Physics Scholarships

​If you're like most students, scholarships will provide an important part of your financial aid package.

The CMU Department of Physics offers scholarships – based on need, academic focus, career aspirations and other specific criteria – for transfer students and continuing students.

In addition, click here to learn more about scholarships available for all CMU students.

Department Scholarships

Many of the CMU Department of Physics scholarships are renewable, but require submission of a new application each year.

Application. Scholarship application deadlines occur in early March each academic year. To apply for these scholarships, please contact the physics department secretary directly for more details.

Selection process. The selection of a student to be awarded a scholarship will be made by the chairperson of the Department of Physics and such other persons as the chair may designate. Depending on the specific application requirements of the scholarship, the decision may be made on the basis of:

  • Completed application form
  • Two professional references
  • Grades in university/college courses
  • A letter detailing career plans submitted by the applicant
  • Other factors

Descriptions and qualifications for each of the Department of Physics scholarships are listed below.

Suzanne Rae and Walter James Bisard Scholarship

Eligibility: Applicant must be an elementary or middle school science education teaching major/minor, be a sophomore, junior, or senior, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. A completed application form, a letter detailing your career plans, the name of a physics faculty member familiar with your work, and copies of any non-CMU undergraduate transcripts must be submitted to the Department of Physics chairperson, Dow Science Complex 203.

About: Established in 2006 by Walt Bisard '66, '67 for his wife Suzanne '75, '87 in honor of her 26 years of outstanding elementary science teaching career and for their 40th wedding anniversary. Income from the endowment will support a renewable award for a sophomore, junior or senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The award may be used for tuition, travel to science meetings, conferences, or membership in science organization(s).

Amount: At least $350; depending on availability of funds.

Renewal: This scholarship is renewable for a second year provided the above requirements continue to be met. Previous recipients must re-apply in order to be considered for renewal.

David H. Current Scholarship

Eligibility: Applicant must be a full-time junior or senior student enrolled in the College of Science and Technology, Department of Physics with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Student must demonstrate a passion for physics, growth in problem-solving skills and interest in experimental physics.

About: Established in 2011 by Diane E. Current and faculty members in memory of David H. Current. Income from the endowment will support a renewable award.

Dr. Frank D. and M. Virjean Johnson ​Scholarship

Eligibility: This award is based on academic achievement and is open to sophomore, junior or senior students with a 3.5 GPA or better. The award will not be based on financial need. During odd-numbered years, scholarships will be awarded to sophomores, juniors or seniors majoring in biology, chemistry or physics, and who are pursuing certification in secondary teaching certification. In even-numbered years, this scholarship will be awarded to sophomores, juniors or seniors majoring in biology, chemistry or physics. An application form, a letter outlining your qualifications and goals, two letters of recommendation, a copy of your college transcripts and a copy of your signed major must be submitted to the Department of Physics chairperson, Dow Science Complex 203 by March 15.

About: Established in 2000 by Dr. Frank D. Johnson, '50, former director of Continuing Medical Education at Central Michigan Community Hospital and his wife M. Virjean, '51, a former elementary teacher, for a sophomore, junior or senior with a minimum GPA of 3.5, and who is majoring in biology, chemistry or physics. Alternate year awarded to a science major in teacher education.

Amount: Minimum of $500 per year.

Renewal: This scholarship is renewable as long as an overall 3.5 GPA is maintained. Previous recipients must re-apply in order to be considered for renewal.

Kenneth W. and Margaret Cuff Saunders Scholarship

Eligibility: Any junior, senior or graduate student with a 3.5 GPA or better. Preference is given to English, journalism or physics majors. A completed application form, a letter outlining your qualification and goals, a copy of your college transcripts and the name of a physics faculty member who can provide a recommendation must be submitted to the Department of Physics chairperson, Dow Science Complex 203.

About: Established in 1989 by family and friends for a junior, senior or graduate student with a 3.5 or higher GPA. Preference is given to English, journalism or physics majors.

Amount: $500.

Renewal: This scholarship is renewable as long as an overall 3.5 GPA is maintained. Previous recipients must re-apply in order to be considered for renewal.

Kenneth Wright Physics Scholarship

Eligibility: Applicant should be at least a junior with a signed major in physics or chemistry-physics with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and at least a 3.5 GPA in major/minor courses. A completed application form, a letter detailing your career plans, the name of a physics faculty member familiar with your work, and copies of any non-CMU undergraduate transcripts must be submitted to the Department of Physics chairperson, Dow Science Complex 203.

About: Established in 1998 by the sons of Kenneth Wright, '34, a CMU physics teacher for over 30 years, for a third-year student with a declared major in physics, a minimum 3.5 GPA in classes offered by the physics department, and a minimum 2.5 GPA overall.

Amount: At least $350.

Renewal: This scholarship is renewable for a second year provided the above requirements continue to be met. Previous recipients must re-apply in order to be considered for renewal.