Schwarzman : UNC Application Material Review


Before you apply, be sure to read the Schwarzman Application Instructions document. Endorsement is no longer required to apply for the Schwarzman Scholarship. However, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with the ODS director and send their application materials to ODS for review prior to the review deadline.

These include:

  • ODS Registration Form
  • Essays
    • Statement of leadership and purpose (750 words or less)
    • Current affairs essay (500 words or less)
    • Short answer questions (100 words or less)
  • Current resume/CV
  • Video
  • All relevant transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation



  • Essay One: Statement of Purpose and Leadership (750 words max)
  • Essay Two: Current Affairs Essay (500 words max)
  • Short Answer Question: Tell us something about yourself that we would not otherwise know based on the materials in this application (100 words max)

Click here for more details about these essays.

Current resume/CV

Submit a resume or CV not exceeding 2 pages. It is critical that this document demonstrates your leadership experiences.


University Transcripts

Transcripts are not necessary for ODS review. For the Schwarzman application, you must upload transcripts/academic records from every degree-granting college or university attended (undergraduate or graduate – must be combined into one PDF and then uploaded). Click here for information on how to obtain your transcript.


Submission of a video is strongly recommended but not required by the Schwarzman Scholars program. The video  can be up to one minute in length, and candidates are invited to introduce themselves in any style or setting they think best conveys their interests and personality. You may send your video to ODS via email for feedback.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required to apply for the Schwarzman Scholarship. See the summary below for suggested guidance.

Currently Enrolled Undergraduates:

  • 2 letters from professors who have taught them in the classroom and can speak to their academic abilities
  • 1 letter addressing their leadership abilities (this can be from an employer, supervisor, mentor, faculty member, or other)

Graduate Students or Alumni:

  • At least 1 academic letter from a professor who can speak to their academic abilities
  • 1 letter of recommendation addressing their leadership abilities
  • For the last letter, the applicant should choose from the following, focusing on a letter that will best reflect their current profile as an applicant: a letter from an employer or mentor commenting on leadership abilities, a second letter from a professor or a letter from the fellowship office.

If you would like for ODS to review your letters of recommendation, use the form linked below. Your recommenders will receive an email with instructions to upload their letters as PDFs. You should ask potential recommenders personally before completing this form. We encourage you contact your recommenders at least one month prior to the deadline and to share your personal statement, resume, and future goals with all recommenders.

Recommendations should be signed, on letterhead, and addressed to The Schwarzman Scholarship Selection Committee. Contact ODS if you need advice on choosing and contacting a recommender.

Recommenders who have questions should contact ODS directly.


After You Apply

After submitting an application to ODS for review, applicants will be able to work with ODS to polish their applications prior to the deadline. All application materials must be submitted online to the Schwarzman Scholars before the final deadline. The applicant is responsible for submitting all materials online except the letters of recommendation, which must be submitted online by the recommenders. We request that applicants provide a copy of their final application materials to ODS.

Finalists will be notified in mid-October if they are to be invited to interviews. ODS will organize practice interviews for finalists. Interviews will take place in three locations around the world, with candidates being invited to the geographically closest location. The Schwarzman Scholars program will notify scholars by early December. Read “What Should I Expect and How Can I Prepare for my Interview?” in the Schwarzman FAQ.