The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award that supports exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford. The scholarship is one of the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Each year 32 young students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars and join an international group of Scholars chosen from more than 64 different countries to form a class of about 100 scholars.
Award: Rhodes Scholarships are tenable at the University of Oxford. Scholarships are normally held for two or three years depending on the course of study. Scholars can apply for a masters’ degree, a second bachelors’ degree, or a doctorate. Scholars may do two one-year taught master’s degrees, but may not receive a third year’s funding. The Rhodes Scholarship funds all university and college fees, a living stipend (about £15,000 per year), and two plane tickets to travel to and from Oxford.
Criteria: Committees of Selection will have regard to those qualities which Cecil Rhodes desired in scholars: (1) Proven intellectual and academic achievement of a high standard, (2) Integrity of character, (3) Interest in and respect for their fellow beings and the ability to lead, and (4) The energy to use their talents to the full. Mr. Rhodes expected his scholars to play an influential part in the betterment of society, wherever their careers might take them. He desired that his scholars be intellectually, morally, and physically capable of leadership in any field.
Based on eligibility, candidates can apply to scholarships in one of 22 constituencies around the world as well as the Global Rhodes Scholarships. If you hold citizenship outside the U.S., click here to find your constituency.
Applicants must be endorsed by the Office of Distinguished Scholarships in order to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with the ODS director to learn more about the application process.
ODS internal deadline for endorsement: Thursday, August 1, 2020 (5:00 pm ET)
Scholarship final deadline: Submit all your materials by Wednesday October 7th. We strongly recommend that you aim to submit your final application by September 30th in the case of any unexpected technical issues etc. Please note that ALL your materials must be submitted by October 7th, including your letters of recommendation.
At the time of application, an applicant must:
- be a citizen of the United States OR you must have been admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and must have maintained, and be expected to maintain, such legal status
- be at least 18 but not yet 24 years of age (i.e., the applicant must still be 23 on October 1, 2020). An exception will be made in the case of older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual. In these cases you must: have not reached your 27th birthday (i.e. have been born after 01 October 1993) AND your first undergraduate degree must have been (or will be) awarded on or after 1 October of the prior calendar year (i.e. on or after 1 October 2019).
- have completed (or will have completed by June / July 2020) an undergraduate degree from a college or university with a GPA of 3.7 higher
How to apply for UNC endorsement
Applicants applying for endorsement must submit the following materials to ODS:
- Personal information form
- Personal statement (1,000 words. Must be wholly your own work – no help is permitted!)
- List of principal activities (2 pages)
- All relevant transcripts
- 4-8 letters of recommendation
Resources for applicants
- Review the ODS “Tips & Advice” document for advice on applying for a distinguished award
- Thoroughly read the following Rhodes rules and guidelines:
- ODS information sessions and prep-shops
- Schedule a meeting with the ODS director to discuss your application and receive advice to consider as you prepare for the endorsement deadline. Non-local applicants may schedule meetings via Skype or phone. (Note: You may not receive feedback on your Rhodes personal statement. We encourage you to schedule a meeting before you begin writing.)
Applicants may apply for multiple scholarship awards simultaneously, including the Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell Scholarships. However, pay careful attention to differences in guidelines for personal statements.