Rhodes Application


Applicants must submit the items below to ODS before the UNC Endorsement Application Deadline in early August.

All application materials – except for transcripts, photo, and letters of recommendation – should be incorporated into one PDF. You may access the submission link here.

Applying for UNC Endorsement

The deadline to apply for UNC’s endorsement for 2018 Rhodes Scholarship is in early August 2017 for the U.S. and Canadian competitions. If you are applying in a different competition, contact ODS immediately.  All candidates should notify ODS as soon as possible of their intent to apply.

Applicants must complete an online application and provide the following materials:

Note: If you are applying as a citizen from a country with a final deadline that is earlier than the United States deadline, please contact ODS for assistance.


Provide a recent, high-resolution headshot or passport-sty photograph (.jpg or .jpeg file). Label the file so your full name is included as part of the file name.

List of Principal Activities

Provide a list of principal college activities (not to exceed two pages), including in prizes, scholarships, honors, offices held, athletic accomplishments, and extracurricular activities. Email ODS if you would like to view sample lists or receive feedback on your list. (Sample lists cannot be sent via email.)

Personal Statement

Review these important notes regarding the personal statement.

  • Attestation Clause: Read the most current memorandum from your regional competition of the Rhodes Trust before drafting your personal statement. Included is also information about the personal statement rule change and attestation clause. This rule is not limited to the American Rhodes competition and applies to other regional competitions, including Canada. More information may be found here. Failure to comply with this rule at any stage of the application cycle may result in disqualification. Please advise those providing recommendations for you that they may not give any suggestions regarding personal statements.
  • Contact Professor Floyd-Wilson about the personal statement writing process if you are applying for both the Marshall and the Rhodes Scholarships.
  • Your personal statement should not exceed 1,000 words. The statement should incorporate your general activities, intellectual and personal interests in college, and proposed course of study at Oxford. Email ODS if you would like to view sample statements. (Sample statements cannot be sent via email.)
  • The Rhodes Trust has posted a video regarding the importance of the personal statement.
  • View Frequently Asked Questions provided by the Rhodes Trust.

Letters of Recommendation

Four recommendations should be submitted with your endorsement application. We recommend reading this letter of guidance and sharing it with individuals you ask to write a letter of recommendation. Contact ODS if you need advice on choosing and contacting a recommender.

  • It is helpful to provide context by sharing these endorsement application requirements, your list of principal activities, and your specific academic and professional interests and goals.
  • At least three of your four letters should come from professors who can speak in detail about your scholarly work and potential. It is preferable to choose a professor instead of a teaching assistant.
  • No more than one of these four letters should be character reference letters. Be sure to ask someone who knows you well and can give specific comments on your character and potential for success outside of your scholarly work and interests.
  • With your endorsement application, provide a list of your recommenders that includes each person’s title (e.g. Mr./Ms./Mrs./Dr./Professor), full name, position, affiliation (name of their institution, employer, etc.), and email address.

Recommendation letters should be addressed to “The Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee” and be submitted directly to ODS before the Endorsement Application Deadline by clicking here. Applicants should provide  this link to recommenders for submitting letter. Recommenders may format their letters as PDF documents. Applicants should not be given access to their letters of recommendation.

Recommenders who have questions should contact ODS directly.

Note: Applicants who receive UNC’s endorsement will need to collect one to four additional letters to apply online to the Rhodes Scholarships, for a total of five to eight letters. No more than two or three of these letters should be recommendations regarding the applicant’s character.

University Transcripts

Submit a cumulative transcript for each college or university attended. This transcript should reflect the final grades for the most recent term applicable. Applicants may submit an unofficial or an official transcript at the endorsement application stage. If you receive endorsement, you must order an official and sealed paper transcript(s).

  • Official UNC transcripts for applicants can be delivered to ODS directly from the UNC Office of the University Registrar. Place your order at least two weeks in advance of the endorsement deadline. Click here to learn about transcript fee waivers and other FAQs.
  • As an alternative, applicants may bring to ODS before the endorsement application deadline an officially sealed paper transcript for each college or university attended.

Endorsement Interviews

After reviewing the applications for endorsement, the UNC Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee will invite competitive applicants to participate in an on-campus interview. Applicants who are unavailable for on-campus interviews must contact ODS one month prior to the interview dates to discuss other available interview options.

If You Receive UNC Endorsement

Applicants endorsed by the UNC Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee will be notified shortly after their interviews.

Application Revisions

Endorsed applicants will have approximately five weeks to incorporate permissible feedback from ODS and the selection committee to revise and update their application materials.*

* Please see the full answer for Question 27 on Page 20 of the Frequently Asked Questions document from the Rhodes Trust. It states that, for the 2015-16 application cycle, “applicants who wish to direct attention of the selectors to supplemental materials may provide up to three links to archives, exhibits, or other activities available online and not fully depicted in the personal statement or on the list of activities and accomplishments. As part of the three links, applicants may provide a link to a personal home page or site that provides a collection of their original work. Those not submitting links will not be disadvantaged. We do not want to create additional work for applicants and thus highly discourage and even disfavor links to creations primarily for purposes of the application. We caution applicants to avoid links that might appear to be resume-padding, or to works materially assisted by others.”

Submitting The Final Application

  • The Rhodes Scholarships application is online and may request information that differs from your endorsement application.
  • All application materials must be submitted online to the Rhodes Trust no later than final deadline. The applicant is responsible for submitting all materials online except the letters of recommendation. Transcripts and a photo must also be uploaded online. Applicants should notify ODS with an email if they need assistance in scanning or formatting required documents.
  • Letters of recommendations must be submitted online by the recommender before the Rhodes Trust deadline. Those who encounter difficulties should contact ODS.
  • Endorsed applicants should provide a copy of the final application materials to ODS. 

Finalist Notification

Applicants are notified directly of invitations to finalist district receptions and interviews between early and mid-November. If you receive a finalist interview invitation for both the American Rhodes and the Mitchell Scholarships, you may only accept one of those invitations. ODS will organize practice interviews prior to the district interviews.

Finalist Receptions & Interview

Finalist receptions and interviews are held by District or Regional Committees. American finalists usually interview on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Scholar-Elect Announcement

Finalists will be notified in-person at their Finalist Interviews if they have been selected as a Rhodes Scholar-elect.