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Department of

Mathematics and Computer Science


McNair Scholarship
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Association for Women in Science Scholarship
AfterCollege Scholarship

McNair Scholars: USD TRiO McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Dr. Ronald E. McNair, physicist and astronaut, dared to dream. An African American growing up in a poor community in the South, he encountered discrimination early in his youth. Still he pursued his goal of becoming a scientist, earning a Ph.D. in laser physics from MIT. Selected by  NASA for the space shuttle program, he was a mission specialist  aboard Challenger. After his death in its explosion,  Congress funded the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. McNair Scholars is federally funded by the US department of Education. It prepares low-income, first generation college students, and/or students who are currently  underrepresented in the sciences (African-American,  Hispanic/Latino, Native American) to follow Dr. McNair's  vision and become university professors.

Exceptional individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, who will make excellent university professors, may not be easily identified. USD McNair Scholars is comprised of 25 high-achieving and self-motivated undergraduates majoring in the sciences, computer science, and psychology whose main objective is to obtain a Ph.D.

Research is at the heart of USD McNair Scholars.  Participants are partnered with faculty mentors in their discipline and formulate a research plan. In summer, Scholars receive stipends to support their research projects. USD McNair further supports the publication and presentation of participants' results in journals and professional conferences.

USD McNair Scholars provides opportunities for participants to visit graduate schools and prepare for the graduate school application process. Scholars receive individual tutoring and academic counseling to ensure academic success. Assistance in preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs is also provided.  Finally, to aid Scholars in all these pursuits, each Scholar receives the loan of a laptop computer and instructional technology training.

Contact info: Noel Graciano Salunga, Director - TRIO McNair Program
Provost Department (619) 260-7580

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The purpose of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, as stated in the enabling legislation, is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today's terms, is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research. The Goldwater Foundation awards approximately 300 scholarships each year. Our department is proud to have three current Goldwater Scholarship recipients. These Goldwater scholars are Darren Davis ‘07 (Computer Science), Justin T. Webster ’07 (Mathematics), and Nancy Rodriguez ’06 (Mathematics with Applied Emphasis & Industrial Engineering). Our scholarship winners are currently pursuing Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Irvine in Computer Science, University of Virginia in Mathematics, and University of California, Los Angeles in Applied Mathematics respectively.

USD selects up to four students to nominate to the national committee. Nominations are solicited in October of each year from the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Marine Science and Environmental Studies, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Engineering. Students are invited to apply, with applications due in late November. Nominees to the national committee are selected and their applications are submitted in late January.

If you have any questions about the Goldwater Scholarship program, please contact Dr. Jim Bolender, at , or see

Association for Women in Science Scholarship

The San Diego Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is offering scholarships to community college, undergraduate, and graduate women in San Diego County who are in pursuit of a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Each year the chapter awards $1,000 scholarships to women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in San Diego County. AWIS San Diego scholarship recipients are not only achieving academic success, they are also involved in community outreach programs related to their fields of study, and AWIS San Diego is proud to support them in their pursuit of a scientific career.

For scholarship application go to and follow the "Programs and Activities" link, followed by the "Scholarship Program" link, or go to

AfterCollege Scholarship

AfterCollege is funding four $500 scholarships annually for both Engineering and Computer Science students. The next application deadline for this scholarship is March 31, 2012.

For More Information and to apply for this Scholarship, go here: