Astronaut Scholarship

Provides $10,000 award to students in math, science, and engineering

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created to ensure that the United States would maintain its leadership in science and technology by supporting some of the very best science and engineering college students. Through the garnered support of former astronauts, industry leaders, educational institutions, and patrons, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to the best and brightest university students who excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Candidates for the scholarship must be nominated by their university (see application procedure below) and must exhibit leadership, imagination and exceptional performance in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The accomplishments of the Astronaut Scholar alumni have profoundly impacted our nation through technological innovations in health care, energy, defense, aerospace, homeland security, and so much more.

Deadline Information

University Endorsement Deadline: Monday, March 2, 2020

Eligibility Requirements

Scholarship nominees are those students who have shown initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field. Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.  Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Scholarship nominees must be U.S. citizens.
  • Scholarship nominees must be engineering or natural or applied 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. 
  • At the time of nomination, scholarship candidates must be at least second-year college students, have excellent grades, and have conducted a considerable amount of lab and research work in their field.
  • The Astronaut Scholarship is awarded only to students during their junior or senior year. In some cases students may carry their awards to a second year. Students must attend school full-time during both terms of the ASF-supported academic year.

Application Process

Students must be nominated by the University of Chicago to apply for this award.  The campus application requires the following:

  • Two (2) confidential recommendation letters from at least one UChicago faculty member and/or research PI and another individual familiar with your research and pursuit of academic excellence; uploaded to application site
  • A one-page personal statement (single-spaced) detailing a) your intellectual autobiography, including particularly relevant experiences while an undergraduate, b) your engagement in undergraduate research, including a brief description of your current research, and what you have learned through those experiences; and c) a brief statement about your plans for further graduate study, as well as your professional goals and career aspirations. 
  • Transcripts (unofficial is fine; please do not send screen shots or myUChicago grade reports);
  • A CV/academic resume.

All campus application materials must be uploaded via the ONLINE APPLICATION SITE. 

The University committee will select four nominees for submission to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Committee. The ASF National Scholarship Committee selects two recipients from each nominating institution.