Marshall Scholarship

Website: Marshall Scholarships


The Marshall Scholarships were established by the British Government in 1953 as a national expression of gratitude to the U.S. for aid under the Marshall Plan. Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

Scholarships cover: University fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.

The objectives of the programme are:

  • To enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the UK.
  • To help Scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain.
  • To contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centres of academic excellence.
  • To motivate Scholars to act as ambassadors from the USA to the UK and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding.
  • To promote the personal and academic fulfilment of each Scholar.

Tenure: The Two Year Marshall Scholarship is tenable for two academic years (ie 22 months), but may be extended by the Commission, though not beyond the end of a third academic year. Third-year extensions are granted by the Commission on a limited basis, for strong academic reasons, subject to the availability of funds. In addition, thanks to the generous support of the following Universities:

  • Up to three third-year extensions may be granted by the University of Oxford to those pursuing a doctorate at Oxford.
  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by the University of St Andrews to those pursuing a doctorate at St Andrews.

The One Year Marshall Scholarship is tenable for one academic year (ie 12 months) and cannot be extended.

Preparing for Competition:
Applicants must be endorsed by their universities. University of Washington students who are interested in applying for a Marshall Scholarship are encouraged to visit the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards in 171 Mary Gates Hall to learn more about the UW application process (details below). Learn more about the Marshall competition by at:

To be eligible for a 2021 Marshall Scholarship, candidates must:

  • be citizens of the United States of America (at the time they apply for a scholarship);
  • (by the time they take up their scholarship, ie September 2021) hold their first undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States;
  • have obtained a grade point average of not less than 3.7 on their undergraduate degree.  (Applicants must have a GPA of 3.7 at the time of application).
  • have graduated from their first undergraduate college or university after April 2018.
  • not have studied for, or hold a degree or degree-equivalent qualification from a British University.
Student Type
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • Us Citizen

What is the nomination requirement?

Students must be nominated by the University of Washington to compete for the Marshall Scholarship. The University of Washington has a spring campus competition to identify its nominees, and uses a single application process to select nominees for the Marshall, Rhodes, Mitchell and Churchill scholarships. Interested applicants can apply for any or all of the scholarships within that group that are relevant to their goals for study and/or research at universities in the UK. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship does not require university nomination, but we include it in the campus application as well to provide support to students applying.

After the campus application deadline, a campus selection committee composed of UW faculty and staff members will review applications and determine which applicants can be nominated for each scholarship, based on each applicant's potential competitiveness for the rigorous national and international selection processes, and considering each individual scholarship's criteria and mission. Interviews may be included in that campus selection process. Those students/alumni able to be nominated for any of these scholarships will receive support and guidance in completing the official program applications throughout the summer, in preparation to meet the final program deadlines in early fall.

How do I apply for UW nomination?

The campus application is available at

To be considered as part of the 2020-2021 nomination (which would assume a fall 2021 start date for graduate studies in the UK), students should submit the UW Campus Nomination Application to the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards by 11:59 p.m. on April 26, 2020.

Details and Guidance:

Students & alumni interested in the Marshall Scholarship should contact the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards in 171 Mary Gates Hall and obtain information describing the campus screening process. For the best results, interested students should begin preparing early, prior to the campus application deadline.  Additional information can be found on the Marshall Scholarship website:

Please note that this is a long process. Nominees are identified in the spring, work on their final application for the national Marshall competition over the spring and summer, to meet the fall national application deadline, and if selected, would start their studies in the UK the following fall. So planning and applying 1.5 years in advance of when you want to start your studies in the UK is necessary!

Applicants and nominees for the Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, and Gates Cambridge scholarships should take advantage of OMSFA’s Global Fellowships Prep project to get advising support, connection to additional scholarship opportunities supporting their goals, application development tools and resources, potential connections to program alumni and additional mentors, and the opportunity to engage with peers working on similar applications.

The campus application includes:

  • Basic biographical and educational information, including your proposed graduate program(s) in the UK
  • 2 letters of recommendation: At least one letter must be from a faculty member who has taught you, which addresses intellectual curiosity, academic potential, preparation and potential for success in the proposed graduate program(s), and character. At least one of your recommenders should also be able to speak in support of your extra-curricular, experiential learning (including research), and/or leadership experiences, how you have demonstrated motivation and potential with respect to community, campus leadership, research and/or public service.
  • A list of 4-8 additional supporters, at least 4 must be faculty from whom you have received instruction.
  • Essays (please feel free to access the online application to see additional details and guidance about these essays):
    • a statement of 500 words or less describing any current or previous research experience
    • a statement of 500 words or less describing 2 to 3 significant leadership roles
    • a statement of 500 words or less describing 2 to 3 public service activities you consider especially significant
    • a statement of 500 words or less describing 2 to 3 significant academic or professional milestones
    • a statement of 500 words or less describing the work that you want to be engaged in that you hope will make a contribution or difference in the world.
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial transcripts.
  • Identify the scholarship(s) for which you would like to be considered for nomination. Please also write a statement describing your proposed UK or Irish universities, proposed courses of study at those universities, and their fit for your academic background and future goals. Please specifically address:
    • Why are these academic programs a good fit for you?
    • Why these institutions?
    • Why the UK and/or Ireland?
    • What aspects of the US/UK and/or US/Ireland relationship are pertinent to your field of study?

Please note that not every scholarship this campus application covers is looking for the same qualities and experiences from candidates. So approach these short essays as opportunities to share information about yourself in various areas. But don't be dissuaded from applying if you are stronger, or have more to write about, in one area than another!


Please also note: It is to your distinct advantage to consider your options widely. In addition to Oxford and Cambridge, there are many universities with great program options across the UK & Ireland. Use the resources about "Choosing a University in the UK" on the Marshall Scholarship website to explore broadly!

The Marshall Scholarships are distinctive among British award programmes in being established by an Act of Parliament.The idea behind the Marshall Scholarships was to build on the Rhodes Scholarships established by a private bequest a half-century earlier. The Rhodes scheme was acknowledged to be an outstanding success, but it was restricted to one British university and, in 1953-54, to one carefully defined category of male candidate. The Marshall, in Roger Makins's view, would extend the Rhodes Scholarship idea and apply it, without distinction of gender and with a wider age range, to any university in the United Kingdom. The Marshall Aid Commemoration Act became law on 31 July 1953.
Contact Information

Robin Chang

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352803
Seattle, WA 98195-2803
Phone: 206-543-4282
Fax: 206-616-4389