Astronaut Scholarship Campus Timeline


Please be advised that before we nominate you or endorse your candidacy for the Astronaut Scholarship, we will perform a conduct and academic honesty check to confirm that you are in good disciplinary and academic standing; a waiver that allows us to do so is part of the Prospective Applicant Form (available below).

Eligibility and Selection Factors:
  • current sophomores or juniors
  • STEM major with demonstrated drive and talent to positively change the world through the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology
  • strong record of STEM-related activities outside of classroom (e.g., research, internships, etc.)
  • minimum recommended 3.60 cumulative GPA recommended
  • demonstration of leadership capacity through campus and/or community activities
  • U.S. citizen

Below is the campus schedule for the Astronaut Scholarship; 2 nominees will be selected

January 31: Both the Prospective Applicant Form and the Fellowships Preliminary Questionnaire (FPQ) is due. This campus questionnaire is a mandatory part of the internal vetting process. Already submitted an FPQ? If it has been more than one academic year since you completed your FPQ, please submit the FPQ Update. Director of Fellowships will review and invite selected students to proceed with full application for consideration by campus nominating committee.

February 15: Students notified of approval status to submit official scholarship essay & letters of recommendation for review by nominating committee. A minimum of eight students will be invited to proceed further in the UR nominating process and will meet with Director of Fellowships to discuss next steps.

March 7: Scholarship essay & 2 letters of recommendation

  • Essay: one-page (single-spaced with 1-inch margins) personal statement discussing: motivation for pursuit of STEM study, chosen area(s) of interest & participation in STEM activities outside of class-based work; creativity, innovation, risk-taking in STEM; graduate-study plans, career aspirations & ambition to have positive impact on world through STEM research/technology; co-curricular leadership. Submit essay via our secure online portal.
  • Letters (2): One recommendation from UR STEM professor who will serve as faculty nominator of record (ideally from major department); one recommendation from another STEM professor or research mentor. Submitted through our secure online recommendation form.
    • Recommendation letters should address the applicant’s "special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology."
    • Letters should have a current date, be written on departmental letterhead, and be signed.

Mid-March: Candidates notified of nomination status.

March 23: For nomineesonly: Finalized application materials due.


UR Transcripts: Nominees are to request an electronic UR transcript and have it sent directly to the Fellowships Office at Before you request your University of Rochester transcript, you must make sure your spring program is reflected accurately on your transcript and that there are no missing grades from prior terms.

Non-UR Transcripts (if required): External transcripts should be sent directly to the Fellowships Office from the outside institution, either as a digital document to or in hardcopy to:

Fellowships Office/Belinda Redden
University of Rochester
PO Box 270416
Rochester, NY 14627