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Astronaut Scholarship

Overview and Introduction

Created in 1984 to honor the Mercury 7 astronauts, the Astronaut Scholarship is not just for students in aerospace engineering. Like the Goldwater Scholarship, its mission is to promote future U.S. scientists in all STEM fields.  The scholarship offers up to $15,000 and an invitation to network with other scholarship winners at an induction ceremony at the Astronaut Hall of Fame.  

The scholarship is for students planning research careers.  Students planning to pursue an MD only and conduct clinical research are not eligible, but those planning to pursue an MD-PhD and career in biomedical science research are eligible. 

Campus Application Deadline: January 12th, 2025 at 11:59pm ET


  • Degree-Level: Sophomore or Junior
  • Academics: Most successful applicants will have a 3.8 or above and at least a year of sustained involvement in one or more research projects
  • Citizenship: US citizenship is required

Selection Criteria:

  •  Scholarship 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. However, those intending to perform biomedical research are eligible.
  • 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. 

Application Deadlines

  • U-M Deadline: January 12th, 2025 at 11:59pm
  • Endorsement: U-M Nomination is required

Instructions for Prospective Applicants 

Prospective applicants should join the U-M Nominated Scholarships Canvas site for an overview of the application, program requirements, additional advising information, and more.  

Note: Applicants apply through to the STEM Research Career Award to be considered for Astronaut. Astronaut finalists will be given further instruction on applying.

Application Components 

  1. Several short-answer prompts
  2. Resume of research activities
  3. Resume of non-research activities
  4. Transcript(s)
  5. 3-page research essay
  6. 3 letters of recommendation