Astronaut Scholarship

Information Sessions: NISO Week 9/17-9/21

Campus Deadline: February 21, 2019

Fields of Study: STEM (engineering, math, or natural or applied sciences)

Funding for: General scholarship applied to junior or senior year

Begin Application: Sophomore or junior year

Foundation Website:


The Astronaut Scholarship is funded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit organization created by the Mercury 7 astronauts in 1984. The foundation strives to aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to the very best and brightest college students pursuing degrees in STEM majors at select institutions. The foundation selects member institutions based on their history of producing significant numbers of professional scientists, academic scientists, engineers, and researchers. Purdue is a member institution and thus eligible to nominate students for the Astronaut Scholarship. One nominee from each institution is granted an Astronaut Scholarship annually. Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen
  • Working toward a degree in engineering, math, or natural or applied sciences
  • Current sophomore or junior during application period
  • Planning to pursue advanced degree(s) and a research career in engineering, math, or natural or applied sciences

Candidate Profile

  • Participation in a considerable amount of research in your field
  • Commitment to a career in research after graduation
  • Special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology (clearly identified and discussed in the faculty nomination and recommendation)
  • Motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in your field
  • Intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around you

Application Components

  • Nomination form with accompanying nomination letter from a faculty member (this will likely be initiated by you, not the faculty member)
  • Letter of support/nomination from a second faculty member
  • Financial summary form
  • Resume
  • 1000 word maximum personal statement
  • 250 word response to: Describe how your creativity and innovation in one of your extracurricular activities translates to creativity and innovation in your research
  • Certified trasncript (or transcripts)
  • Proof of citizenship (birth certificate, U.S. passport, or naturalization papers)

Application Procedure

All applicants MUST be nominated by their college or university. As such, Purdue applicants are reviewed by an internal committee. Purdue must review at least eight student nominations, choosing two for nomination to the ASF, which will ultimately decide which Purdue nominee receives the Astronaut Scholarship.

Detailed campus application information is provided directly to applicants once they declare their intention to apply.

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