The Rhodes Scholarship provides full support for two years of post-graduate study in any discipline at Oxford University.
First offered to Americans in 1904, the Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Each year 32 young Americans are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.
Rhodes Scholarships are tenable at the University of Oxford, and are normally held for two years, the duration of most masters’ degrees and bachelors’ degrees for those who already have another bachelor’s degree, or for three years, the duration of many doctorates.
The value of a Rhodes Scholarship consists of a direct payment to the Scholar's college of all tuion fees, plus a maintenance stipend of at least £13,390 per year.
The following criteria apply only to the American Rhodes Scholarships. Information about Rhodes Scholarships for other eligible countries is available on the Rhodes House website.
- An applicant must be a citizen of the United States or must have been admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years prior to application.
- An applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 24 years of age, by October 1 of the application year.
- An applicant must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor's degree by October 1 of the year following the application (i.e. before the commencement of their study at Oxford).
Recipients of the Rhods Scholarship are expected to complete at least one degree (either a second bachelor's, a master's, or a doctoral degree) at Oxford.
Mr. Rhodes' Will contains four criteria by which prospective Rhodes Scholars are to be selected:
- literary and scholastic attainments;
- energy to use one's talents to the full;
- truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship;
- moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.
Interested students are expected to be familiar with the eligibility and selection criteria for these awards. Although the specific criteria vary from program to program, in general, a competitive applicant for these awards should...
- Demonstrate a high esteem for scholarship, potential for leadership, and commitment to public or community service through significant involvement;
- Be able to present a compelling and well-constructed case for their academic program of choice in the UK or Ireland;
- Have high academic achievement (above 3.8 cumulative, unweighted GPA);
- Be able to articulate a clear vision for their academic and professional future (and its benefit to society);
- Be able to secure three to eight in-depth letters of recommendation from credible individuals (e.g. tenure-track professors or research supervisors, public figures, high-ranking university administrators).
The application process for awards that require nomination is long, beginning in April and ending in October. Given the high level of competition for these awards, the ASU nominating committee has high standards and expectations for ASU nominees. The application processes for these scholarships are quite similar, and many students simultaneously apply for multiple British and Irish Scholarships. The final application processes differ as follows:
- The Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Churchill Scholarships require University endorsement for application. The application for endorsement follows a strict process, detailed below.
- The Gates-Cambridge scholarship does not require University endorsement. However, applicants should seek guidance and support from ONSA.
- Students or alumni who wish to apply to the Fulbright US Student Program for study in the UK or Ireland should apply through the normal campus process (refer to the ONSA Fulbright Application Guide).
Step 1: Meet with ONSA to Discuss the Application Process
Email your resume and unofficial transcript to Dr. Kyle Mox (email@example.com). If you are eligible and competitive, you will be invited to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss the application process. If you decide to proceed, you should apply to the Applicant Development Program.
Step 2: Identify Prospective Graduate Programs
Begin researching graduate programs in the UK or Ireland that both meet the requirements of the award and fit sensibly into your educational trajectory. A good source of information on prospective programs would be your faculty mentors and the Marshall Scholarship site, which lists several useful links. Once you have narrowed down potential graduate programs, begin researching the programs and their faculty in detail. Find recent publications by the faculty on these programs, find recent graduates of the programs, and reach out to the faculty members if you have questions about how your academic and research interests fit their programs. Seeking out ASU graduates who have applied for these awards or attended these programs is insightful.
Step 3: Identify Potential Recommenders
As early as possible, you should identify potential recommenders. Prior to the April 1 deadline below, you should meet with your potential recommenders to ask them if they would be willing to write a letter on your behalf, should you progress in the application process (NB: the letters need not be submitted by April 15). The Marshall and Mitchell require four letters each and the Rhodes requires five to eight. At least four of the Rhodes and two of the Marshall letters must be from people who taught you as an undergraduate. You may secure more than the minimum number of referees and then ask the campus committee’s guidance for final selection of letters.
Step 4: Apply to the ONSA Applicant Development Program
Students who intend to apply for nominated awards are expected to participate in the ONSA Applicant Development Program (ADP), which has an application deadline of April 15. This application is available via the ONSA website. Within a week of the deadline, selected candidates will be invited to join the program.
Step 5: Prepare Application Materials
In preparation for the final selection of the ASU nominees in mid-August, you will draft, revise, and edit your application materials under the guidance of ONSA advisors and your faculty mentors. Participants in the ADP will receive structured, in-depth guidance from April through August.
Step 6: Submit ‘Intent to Apply;’ Secure Letters of Recommendations
Approximately four weeks before the nomination deadline, applicants will need to formally ask for letters of recommendation and work with their referees to ensure that their letters of recommendation are submitted. By August 1, you will also submit an ‘Intent to Apply’ form, which includes a list of your confirmed recommenders.
Step 7: Participate in Nomination Interviews
In September, applicants who complete the nomination process will be invited to participate in a selection interview with the ASU nomination committee. Students who are nominated to the Rhodes, Marshall, or Mitchell Scholarships will work with ONSA to finalize and submit their applications prior to the October deadlines.
Prospective applicants who were not able to attend the "Prestigious Postgraduate Fellowships" information session should view the recorded video: