Rhodes Scholarships

Website: Rhodes Trust


The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award supporting exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.

  • The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest (first awarded in 1902) and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship programme
  • The Scholarship aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world's future
  • Ninety five outstanding young women and men are awarded the Scholarship each year, from 20 Rhodes constituencies (64 countries) worldwide
  • Rhodes Scholars study at the world-class University of Oxford, ranked first internationally in the Times Higher Education rankings 2017
  • Scholars may pursue any full-time postgraduate degree (subject to limited restrictions) offered by the University of Oxford, for a duration of 2-3 years
  • The Scholarship includes full tuition, a maintenance stipend, and flights to and from Oxford at the beginning and end of tenure
  • Whilst at Oxford Scholars enjoy a comprehensive Rhodes Character, Service & Leadership programme, inclusive of retreats, workshops, conferences, as well as many discussion and social events at Rhodes House, Oxford
  • The Rhodes Scholarship is a lifelong, intergenerational fellowship of over 5000 individuals, resident in over 100 countries worldwide.

How do you apply?

There are two avenues students can take to apply, depending on where you're from.

1. Students from these countries may be eligible to apply through their home country application processes: (please see https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/ for details about each country's specific application requirements and processes).

  • UNITED STATES: university nomination is required (UW nomination application information is below; additional details for US applicants are at http://www.rhodesscholar.org/)
  • CANADA: university nomination is required (UW nomination application information is below)
  • SOUTHERN AFRICA: This covers South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland
  • JAMAICA & THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN: This covers Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands
  • EAST AFRICA: This covers Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi
  • WEST AFRICA: This covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Principe and Togo.

2. Global Rhodes Scholarships: In 2018, the Rhodes Trust created two new Global Rhodes Scholarships. These scholarships are open to candidates from any country in the world that is not already covered by the above list of eligible countries. Potential candidates will need to seek nomination from their university. UW nomination processes for US applicants, Canadian applicants and these Global Rhodes Scholarships are below.

Rhodes Selection Criteria:

Though expressed in the old-fashioned language of the founding documents (see History of the Rhodes Trust), the selection criteria governing selection across all Rhodes constituencies remain as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago:

  • literary and scholastic attainments (academic excellence)
  • energy to use one's talents to the full (as demonstrated by mastery in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, particularly where teamwork is involved)
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

These are the essential qualities which Selection Committees are looking for, though their embodiment will be diverse and unique to each individual.

Selection Committees in each Rhodes constituency are made up of senior Rhodes Scholars (Rhodes alumni) and distinguished non-Scholar members of the local community, who represent a diverse range of experience and expertise.



At the time of application, an applicant applying for the US Rhodes Scholarships must:

  • be a citizen of the United States, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or have DACA status. DACA applicants will be requested to provide appropriate documentation regarding their status (an approved I-797 letter confirming DACA status and a U.S. Employment Authorization Card displaying valid dates).
  • be eligible to apply through one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or one of the U.S. territories: either in the state or territory where the applicant was legally resident on April 15 in the year of application, or where the applicant will have received at least two years of college training and a bachelor’s degree before October 1 in the year following election.
  • Upon 1 October in the year in which you are applying, you must meet either of the two below age criteria:
    • You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 24th birthday OR
    • (for older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual), you must have not reached your 27th birthday AND you have met or will meet the requirements for completion of your first degree on or after 1 October of the prior calendar year
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.7, and for maximum competitiveness, 3.8+ is recommended.

An applicant with dual citizenship or applying as a United States lawful permanent resident shall not have applied for the Scholarship as a citizen or permanent resident of another country, may not apply in two jurisdictions at once, and may not apply in a different national jurisdiction after having applied in the United States.

Maximum number of times a candidate may apply:  If unsuccessful in their first application to the Rhodes Scholarships, candidates may subsequently re-apply only once more (and this must be in the same constituency), subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.


  • Citizenship & residency: Candidates who are eligible to apply from any of the existing Rhodes constituencies are not eligible for the Global Scholarship. 
  • Age: You must have reached your 18th birthday and not have passed your 24th birthday on 1 October in the year of application. Successful candidates will arrive in Oxford in late September of the year following the selection process. The Scholarship may not be deferred.
  • Education: Rhodes Scholars must have completed a Bachelor’s degree before coming up to Oxford, to a sufficiently high standard to meet both the Rhodes and the University of Oxford criteria. As a guideline, successful candidates should have achieved (or be on track to achieve) a 1st class or minimum 3.75/4.00 GPA or equivalent. Please consult the detailed information on the How to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship page and the course pages of the University of Oxford.


Please consult the country-specific details for your home country at https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/constituency-information/


The Rhodes Trust warmly welcomes applications from talented young persons of diverse backgrounds. Selection of Rhodes Scholars is made without regard to gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, social background, caste, or disability.

Student Type
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

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.

Is UW nomination required?

Candidates must be nominated by the University of Washington to compete for the US Rhodes Scholarships, Canadian Rhodes Scholarships, and the Global Rhodes Scholarships. Students from other Rhodes-eligible countries listed above apply through their home country processes, which usually do not require UW nomination. However, our office is available to support any UW applicant. We want to work with you on crafting your strongest application!

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 at Oxford 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.

UW offers a spring campus competition open to all eligible students/alumni to identify nominees, and uses a single application process to select nominees for the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell and Churchill scholarships. Please complete the UW application to be considered for any of those scholarships. 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 for that scholarship.

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.

To learn about the degree options available at Oxford, check the Oxford Graduate Studies Prospectus. The information is provided on the at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate.

Details and Guidance:

Students & alumni interested in the Rhodes Scholarship, or any of the others noted, 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.  For US Rhodes applicants, additional information can be found on the US Rhodes Scholarship website at http://www.rhodesscholar.org.

Please note that this is a long process. Nominees for the US, Canadian, and Global Rhodes competitions are identified in the spring, work on their final application for the national Rhodes competition over the spring and summer, to meet the fall national application deadlines, and if selected, would start their studies at Oxford the following fall. So planning and applying 1.5 years in advance of when you want to start your studies at Oxford 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 Rhodes 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.

Explore your options: 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!

Contact Information

Robin Chang

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352803
Seattle, WA 98195-2803
Phone: 206-543-4282
E-mail: robinc@uw.edu

US Rhodes Scholarship details: http://www.rhodesscholar.org

Rhodes Scholarship details for students from other countries: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/constituency-information/