Scholarships and Awards

The following is a partial listing of available scholarships and awards for both current and prospective students

The Marilyn Stevens Memorial Award

The Marilyn Stevens Memorial Scholarship is an award designed to honor the former Department Manager of Physics, Marilyn Stevens. It is given to a current upper-division physics undergraduate student and a current physics graduate student. Fellow students, faculty, or staff nominates prospective recipients. The award considers academic excellence, community service, service in and out of UCSC, and any outstanding contribution made to the Physics Department.

The Ronald H. Ruby Memorial Scholarship

Ron Ruby was a founding faculty member of the Physics Department. A memorial scholarship for undergraduates was set up in his memory. The Ron Ruby Scholarship is intended to reward the most promising young physicists while also honoring Ron’s vision of providing greater access to quality college education. Both merit and financial need are considered in making the award. The department considers diversity an important academic value, so the Ron Ruby Scholarship shall be awarded preferentially to one or more students who have demonstrated potential for leadership in promoting cross-cultural understanding and/or those who have an outstanding record of service dedicated toward helping educationally disadvantaged students. However, recipients will be selected without regard to their race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin. U.S. citizenship is not required.

The Donald E. and Irene Osterbrock Fellowships

The Osterbrock Fellowships are established in honor of eminent American astronomer Donald E. Osterbrock and his wife Irene. Don Osterbrock pioneered the study of gaseous nebulae and originated the classification scheme for active galactic nuclei. He was one of Lick Observatory’s most influential directors. Don was a gifted teacher, and the doctoral students he advised comprise a significant portion of America’s astronomical leadership. His wife, Irene, worked tirelessly to help establish the UCSC Library’s Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory as a world renowned repository of U.S. astronomical history. [Further Information]

The Elmer A. Fridley Scholarship

The Elmer A. Fridley Scholarship in the Physical Sciences has been awarded on our campus since the 1989-90 academic year. The scholarship fund was set up as a result of a bequest to the University of California from the estate of William Fridley, a long time resident of Santa Cruz County. The scholarship is to be awarded to an outstanding continuing undergraduate or graduate student in the physical sciences. The scholarship is awarded in the late spring.

Deans’ & Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards, UC Santa Cruz

The Deans’, Chancellor’s and Steck Awards recognize exceptional achievement in research projects or other creative activities. Application forms are available in early spring from offices of the Chancellor, Divisions, Departments, and Colleges. For more information visit: . Winners are honored at the Undergraduate Academic Awards ceremony in June that culminates the UCSC annual Student Achievement Week.

Deans' Undergraduate Award

In late spring, fifty undergraduate students, ten from each of the five academic divisions, receive the Dean’s Award of $100 for outstanding achievement in their division. Recipients are considered for the Chancellor’s Award.

Chancellor's Undergraduate Award

In late spring, the Chancellor’s Award recognizes the top three students, from the Deans’ Award list, from each division with an additional $100 award. Recipients are considered for the Steck Award.

Steck Award

The Steck Award recognizes what they feel is the most outstanding research project chosen from the fifteen Chancellor Awardees. The student recipient receives an additional $1,000. In addition, his or her senior thesis/research project is bound and copies given to the student, the research supervisor, UC Santa Cruz Library, and the Steck family, whose generous contributions have made this award possible.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

In 1986 Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. This program's purpose is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. UCSC is given the opportunity to nominate four applicants. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's budget.

Further Information

For information on other UCSC scholarships, plus a vast number of private scholarships, visit the campus website at   For more information about academic scholarships and prestigious award programs please visit: