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Scholarships established by our alumni make an important contribution to our undergraduate and graduate students' education. 
Please consider making a gift to our students via the Iowa State Foundation

Listed below are scholarships awarded to undergraduate students by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
For more information on scholarships available at the university level please visit the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences scholarship website.

Graduate Scholarships at the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Qiming Li and Xiaosha Wang Graduate Scholarship for Excellent Research in Physics

The Qiming Li and Xiaosha Wang Graduate Scholarship is a prestigious award at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. It is given to a graduate student for outstanding research performed at ISU as evidenced by the nominations of at least three faculty members and strong publication record among other requirements.

Undergraduate Scholarships at the Department of Physics and Astronomy

The David Collins Memorial Scholarship

The David Collins Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of David Collins, a very talented former student of this department. This award, established by the family, provides approximately $1400 of support to enable an entering freshman or sophomore physics major to participate in the activities of a research group.  Students can apply though OneApp by March 23rd, 2019.

Physics majors are selected by a review committee for interviews in the Spring Semester. Criteria for consideration include a strong physics background. Finalist determined by mid-Spring. The scholarship is in the form of hourly wages for the spring and fall semester, plus the possibility of summer support. 

Danielson Awards

Monetary awards presented each spring in memory of Professor Gordon Danielson, who was a long-time, prominent member of our faculty. The award is based on academic performance. Selection is made by the Departmental Awards Committee.

Bernice Black Durand Undergraduate Research Scholarship

This scholarship has been established by Bernice Black Durand, a Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin who received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Iowa State University. Its goals are twofold: to promote meaningful undergraduate research and to support women and minorities as undergraduates in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Candidates are nominated by their advisor, and selection is made by the Departmental Awards Committee. The scholarship is in form of hourly wages.

Legvold Award

The Sam Legvold Award was set up in the memory of a former faculty member, Dr. Sam Legvold. It is presented each year to a physics major to recognize outstanding academic performance. The award consists of $1,800, and the selection is made by the Department Award Committee.

Helen Jensen Howe Science Scholarship for Women

One award open to women physics majors entering their junior or senior year at ISU. Applicants should demonstrate consistently good scholarship, with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Demonstrated financial need will also be a consideration in the selection of scholarship recipients. The scholarship will be for a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $7,000 depending on need. Recipients may re-apply for a second year as long as they meet the established awards criteria.

One scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be offered to an incoming freshman woman. If she maintains a GPA of 3.0 or better, she will receive $500 during her sophomore year.

If appropriate physics student is not found, committee may consider awarding the scholarship to a woman majoring in another area of science who meets the other criteria outlined above.

The award is based on financial need and academic performance. Students should apply through the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics - Legacy of Heroines Scholarship Program.

Schirber Scholarship for Incoming Freshman

One $1,500 award given to outstanding freshman or sophomore physics majors or co-majors. The award is based on academic achievement, and the Department Awards Committee makes the selection based on academic records.

Hammer Scholarship for Upperclass Student

One monetary award given to outstanding junior or senior physics majors or co-majors. The award is based on academic achievement. The Department Awards Committee makes selection based on academic records. The scholarship may not be offered every year.

Arie and Catherine Breed Scholarship

This award is given to physics or computer science student. The awardee will be selected by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and is usually given to an incoming freshman student or transfer student.

The amound of the award is based on a percentage of the current market value of investments. The award winner must be a U.S. citizen, Iowa resident, and demonstrate financial need. 

Physics Achievement Award

Supports general department awards for undergraduates based on superior academic performance.

Mal Iles Innovation Awards

Mal Iles was an ISU physics undergraduate and graduate student and Ames laboratory scientist from 1973-1983. Mal died suddenly and unexpectedly of an epileptic attack in May 1983. He was unusually innovative and inventive person in both his scientific and non-scientific activities. His scientific interests included large-scale energy storage and space colonization, while his non-scientific concerns included journalism, mountain climbing and the Libertarian Party. The award is to honor the memory of Mal Iles by awarding each year $1,500 cash grants to physical science and engineering undergraduate students who show unusual interest in innovations and inventions.

Students submit a two-page application to a department committee. Academic course grades and financial need are not consideration for this award. More than one award may be presented in a given year.

Jun Ye & Huiqing Wang Award

An $1800 award for a physics undergraduate showing superior academic performance after completing their junior year.

Gene Ruby Scholarship

A $1000 award for a junior or senior physics undergraduate. Selection is based on academic performance and demonstrated financial need.

Physics Entrepreneurship Scholarship

A $2000 scholarship for juniors and seniors with a major or minor in physics and a major/minor in the College of Engineering or the Department of Architecture.