McDonnell International Scholars Academy




The McDonnell Academy is an endowed fellowship program that offers generous financial support towards graduate and professional degree studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Applications to the McDonnell Academy are accepted from graduates of universities across the world. A unique feature associated with being a McDonnell Scholar is that the Scholars have intellectual, cultural, and social experiences with other Scholars who are diverse in terms of their backgrounds and in terms of their degree programs.


McDonnell Scholars receive both financial and programmatic support:

  • full tuition scholarship
  • a monthly living stipend
  • annual travel allowance
  • cultural and leadership training
  • individual mentorship by a dedicated faculty
  • global network of students and alumni from across countries and disciplines.

McDonnell Scholars come from varied degree programs and different countries in order to maximize the diversity of the program and create a rich dialogue and experience. Most of our Scholars reside together in the Academy’s housing complex, which provides Scholars with unique living, learning and social experiences.

Eligibility criteria

This fellowship opportunity is open to prospective students applying to pursue an eligible full-time graduate or professional degree program at Washington University in St. Louis. Applicants from all countries are welcome. 

Selection criteria

In selecting our Scholars, we consider the following:

  • Academic distinction: Scholars are selected on the basis of their academic talent, promise and ambition to become future leaders in academia, government, the professions, or the corporate world. 
  • Global mindset: Scholars share a global outlook, embrace difference, and express interest in broader social and cultural issues. They are committed to engaging in dialogue across disciplines and cultures.
  • Leadership: Scholars demonstrate a desire and potential to generate positive change in their communities and around the world. They are committed to engaging in the Academy’s platform for leadership development and communication acumen.
  • Community: Scholars become part of a diverse, close-knit community. They share a commitment to engaging in the Academy’s academic, professional and social activities and to strengthening ties across our global network of partners.

Application Process

Applications are submitted entirely online via the McDonnell Scholars website. Nomination is not required.

The application for the McDonnell Academy is separate from the admissions process for Washington University - applicants must apply separately for graduate admissions.

The McDonnell Academy application includes the following:

  • Candidate biographic and academic history;
  • a personal essay;
  • a short video; 
  • recommendation letter.

Applicants may submit these materials to ONSA for review prior to submission.

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  • Funding for Graduate Study
  • Leadership Development


  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Health and Medicine
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Journalism and Media
  • National Security
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Public Policy
  • Public Service
  • Social Justice
  • Social Science
  • STEM

Eligible applicants

  • Fourth-year+ Undergrads
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Alumni
  • Graduate Alumni

Citizenship status

  • US Citizen
  • International Student (non-US citizen)

ASU Nomination required

  • No