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Scholarships and Awards

Our students are a talented bunch and we like to recognize their hard work. We have several scholarships and awards available to help you be successful and reach your full potential.

View other University Scholarships

Freshmen Merit Scholarships

We offer a variety of scholarships for talented, incoming freshmen planning to major in one of our academic programs.

How to Apply

Upon admission, each students will receive a customized email link to apply for the scholarships. The deadline for the scholarship application is February, 15.

To be considered for an award, you must:

  • Be admitted as a Physics major in one of our four degree sequences
  • Meet departmental entry requirements of placing into MAT 144 or above
  • Be registered in the appropriate Physics major courses as of the second week of fall classes

Available Scholarships

The following awards are offered to incoming freshmen who demonstrate outstanding potential in Physics.

Presidential Scholarship - Dale M. Shulaw Presidential Scholarship in Physics

Amount: $44,000 award ($11,000 per year, renewable for up to four years).
Number Available: 1

Illinois State University offers this scholarship for incoming freshmen, based on their academic achievements in high school. The Presidential Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship available to new freshmen.

  • The Robert D. Young Physics Scholar Award

    Amount: $2,000
    Number Available: 1

  • The Physics Alumni Scholar Award

    Amount: $1,500
    Number Available: 1

    This scholarship is supported by alumni and friends of the department of Physics.

  • Harold J. Born Memorial Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000
    Number Available: 1

    Scholarship is renewable for one additional year, provided student remains a Physics major and maintains at least a 3.0 GPA.

    • Book Awards

      Amount: $500
      Number Available: 3-5 annually


Transfer Students

  • Transfer Student Book Award

    Amount: $500
    Number Available: 1

    This award helps purchase textbooks. Recipients must be accepted as a Physics major, meet departmental requirements of placing into at least MAT 145, and be registered for the appropriate major courses by the second week of fall classes.

    How to Apply

    Upon admission, each students will receive a customized email link to apply for the scholarships.

Current Students

We're proud to award our students for their academic excellence and service. The following awards and scholarships are available to current students in any physics major.

  • Kenneth E. Jesse Award for Experimental Research

    Amount: Up to $500
    Number Available: 1

    The purpose of this award is to help with the cost of hardware items needed for student research projects.

  • Michael F. Canney Scholarship

    Amount: $2,000
    Number Available: 1

    This scholarship recognizes hard work, motivation, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Recipients are required to have a financial need.

  • Robert C. Shears Scholarship

    Amount: $1,000
    Number Available: 2

    This scholarship recognizes motivated students who work hard and have a demonstrated interest in energy and environmental issues. Recipients must be in good academic standing and have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours.

  • James and Deborah Riggs Scholarship

    Amount: $1,500
    Number Available: 1

    This provides an annual scholarship for Physics major.

  • The Physics Student Excellence Fund

    Amount: Varies
    Number Available: Varies

    Provides financial support in the form of scholarships, professional development, or research funds for students majoring in Physics.

  • Outstanding Awards

    We like to recognize students who go above and beyond. Awards include:

    • Physics Outstanding Graduating Senior
    • Physics Outstanding Undergraduate
    • Physics Outstanding Service
    • Physics Outstanding Teaching Assistant

    Recipients of these awards are chosen by our faculty.

  • Skadron Awards

    Amount: $300-$500
    Number Available: Varies

    This fund directly supports undergraduate physics majors, primarily in the computational physics sequence. Awards are given for class achievement and research. Recipients are chosen by the awards committee.