awards are dispensed annually, to academically outstanding students. Awards are each valued up to $7500.

College Scholarships

James Madison University, in Virginia, offers the following scholarships for undergraduate Physics majors:

  • New students, including freshmen and transfer applicants, may qualify for Presidential Scholarships. Eligible applicants must be willing to declare a physics major, and maintain extremely high academic standards. Awards amounts vary, but two students earn the awards each year..
  • J. Robert Gordon Scholarship is named for a former faculty member, and provides $1500/semester, during each successful applicant’s freshman year.  Eligibility for this award is based on faculty nominations, which qualify first-year Physics students.
  • Physics Alumni Faculty Scholarships  are funded by the school’s Alumni Foundation. Upper level Physics majors who are at the top of their academic classes, each earn $1,000 toward annually tuition expenses

Students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies related to Physics, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are eligible to apply for scholarships sponsored by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Among recently offered programs:

  • John Almy Scholarships are awarded to students who best embody the spirit of the school’s physics department, in combination with an unparalleled drive to succeed in the field.
  • U.S. Harkson Memorial Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates and graduate students whose career goals are to become educators within the field of physics.
  • Physics and Astronomy Alumni Scholarships are made available to students new to the major.

University students pursuing degrees at Virginia Tech, in the school’s College of Science – Department of Physics, are eligible to compete for campus financial aid.  These recent offerings target high-achievers, within the Department:

  • H.Y. Loh Award is awarded annually, to a top senior approaching graduation in Physics.
  • Alice Estes Martin Scholarship is designed for academically talented Physics majors with passionate interest in teaching.
  • Frank Leigh Robeson Scholarships are awarded to students, based criteria including academic standing, personal character, career goals and extracurricular participation.
  • Colonel Nelson Carey Brown Memorial Scholarships go to Physics majors, who qualify by exhibiting high academic potential, and demonstrating financial need.

High school seniors, who have declared Physics, or Engineering Physics majors at Ohio State University are encouraged to apply for valuable campus-sponsored financial aid.  The Valentino Physics Academic Achievement Scholarship program provides full-ride packages, worth the total cost of tuition for a four year enrollment, for highly qualified Physics stand-outs.


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