Undergraduate Geology Scholarships

How to Apply

Welcome to the Geology Department scholarships and awards page!

The Geology Department offers multiple scholarships and research stipends for Geology majors and minors. Please click on the name of a scholarship below to check the description, purpose and eligibility requirements. 

Applications are hosted and processed through Canvas. Geology students will be invited to the Geology Scholarship Canvas page in Spring quarter, where they may submit their applications. 

Geology students will be notified via the department listserv when they have been invited to the Canvas course. 

Deadlines will be communicated through the department listserv. 

Please contact the Geology Department if you are a declared Geology student and you have not been invited to the Canvas page. 

College of Science and Engineering

Marion Van Nostrand Scholarship - For Single Parents

The Van Nostrand scholarship is targeted to single parents with dependent children, who are majoring in a STEM field, have demonstrated financial need through the FAFSA document, are in good academic standing, making progress toward a degree, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. 

The scholarship pays the full cost of in-state tuition and student fees. Each recipient also receives $1000 per year towards text books and supplies. Recipients will be supported until graduation if they remain in good academic standing and are making progress towards their degree. Potential students can contact deborah.donovan@wwu.edu for more information. There is no deadline for submitting the application.

Apply Now for Marion Van Nostrand Scholarship - For Single Parents

Oscar Edwin Olson Scholarship

This endowment is created and shall be operated exclusively to fund scholarships for students in the College of Sciences and Engineering.


  • For an undergraduate student majoring in a CSE program
  • Based on overall academic merit and must be children of single, divorced or widowed parents (adoptive or biological)
    • Eligible students are those who at any time in their first 18 years either:
      • Lived with one unmarried parent
      • Had divorced parents
      • Had one or more deceased parents
  • Must demonstrate financial need through a FAFSA or WAFSA document
  • Students awarded the Olson Scholarship the previous academic year can receive it for a second year, but no more than 2 years

Apply Now for Oscar Edwin Olson Scholarship

Geology Department

David C. Engebretson Scholarly Activity Award

For 31 years, Dave Engebretson was both a Geology Professor and life mentor to many students at Western Washington University. Dave achieved professional success despite his lifelong blindness. His disability was an inspiration to his students, and WWU and the Geology Department were extremely supportive throughout his career. In the later years of his career at WWU, Dave developed creative curricula including courses titled "Hearing the Mind's Eye", "Climate Related Geologic Hazards", "Sounds on Earth", "Interpretation of Geologic Data", and "Outdoor Science Learning Resources".

To honor Dave’s achievements, the David C. Engebretson Scholarly Activity Award was established. 

This award is given to an undergraduate (majors and minors) or graduate student in Geology. This award is normally given to undergraduate students who employ a multi-disciplinary approach focused on research or education or a melding of both. 

Eyjafjallajökull Scholarship

*This scholarship is not available for academic year 2023-2024. Please check back next year for availability. 

The Geology Department is proud to announce the Eyjafjallajökull Scholarship!

This scholarship is renewable as long as the student remains in good academic standing and a Geology major (subject to reapplication, approval by the Scholarship Committee, and funding availability). 

Any student majoring in geology (Geology BA, Geology BS, Geophysics BS, or Earth Science BA-Ed) can apply.  

Preference will be made to applicants who demonstrate, in descending order of priority:  

  1. A history of 1+ years of service in the military and an honorable discharge* 
  2. First generation in their family as a college student. 

*Please note that preference for service in the military is a preference, not a requirement.

Geology Department Advance for Research

The Department of Geology will generally draws on its donation fund held by the Western Foundation to grant small advances for research expenses to undergraduate students in the department. Funds are available for field and laboratory expenses, which may include costs of analyses performed at other institutions. The amount of the advances will vary and will not exceed $500. All applicants are expected to apply for funds outside of the department. The effort you make to gather outside money will be a factor in our decisions to offer these grants.

Interested applicants should submit the following: Please submit and apply above.

  1. A research proposal approximately 2 pages in length; or a proposal submitted for another grant to fund the same research, include a cover letter to the Chair outlining how you would use the Departmental Advance in your research.
  2. A statement of other support, including awards received or pending, including copies of the proposals submitted;
  3. A budget of total proposed field and laboratory expenses, and how much of the total is requested from the Geology Department;
  4. An unofficial transcript for any classes not taken at WWU (for undergraduates only);
  5. A statement of support from your faculty adviser.

Past recipients of Departmental Research Advances for Field Work may apply again, but preference will be given to first-time applicants. Recipients will receive a contract informing them of the award and outlining the reporting requirements of the Western Foundation; when that letter is signed and returned, an advance will be dispensed.

Kurt Schmierer Memorial Scholarship

The Department of Geology generally offers the Kurt Schmierer Memorial Scholarship.  Funds are available through donations from family and friends of the late Kurt Schmierer.  Kurt received his B.S. and M.S. from Western and was a dedicated geologist and outdoor enthusiast.  Kurt's family and friends felt he would be most pleased to be able to assist fellow geology students to pursue their educational goals.

  • The scholarship is to be offered to an undergraduate student majoring in Geology for two years with an option of continuation for a third year.  The scholarship is forfeit if the student changes to other than a Geology major.
  •  Applicants must demonstrate substantial financial need.
  •  The scholarship is to be used to pay for tuition.

Robert and Bess Christman Scholarship Endowment

The Geology Department is proud to announce the Robert and Bess Christman Scholarship Endowment. This award was established by gifts from the friends, family and colleagues of Robert and Bess Christman. Bob and Bess Christman were renowned for their kindness, generosity and service to others. Bob was a beloved colleague, teacher and mentor in the Geology department at Western Washington University. He served as the department chair and was known for his love of teaching, leading many field trips and workshops. Bob and Bess were both heavily involved in their community, distinguished by the mayor of Bellingham as Citizens of the Year in 2000. This scholarship is an extension of their legacy, with the goal to support students who will make a positive impact on others.

This award is given to an undergraduate or graduate student in Geology, with a preference for applicants who demonstrate an interest and passion for science education or plans to become a science teacher. 

The Antoni "Jontek" Wodzicki Scholarship

This award is given annually to a undergraduate or graduate student who is majoring in any of the specialties of the geological sciences, with preference given to students studying in fields related to economic geology, mineralogy, and/or who are attending summer or spring field camp. Also, special consideration will be given to students from developing country.

The David A. Rahm Scholarship

This award is given annually to a Geology major who has demonstrated interest, accomplishment, and understanding of the principles of geomorphology.  This award, which will not exceed $800, is normally given to an upper-division undergraduate student; however, graduate students are eligible to apply as well.

The Department of Geology Undergraduate Tuition/Fee Waiver

This award is restricted to undergraduates and is a merit award.

The James L. Talbot Scholarship

This award is given annually to a student who is declared major in any of the specialties of the geological sciences who can demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need.

The Myrl E. Beck, Jr. Scholarship

This award will provide partial support for research leading to a Senior Thesis. The amount of the award will typically be $1000.  The award will only be available to students in their final year of study.  Research should involve paleomagnetism and/or tectonics, and ideally should require use of the equipment in the Pacific Northwest Paleomagnetism Laboratory housed in the Department of Geology.


AAPG Foundation Grants for Military Veterans Scholarship Program

Scholarship applications are accepted February 15 – May 15.

Apply Now for AAPG Foundation Grants for Military Veterans Scholarship Program

AAPG Foundation Grants for Students

Grants for graduate and undergraduate Geoscience students

Apply Now for AAPG Foundation Grants for Students

AEG Foundation

Various Scholarships for undergraduates & graduates. Most require that you be a member of the AEG.

Apply Now for AEG Foundation

AIPG - National Undergraduate Scholarship

AISES American Indian Science and Engineering Society

If you are a Tribal Member there are some amazing scholarships available to you.

Apply Now for AISES American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Alaska Geological Society - Scholarships

American Museum of Natural History

The Helen Fellowship - Application Open October each year. Research/Teaching

Apply Now for American Museum of Natural History

American Society for Engineering Education

Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)

Beardsley-Kuper Field Camp Scholarship Fund, deadline is generally February.

Apply Now for Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program

Colorado Scientific Society

Offers several grants ranging from $600 to $1000 each will be awarded for field-oriented research on geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of the Rocky Mountain region. In addition, grants as large as $600 are awarded for engineering geology research (with no restriction on geographic area of interest) and one or more grants for as much as $1200 is offered for studies on the Heart Mountain fault in northwestern Wyoming or for Quaternary studies with no geographic restriction. Application deadline is generally March 31.

Apply Now for Colorado Scientific Society

Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program

The AAPG's (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program supports education and career opportunities for veterans, aids in the transition of veterans to educational and civilian technical professions, and promotes geoscience programs in higher education institutions.

The Foundation awards scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to cover the cost of attending a four-year accredited college or university. Scholarships are available to both active U.S. military service members (including National Guard and Reserve) or veteran members separated from active military service who have been honorably discharged, and are entering or re-entering a post-secondary undergraduate program in a field of geoscience full time or part time.

Eligibility also includes military dependents (spouses and children) for the following categories: deceased, disabled, active and veteran.


Apply Now for Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program

Expanding Representation in Geosciences (ERG)

Expanding Representation in Geosciences (ERG) Scholarship: Applications open in March, due in May

Apply Now for Expanding Representation in Geosciences (ERG)

Field Camp Assistance Scholarship

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)

Apply Now for Field Camp Assistance Scholarship

Fulbright Programs

Geothermal Resources Council

Scholarships and internships available with Geothermal Resources Council

Apply Now for Geothermal Resources Council

Juneau Icefield Research Program

There are partial scholarships available for this program. Applications deadlines are on or around February 9th.

Apply Now for Juneau Icefield Research Program

Mazamas - Research Grants

Nadine Romero Scholarship

Washington Hydrogeology Symposium Nadine Romero Scholarship

Application Deadline is March 1 annually

Apply Now for Nadine Romero Scholarship

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation and the annual Science & Education Symposium, scientific conferences where students present their research, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship. Hollings Alumni report that the experience influenced their academic and career paths, expanded their professional networks and improved their skills for working in NOAA mission fields. 100% of Hollings Scholars surveyed said that they would recommend this opportunity to other students. Look for the application in September of each year.

Apply Now for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

National Science Foundation

Geoscience funding opportunities

Apply Now for National Science Foundation

Norman R. Tilford Field Studies Scholarship Fund

Grants from the Tilford Fund are intended to recognize and support deserving undergraduate or graduate geology students who are Student Members of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. The Tilford Fund does not support general and administrative (overhead) costs, technical or scientific consulting fees, or equipment purchase or maintenance costs of an educational institution employing or teaching individuals who receive grants from it.

Apply Now for Norman R. Tilford Field Studies Scholarship Fund

Sigma XI The Scientific Research Society

Grants-in-Aid of Research Program - Application Deadlines March 15, and October 15, annually

Apply Now for Sigma XI The Scientific Research Society

SMART (Department of Defense Education Program)

Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

Undergraduate and Graduate student scholarships

Apply Now for Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

The Explorers Club

Student Grants. The goal of this grant category is to foster a new generation of explorers dedicated to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of our world. The average award is approximately $1,500.

Apply Now for The Explorers Club

The Geological Society of America (GSA)

The Tobacco Root Geological Society

Scholarships Fund Research up to $1000. Application Deadlines - Generally February 15, annually.

Apply Now for The Tobacco Root Geological Society


Kitsap Mineral and Gem Society

Scholarship specific to a Kitsap County Student. Award is generally $1000 - $500.

The Rock and Gem scholarships are sometimes specific to the county where the club resides. Please check out your local club to see if they might have a scholarship program.

Apply Now for Kitsap Mineral and Gem Society

Marysville Rock and Gem Club, Inc.

The Marysville Rock and Gem Club Inc. is a non-profit lapidary Club. In support of education and to further understanding of our hobby, the Club has elected to establish a Scholarship Fund of $2000, or two $1000 scholarships, to assist an undergraduate student who has a minimum of 45 credits and is enrolled with a major in a geology, or earth and space, or physical science related program at a local college or university located in western Washington. Scholarship amount's vary each year. 

Apply Now for Marysville Rock and Gem Club, Inc.

Mt. Baker Rock and Gem Club

The Mount Baker Rock and Gem Club (MBRGC) generally funds a scholarship to a qualified student pursuing a degree in geology or an earth science education-related field.  Please look for application announcements in December. Applications must be postmarked by February 15. Please see scholarship details on the Mt Baker Rock & Gem website.

The scholarship will be presented at the Club’s Annual Rock and Gem Show, which takes place the last weekend of March

Apply Now for Mt. Baker Rock and Gem Club

North Seattle Lapidary & Mineral Club

The North Seattle Lapidary & Mineral offers a cash scholarship of $2500 (this may vary). One of the purposes of the NSLMC is to advance the study and enjoyment of Geology in our community. The applicants are reviewed on academic merit, demonstrated participation in extracurricular activities such as University, public and/or community service, potential for a successful career in the field of Geology and need for financial assistance. Please look for announcements in January.

Eligibility Requirements

        • Declared Geology Major
        • Minimum Sophomore status with at least two quarters left after the receipt of the award
        • 3.0 GPA or better
        • Financial need

Send all application materials to: NSL&MC Scholarship Committee, 15428 62nd Ave. NE, Kenmore, WA 98028

Apply Now for North Seattle Lapidary & Mineral Club

Skagit Rock and Gem Club

The Skagit Rock and Gem Club offers a $1000 scholarship to a qualified student attending Western Washington University in an accredited Earth Sciences or Geology Program. The Scholarship is based on ability, need, and intent to continue in the specified field of study. 

Apply Now for Skagit Rock and Gem Club

Washington Rock and Gem Clubs

These scholarships are sometimes specific to the county where the club resides. Please check out your local club to see if they might have a scholarship program.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) supports low- and middle-income students pursuing eligible high-demand majors in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) or health care and encourages recipients to work in Washington state once they complete their degrees.

Apply Now for Washington State Opportunity Scholarship