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 fifty 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 connect with the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards to learn more about the UW application process (details below).
Learn more about the Marshall competition by at:

To be eligible for a 2025 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 2025) 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 2022.
  • 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

Whether you've made any firm decisions about applying, which universities/grad programs you're interested in, or are just getting started exploring, let us know you're considering UK options. Connect with Robin Chang in the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards.

What is the nomination requirement?

Students must be nominated by the University of Washington to compete for the Marshall Scholarship. UW has a spring campus application process to identify its nominees, and uses this one 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 and fit 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 UW application for nomination will open on March 14, 2024 for those hoping to start graduate studies in the UK in fall 2025. Apply here!

To be considered as part of the 2024-2025 nomination (which would assume a fall 2025 start date for graduate studies in the UK), students should submit the UW Campus Nomination Application (when it becomes available in spring) to the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards by the campus deadline.

Details and Guidance:

Students & alumni interested in the Marshall Scholarship should contact the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards 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. Those considering applying should start researching options in winter and spring. Nominees are identified in the early summer, work on their final application for the national Marshall competition throughout 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 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.

Campus application materials include: (additional guidance on these components is available through the Global Fellowships Prep resources)

  • 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 2-6 additional supporters, at least 2-3 must be faculty from whom you have received instruction.
  • Personal Statement Essay (max 1,000 words). Please use this essay to reflect on your intellectual development and experiences that have contributed to shaping or clarifying your trajectory.
  • Why UK/Ireland and Your Proposed Studies Essay (max 500 words): Provide your ideas at this early stage about the UK or Irish graduate program(s) you hope to do, sharing reasons for these choices and preferred universities. 
  • Leadership Essay (max 500 words): Reflect on one leadership experience you've taken on. How did this experience challenge you to leverage your courage of conviction, persistence, determination, energy and/or creativity in the pursuit a goal? What was your role in bringing about an outcome (or multiple outcomes) in this work?
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial transcripts.

Please note that not every scholarship this campus application covers is looking for the same qualities and experiences from candidates. So approach all parts of the application 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 that the official Marshall Scholarship application is very different from the UW campus application. Our campus application at this stage does not mirror the applications nominees will ultimately submit to any of these national competitions.

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