Undergraduate Scholarships and Honors

There are a variety of resources, honors, and awards available to undergraduate majors within the Department of Physics and Astronony through Department, University, and External sources. A concise but by no means complete list, with related information, is given below.

Starting in Fall 2012, the University has instituted a new program supporting undergraduates through merit-based scholarships. Full details can be found at KU Affordability.

    2012-13 Kansas Resident Renewable Scholarships

    You'll be considered for these renewable scholarships if you submit a complete admission application by Nov. 4, 2011.

    Scholarship Test Score +
    GPA on 4.0 scale
    Amount Annual Renewal Criteria
    National Merit Finalist,
    National Achievement Finalist,
    National Hispanic Scholar

    Must select KU as No. 1
    college choice with
    National Merit
    Scholarship Corp.

    $40,000
    ($10,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Chancellor

    32 ACT/1400 SAT
    3.85 GPA

    $20,000
    ($5,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Traditions

    31 ACT/1360 SAT
    3.75 GPA

    $16,000
    ($4,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Crimson & Blue

    28 ACT/1250 SAT
    3.5 GPA

    $8,000
    ($2,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Rock Chalk

    25 ACT/1130 SAT
    3.5 GPA

    $4,000
    ($1,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Jayhawk

    24 ACT/1090 SAT
    3.75 GPA

    $4,000
    ($1,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    KU Pell Advantage*

    22 ACT/1020 SAT
    3.25 GPA

    Combination of scholarships
    & grants to fund tuition & fees
    24 KU hours
    + 2.5 GPA
    Scholarships listed above are available to eligible domestic freshmen who enroll for the fall semester after completing high school. Most scholarships cannot be combined.
    *Must file the FAFSA by the 3/1 priority date each year and be Pell-eligible.

    Special Kansas Freshman Scholarships

    Follow additional instructions to apply for these scholarships. Deadlines vary.

    Hixson Opportunity Award for students who would otherwise not be able to attend KU. Deadline: Feb. 1

    J.L. Cleland GLBT Non-discrimination Award Deadline: March 1

    2012-13 Nonresident Renewable Scholarships

    You'll be considered for these renewable scholarships if you submit a complete admission application by Nov. 4.

    Scholarship Test Score +
    GPA on 4.0 scale
    Amount Annual Renewal Criteria
    National Merit Finalist,
    National Achievement Finalist,
    National Hispanic Scholar

    Must select KU as No. 1
    college choice with National
    Merit Scholarship Corp.

    $40,000
    ($10,000/year)*
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Midwest Student Exchange
    Program (limited majors
    and states)
    **

    24 ACT/1090 SAT
    3.25 GPA

    $37,200
    ($9,300/year)*
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    KU Excellence

    28 ACT/1250 SAT
    3.5 GPA

    $37,200
    ($9,300/year)*
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    KU Distinction

    25 ACT/1130 SAT
    3.5 GPA

    $12,000
    ($3,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    KU Achievement

    24 ACT/1090 SAT
    3.75 GPA

    $8,000
    ($2,000/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
     
    JAYHAWK GENERATIONS
    Must have a parent, stepparent, grandparent, step-grandparent, or legal guardian who graduated from KU. Recipients with 24-27 ACT scores and 3.5 GPAs also may be eligible for KU Distinction or KU Achievement scholarships.

    28 ACT/1250 SAT
    3.5 GPA
    26-27 ACT/
    1170-1240 SAT
    3.5 GPA
    24-25 ACT/
    1090-1160 SAT
    3.5 GPA
    $37,200
    ($9,300/year)*
    $17,200
    ($4,300/year)*


    $10,320
    ($2,580/year)*
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA


    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Scholarships listed above are available to eligible domestic freshmen who enroll for the fall semester after completing high school. Most scholarships cannot be combined.
    * Partial tuition waiver
    ** Eligible majors: African and African American studies; American studies; astronomy; classics; dance; engineering physics; geology; health education/community health; humanities; journalism and mass communications; Latin American studies; music education; music performance; music therapy; petroleum engineering; physics; religious studies; Russian, East European and Eurasian studies; Slavic languages and literatures; visual arts education; or women's studies. You must live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, or Wisconsin.

    2012-13 Transfer Student Renewable Scholarships

    You'll be considered for these renewable scholarships if you submit a complete admission application by Feb. 1.

    GPA Requirement Award Amount Annual Renewal Criteria
    3.75-4.0 GPA $3,000 for two years
    ($1,500/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    3.5-3.74 GPA $2,400 for two years
    ($1,200/year)
    30 KU hours
    + 3.4 GPA
    Last school attended must be a community college. Must have completed 36 credit hours and not have earned a bachelor's degree previously.

    Transfer Student One-Time Non-Renewable Scholarships

    You'll be considered for these renewable scholarships if you submit a complete admission application by Feb. 1.

    Scholarship Award Amount Criteria
    All-State Kansas Academic Team $1,000 Minimum 3.75 community college GPA
    Phi Theta Kappa* $500 Minimum 3.75 community college GPA

 


Departmental

Badgley Scholarship

Established by the estate of Ralph E. and Esther Weik-Badgley, KU Classes of 1926 and 1925, respectively, this scholarship provides up to $1000 per year for up to four years for a female undergraduate majoring in Astronomy, Physics, or Engineering Physics. The awardee is selected by a Departmental committee from applicants to the University who have designated their major as Astronomy, Physics, or Engineering Physics. Selection is based upon a combination of high school GPA and ACT or SAT scores.


Harriett L. Johnson Scholarship in Astronomy

The Harriett Johnson Fund was established by Lindley Johnson, alumnus of the Astronomy program, to honor his mother, Harriett Johnson. The funds are used for scholarship support of undergraduate majors within the Astronomy program. This scholarship provides up to $1000 per year for four years for an undergraduate majoring in Astronomy. The awardee is selected by the Astronomy faculty from freshman applicants to the University who have designated their major as Astronomy on their application for admission. Selection is based upon a combination of high school GPA and ACT or SAT scores. If the scholarship isn't awarded to an incoming freshman, the funds are used to provide scholarships of up to $500 per year for astronomy majors classified as sophomores. Sophomore awardees are selected based upon their KU transcript as of the Fall semester of their sophomore year and an essay evaluated by the Astronomy faculty.


Tombaugh Research Internship in Astronomy

The Tombaugh Fund is set up to support the needs of majors within the Astronomy program and the equipment/observatory needs of the Astronomy program. One key focus of the Fund is the support of summer research projects for undergraduate majors within Astronomy. Typical summer support for the interns amounts to approximately $1500. Applicants are chosen by the astronomy faculty based upon the feasibility of the project, the availabilty of an astronomy faculty supervisor, and the qualifications of the undergraduate applicant.


Francis W. Prosser Scholarship

The award, established through the generosity of Professor Emeritus, Frank Prosser, is given annually to a major in Physics or Engineering Physics with at least 30 credit hours but no more than 59 completed after the Spring term and an overall GPA of 3.5 or better. The award amounts to between $500 and $1000 per semester for two semesters.


Hansel Award in Engineering Physics

Established by the family of Paul G. Hansel, this scholarship is given annually to a student in Engineering Physics to cover tuition and fees. Preference is given to Kansas residents, with Nebraska residents considered next. This scholarship is normally awarded to a sophomore. (For more information, contact Dr. Steve Hawley at: sahawley@ku.edu.)


Undergraduate Scholars Award

This scholarship provides up to $500 per year for up to four years for an undergraduate majoring in Astronomy, Physics, or Engineering Physics. The awardee is selected by a Departmental committee from applicants to the University who have designated their major as Astronomy, Physics, or Engineering Physics. Selection is based upon a combination of high school GPA and ACT or SAT scores. If the scholarship isn't awarded to an incoming freshman, the funds are used to provide scholarships of up to $500 per year for departmental majors classified as sophomores. Sophomore awardees are selected based upon their KU transcript as of the Fall semester of their sophomore year.

Wyman Storer Award

The award is given annually to the senior in the Department, expected to graduate in May or the following December, who has provided service to the Astronomy Program at KU in excess of what can be reasonably expected of a good student.


Stranathan Award

The award, given annually, is made to a physics major who meets all of the following requirements as of the nine-months academic year ending on or about June 1:
(1) Has completed sufficient work to be classified officially as a senior;
(2) Has somewhat more than one semester's work remaining for the Bachelor's degree;
(3) Has at least 30 semester-hours credit for work taken at KU;
(4) Has at least 10 hours credit in physics courses open only to juniors and seniors at KU;
(5) Highest overall GPA, all courses included and reckoned by the method prescibed by the University.
The annual stipend can be up to $1000 per semester for two semesters starting in or about Sept. 1, the final amount dependent upon the number of awardees.


Outstanding Senior in Physics and Astronomy

The award is given annually to a senior graduating in the current academic year with a major in any of the Department's programs with the highest GPA for credits earned at the University of Kansas, provided the awardee has earned credit for or is currently enrolled in a minimum of 32 hours of physics and/or astronomy courses. The awardee's name is added to the hallway plaque


Graduation with Honors

A student who plans to graduate with Honors must file a Declaration of Intent Form with the Departmental Honors Coordinator, preferably during his/her junior year but, in any case, no later than the enrollment period for the final undergraduate semester prior to graduation. All of our Department Honors' requirements include student research for which results shall be presented in written form and accepted by three members of the Department faculty. Certification forms with the specific requirements for PHYSICS, ASTRONOMY, and ENGINEERING PHYSICS can be downloaded using the links below:
PHYSICS
ASTRONOMY
ENGINEERING PHYSICS





University

A full list of scholarship opportunities available to incoming freshman is provided at the web site of the KU Office of Admissions and Scholarships.Some specific examples of financial and academic resources of direct relevance to majors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy is given below.


KU Undergraduate Honors Program

The Honors Program provides enriched educational opportunities to the most academically talented, promising, and motivated undergraduate students at KU. It does this through honors courses, programs, and tutorials with top faculty members.It also provides services such as honors orientation, personalized academic advising, and help adjusting to college life, navigating the university, facilitating research, and identifying resource opportunities.
Majors within the Department who qualify for the program are strongly encouraged to apply for admission to the Honors Program.


Undergraduate Research Awards

Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs) provide support for original, independent research by Lawrence-campus undergraduates, under the general guidance of a member of the graduate faculty. They are not intended to provide faculty members with assistants, but students may well be associated with faculty research projects as independent investigators. UGRAs are awarded on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record, and recommendations from faculty members who are familiar with the applicant and the proposed project. For the purpose of this competition, 'research' should not be construed too narrowly. UGRAs are for the support of independent projects that constitute work that is original and substantive given the standards and objectives of the field. For the Spring Semester, up to 10 awards of $500 each are provided. For the Summer session, awards increase to $1200. Majors are encouraged to discuss possible projects with the appropriate faculty.


Chancellors Club Scholar

Sixteen University of Kansas freshmen are selected annually as Chancellors Club Scholars. The Chancellors Club, the major-donor organization at the Kansas University Endowment Association, finances the renewable scholarships, which recognize National Merit finalists who have outstanding high school records.


College Scholarships

A number of merit-based scholarships are available for worthy and deserving students studying in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Known collectively as the College Scholarships, they include the Virginia & Edwin Andrews, the Verne Wagner Bratton, the Martha Cook Clarke, the Mary Lou Miller Graves, the Wheeler Russell Gregory, the John & Marion E. Kreamer, the Neta Reinhardt, the C.E. Spahr, the English Faculty Memorial Scholarship, the Adolf Spangler Scholarship, the Lear, and the Lawson. Also available is the Frederick and Myrtle Lasly Epps Scholarship, for which preference is given to students with majors in both the College and in Engineering. The stipend associated with these awards is normally around $1,000.00. Last year a total of 69 scholarships were awarded.


Dean's Scholars Program

The Dean's Scholars Program reaches out to academically talented undergraduate students in KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences interested in pursuing careers in academia in a discipline represented by the College from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. Admitted students enter the two-year Dean's Scholars program as juniors or with two years remaining in their academic program.
Program components include: a $1,000 scholarship, a sequence of four seminars to enhance skills and strategies for success at the graduate school level, assigned mentors from the faculty in a students field of interest, and academic and career counseling and social gatherings.


Noyce Scholars Program

The Noyce Scholars Program of the KU School of Education (SOE), with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), addresses the extensive needs for high quality mathematics and science teachers in the State of Kansas and nation. Specifically during 2003 – 2007, the Noyce Scholars Program will provide support for 24 undergraduates in mathematics and science who have been admitted into the KU teacher education program as juniors and 12 graduate students. Undergraduate Noyce Scholars are required to complete dual Bachelor’s degrees -- a Bachelor’s degree in either mathematics or a field of science and a Bachelor of Science in Education. Graduate Noyce Scholars must have a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics or science and must complete the Graduate Certification Program. Each undergraduate student will receive a scholarship of $7,500 per year for each of two years, assuming satisfactory academic progress. Graduate students will receive one-year awards of $7,500. Following completion of the licensure program, Noyce Scholars must teach mathematics and/or science for two years in a high-needs school for each year of scholarship support received.


Summerfield Scholars/Watkins-Berger Scholars

The prestigious Summerfield and Watkins-Berger scholarships recognize outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership and service from 100 graduating Kansas high school students. Students are eligible for consideration if they have a 3.5 cumulative high school grade-point average and a score of 31 or higher on the American College Test, or ACT. The scholarships provide $2,500 per year for four years.
Summerfield scholarships for men are funded through an endowment established by the late Solon E. Summerfield, who was a Lawrence native and KU graduate. Watkins-Berger scholarships for women are financed by the estate of the late Elizabeth M. Watkins of Lawrence and an endowment in memory of Emily Berger, a KU graduate, by her brother, the late Arthur Berger of Dallas. The KU Endowment Association manages the funds for both scholarships.

Summerfield and Watkins-Berger Scholars from the Department of Physics & Astronomy

University Scholars

The University Scholars Program, now in its twenty-second year, is designed to recognize and encourage the University's most academically talented students early in their undergraduate careers and provide them with a unique opportunity to develop their intellectual capabilities to the fullest.There are several components of the Program. University Scholars participate in a specially designed course to be taught in the spring. Second, each University Scholar is assigned a mentor who is a distinguished faculty member at the University. This mentor relationship is designed to continue throughout the student's undergraduate career. Although the exact nature of the relationship is left to each Scholar and mentor, its purpose is to foster intellectual growth. Finally, all University Scholars receive a stipend of $250 per semester providing their grade point averages are maintained at an appropriate level.



External Resources

National Merit Scholarships

The National Merit scholarship is widely regarded as the most prestigious national award bestowed upon high school seniors. Fewer than 10,000 students of the 1.2 million who compete for the award, or fewer than 1 percent, receive National Merit scholarships. Recipients are chosen based on their academic abilities and records and extracurricular activities.


Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships for students pursuing careers in the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering are awarded annually on the basis of a national competition. They provide $7500 per year for 1 to 2 years to undergraduates entering their junior or senior year.


AWIS (Association for Women in Science) Educational Foundation Programs

Each spring, the AWIS Educational Foundation offers graduate awards and college scholarships for high school seniors in the amount of $1,000. A new program, the Kirsten R. Lorentzen Award, is for college sophomores or juniors studying physics or geoscience.


APS Minority Scholarship

Through the generosity of corporate and individual donors, the APS is able to offer the APS Scholarship for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors (formerly known as the Corporate-Sponsored Scholarship for Minority Undergraduate Students Who Major in Physics). Each year, COM acts as the selection committee for this scholarship which attracts many applicants. Many of the applicants are absolutely stellar and the program is usually able to fund 20-25 new recipients each year. The program, which began in 1980, has graduated students who have received their Ph.D.s in physics and are now working as physics faculty members in universities, as well as research scientists at corporations and national labs. Some past scholars have also become high school physics teachers.The award consists of $2000 per year for new corporate scholars, and $3000 per year for renewal students to be used for tuition, room & board, educational materials. In addition, each physics department that hosts one or more APS minority undergraduate scholars and assigns a mentor for their student/s will receive a $500 award for programs to encourage minority students.

APS(American Physical Society) General Scholarsip Information

The American Physical Society provides an extensive list of sources of financial aid that emphasizes careers in the physical sciences.




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