Compton Scholars


Each year, the College of Arts & Sciences awards academic scholarships to incoming freshmen in honor of distinguished Washington University teachers and scholars. The Arthur Holly Compton Fellowships in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics honor the memory of Arthur Compton, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1927, and Chancellor of Washington University from 1946 to 1953. Compton Fellows plan to pursue undergraduate majors in earth and planetary sciences, environmental studies, mathematics, or physics.

Each student who is selected as a Compton Honorary Scholar receives an award of full tuition and an annual stipend for four years of study. Compton finalists will be invited to be interviewed by faculty; from this group, up to four Compton Scholars will be selected.


High school seniors who possess outstanding academic records, rank high in their classes, and score in the upper ranges on the SAT I and/or ACT are encouraged to apply for one of the scholarships or fellowships in the Honorary Scholars Program.

On-Campus Interviews for Finalists

A faculty committee will conduct personal interviews with the finalists for the Compton scholarships. To remain eligible for the scholarships, finalists will need to come to Washington University at the end of March for four days, for the interview and related activities. The University will pay all expenses for the finalists during these four days.

Apply by Mail

To submit the application for the Compton Fellowship by mail, please follow the instructions here and note any special requirements for the Compton Fellowship under the Honorary Scholars Program in Arts & Sciences heading.

Apply Online

Please note: If you have submitted an application for undergraduate admission, you may submit the Application for the Compton Fellowship electronically via the Check the Status of Your Application link on our home page.