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Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

Undergraduate Application-Based Scholarships and Awards

Ralph B. Bodine Scholarship

The Physics Department invites undergraduate physics students at the University of Michigan to apply for the Ralph B. Bodine Scholarship. The scholarship is made possible by a gift from Norman R. Bodine ('64) and United Technologies. It is named in honor of Ralph B. Bodine, a 1936 University of Michigan graduate.

The Scholarship provides annual support to a junior-standing student (applications should be submitted by current sophomore-standing students) with proven academic ability in the Department of Physics. The recipient must be a citizen of the United States and in need of financial assistance. If no undergraduates in physics meet the qualifications, the scholarship is to be given to an undergraduate in electrical engineering or to a first- or second-year graduate student in physics, in order of preference. Each recipient will receive scholarship support for two years, contingent on satisfactory academic performance and full-time enrollment status.

Award Amount: Provides scholarship support for two years: $5,000 per semester for in-state students and $10,000 per semester for out-of-state students

Number Awarded: Up to two students per year

Scholarship Criteria: Prospective students must be citizens of the United States and receiving financial aid to cover tutition expenses. Students should currently be of sophomore-standing to apply.

Deadline: All materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the second Monday in March. The scholarship is awarded in early April.

Apply: Bodine Scholarship Application

The 2022 Ralph B. Bodine Scholarship was awarded to Claire Lundy.

Past Recipients
2021 Anna Simpson
Laura Zichi
2020 Safi-ur-Rahman Syed
2019 Sabrina Corsetti
2018 Anthony Morales
2017 Noah McNeal

Ezra Lesser


Alec Josaitis


Pranav Rao


Hassan Ali


Nico Wagner


Phillip Bonofiglo


Sophie Zhang

Wirt & Mary Cornwell Prize - Undergraduate


The Cornwell Prize is given to a graduating Physics major who has demonstrated intellectual curiosity and given promise of original study and creative work. The award can be made to honor research, teaching, or any other contributions made to the intellectual life of the Department.

Award Amount: $5,000

Number Awarded: Up to two students per year

Award Criteria:

    Student must:

  • Graduate in the current academic year 
  • Be a declared Physics major
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.5
  • Have been involved in research while an undergraduate student
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from a Physics faculty member

Deadline: Student completes the application and submits it to the Student Services Office (1440 Randall) no later than 5 p.m. on the second Monday in March. The prize is awarded in early April. 

Apply: Wirt & Mary Cornwall Prize Application

The 2022 recipients of the Wirt & Mary Cornwell Prize for Undergraduates were Bernie Dong and Jiaming Pan.

Past Recipients
2021 Sabrina Corsetti
Jiaheng He
2020 Sophie Hourihane
2019 Tali Khain
2017 Jacquline Beechert 
Wenli Zhao
2016 Efrain Segarra
2015 Yunjie Yang
2014 Timothy (Patton) Doyle
2013 Jonathon Hunacek
2012 Benjamin Isaacoff
2011 Kate Miller
2010 Steven Moses

William L. Williams Thesis Award

This award is established in memory of Professor William L. Williams to honor an outstanding undergraduate thesis. The award recognizes a student who exhibits excellence in posing a question, conducting independent investigation, and determining an answer.

Award Criteria: You must be a University of Michigan student receiving a bachelor's degree in Physics in the current academic year.

Award Amount: $5,000

Number Awarded: One student per year

How to Proceed: Please send your completed thesis in PDF format to A supporting letter by the thesis advisor is required. Among other things, the letter should include a description of the specific, independent contributions of the student to the thesis. Additional supporting letters are optional, but encouraged. 

Deadline: Submit materials to the Student Services Office ( by 5 p.m. on the last Monday in March. The awardee is chosen in early April.

The 2022 recipients of the William L. Williams Award were Jiaming Pan and Joseph Ryan.

Past Recipients
2021 Jiani Fei
Luc Le Pottier
2020 Zhiquan Sun
2019 Tali Khain
2018 Alec Josaitis
2017 Wenli Zhao
2016 Jessica Micallef
2015 Yunjie Yang
2014 Kareem Hegazy
2013 Phillip Bonofiglo
2012 Kassandra R. Anderson
2011 Pavel Chvykov
2010 Jason Hindes

Student Awards which Require Nomination

The Patrick Dahlin Memorial Award

Patrick Dahlin was a Fall 2014 admit to the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Early on in his freshman year, Patrick discovered an interest in astrophysics that eventually led him to switch to the College of LSA and declare majors in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics. Patrick proved himself to be a very strong student and researcher, maintaining a near perfect GPA in his coursework, before his passing in October 2016. This award was established through a generous gift to the department to honor his memory and to recognize the anticipated contribution to the field of physics by promising students. Students are nominated by Physics and Astronomy faculty; the Physics Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies decides on the final awardee(s). 

Award Criteria: An undergraduate pursuing a major in Physics who shows great promise in their studies and/or research involvement. 

Award Amount: $1,000 if to one student; $500 each if to two students

Number Awarded: up to two students per year

The 2022 recipients of the Patrick Dahlin Memorial Award were Bryan Helz and Samara Steinfeld.

Otho Lyle Tiffany & Mary Lois Tiffany Fellowship

This prize is for non-graduating physics students who show great promise and progress in their academic efforts. This award is given to students based on faculty nominations and the deliberation of the Undergraduate Awards Committee.

Award Criteria: You must be a University of Michigan student working towards a bachelor's degree in Physics in the current academic year.

Award Amount: up to $3,000 

Number Awarded: Varies; dependent on the competitiveness of the nominees. 

The 2022 recipients of the Otho Lyle Tiffany & Mary Lois Tiffany Fellowship were Elise Kesler and Ruide Xu.

Past Recipients
2021 Jiadong Liu
2020 Sabrina Corsetti
2019 Liam Blanchard
2018 Dhayaa Anbajagane
2017 Alec Josaitis
2016 Timothy Borucki
2015 Jaqueline Beechert
Josephine Dykstra
Jared Dziurgot
Joseph Golec
Alexander Kavner
2014 Katherine Coppess
Ryan Levy
Arielle Maxner
Julia Pakela
Noah Shutty
2013 Kyle Gordon
Yashwanth Lagisetty
Erik Ljungman
Bardia Nadim
Jon White
2012 Neal Anderson
Alexander Blaty
Sean Carney
Mary Hemmeter
Kareem Hegazy
 Tyler Hughes
2011 Nicholas Hac
Jonathon Hunacek
Emily Lichko
William Murdock III
Justin Priest
2010 Trevor Gray
Laura Lai
Michael Stewart
Benjamin Treweek
Zimu Li

Walter W. Wada Award for Community Engagement

Walter W. Wada was a native of California who received his Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Utah and later received his PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan. During World War II, Dr. Wada, who was a Japanese-American, was interred in a concentration camp within the U.S. after Imperial Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor. Despite his experience in forced relocation and incarceration by his own government, Dr. Wada went on to serve his country through service as a nuclear physicist for the U.S. Navy's secret Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. He also had a prestigious academic career first at Northwestern University and then at The Ohio State University until his retirement in 1989. Dr. Wada made extensive contributions towards research to national and international centers for theoretical high energy physics. 

The Walter W. Wada Award seeks to honor his memory by recognizing an undergraduate student who has sought out ways to build community, increase cultural understanding, and/or promote respect for diversity within the STEM and/or physics community at large. In this way, the Physics Department wants to encourage students who are advocating for the inclusion of all persons within science and the prodigious contributions that everyone is capable and welcomed to bring. 

Award Criteria: Nominees should be undergraduate University of Michigan students studying physics. Students are nominated by any member of the University of Michigan community (faculty, student, or staff). 

Nominations are due the second Monday in March and can be emailed to The award is decided by the Physics Department DEI Committee in early April. 

Award Amount: $750.00

Number Awarded: One student per year

The 2021 recipient of the Walter W. Wada Award was Kevin Zvonarek.