Award Information


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship recognizes outstanding students studying in NOAA mission fields (including environmental studies, biology, earth sciences, engineering, physics, or teacher education). Student scholars receive up to $9,500 per academic year to support their studies, a 10-week paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer, and travel funds for presenting their work at a scientific conference.

Learn more about Hollings scholarships on the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.


For a complete list of eligibility requirements, please consult the prospective scholars page on the Hollings Scholarship website. In general, students should:

  • Be U.S. citizens.
  • Be currently enrolled full time as a sophomore in a four-year academic program or as a full time third year student in a five-year undergraduate program.
  • Have and maintain a major in a discipline including, but not limited to, oceanic, environmental, biological, and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics, or teacher education that support NOAA’s programs and mission.

At Washington State University, students typically take the following steps to prepare for the Hollings Scholarship:

  1. Carefully determine your eligibility for this scholarship and familiarize yourself with the Hollings website.
  2. Meet with the Director of Distinguished Scholarships to discuss ideas for this scholarship (arrange appointments by contacting distinguishedscholarships@wsu.edu).

Don’t Forget

December 10 is the deadline for turning in your draft application for WSU review.

Don’t Forget

December 10 is the deadline for turning in your draft application for WSU review.

  1. Contact two individuals to ask for a reference. (Please note that NOAA Education has certain requirements for who can provide acceptable references.)
  2. Draft your essay and share with the director and others who are willing to critique. (Expect to complete six to eight drafts before finishing the application process.)
  3. Turn in drafts of your application for the WSU review by December 10.
  4. Upload your transcripts to the online application.
  5. Confirm that your referees have completed the online review process.
  6. After you think everything is ready, thoroughly proofread your work one last time.
  7. Submit your online application at least one week before the national deadline of January 31.

Prior Cougar recipients of Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships have included:

YearFirst NameLast NameMajor(s)
View Kristian Gubsch's news release
KristianGubschChemical Engineering