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Applying for the Rhodes Scholarships
83 Rhodes Scholars are selected annually from 14 countries or groupings of countries around the world. They are outstanding young women and men of diverse backgrounds and interests who show strong potential to be public-spirited leaders for the world's future. Below is a video of current Rhodes Scholars discussing the application process and what it is like to study at Oxford.
Selection in each Rhodes constituency is by committees comprised of Rhodes alumni and distinguished non-Scholar members of the community. Though the selection criteria are uniform across all countries, there are some eligibility requirements that vary.
For a description of the Scholarships applicable globally, click here. To read about the Rhodes class of 2013, please click here, and for the Rhodes class of 2012, click here.
General eligibility requirements and application information, along with the courses available for study on a Rhodes Scholarship, are available below. For information on specific eligibility requirements for each country, click here. Also available on the country pages are contact details for the National Secretaries, who can provide additional information for prospective applicants in each country.
Rhodes selection criteria
The selection criteria, as found in the Will of Cecil Rhodes, govern selection across all Rhodes constituencies. They are:
- literary and scholastic attainments
- energy to use one's talents to the full
- 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.
In general, committees will select applicants of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.
The Rhodes Trust warmly welcomes applications from talented young women and men 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.
Eligibility criteria for the Rhodes Scholarship
The following eligibility criteria apply to all applicants for the Rhodes Scholarships:
- Citizenship & residency: Each applicant must fulfil the citizenship and residency requirements of the Rhodes constituency for which they are applying. Please check the detailed information carefully via the country links.
- Age: Age limits vary between constituencies and range from a minimum age limit of 18 to a maximum of 28 by 1 October of the year following selection. In most constituencies, the age limit is 24 or 25. Please check carefully the specific age requirements for your constituency before applying. Successful candidates will arrive in Oxford the October following the selection process. The Scholarship may not normally be deferred.
- Education: All applicants must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor's degree by the October following election. Academic standing must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which has very competitive entry requirements, and to give confidence that Rhodes Scholars will perform to a high academic standard in Oxford. Individual constituencies may specify a 1st or equivalent. Please check the detailed requirements via the country links. Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.
What to submit
For detailed application requirements for each constituency, please visit the country pages via the country links. In broad terms, all constituencies will require the following materials in differing forms:
- Evidence of academic record / transcript (complete or in progress) of undergraduate degree and any postgraduate study
- Curriculum vitae/resumé or list of principal activities
- Personal statement or essay (including, crucially, a clear statement of what the applicant wishes to study at Oxford and why)
- Evidence of age / birth certificate / passport
- English Language proficiency (where English is not the first language)
- List of referees (usually several are required) who can attest in confidential references to the character and intellect of the applicant, including academic, personal, extra-curricular and leadership achievements (and who should never include people to whom you are related)
Available courses of study and conditions of tenure at the University of Oxford
Subject to limited restrictions, Rhodes Scholars may read for any full-time postgraduate degree (including the BA with senior status over two years) at the University of Oxford. The basic tenure of the Scholarship is two years, subject always, and at all times, to satisfactory academic performance and personal conduct. For the full listing of degrees offered by the University of Oxford, visit www.ox.ac.uk.
At the discretion of the Trustees, the Scholarship may be extended for a third year for those who take a recognized route to the DPhil. The Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and the Masters of Financial Economics (MFE) are only tenable in the second year of the Scholarship.
For the detailed conditions of tenure, including exceptions and qualifications to the above, please click here.
Practical steps to making an application for the Rhodes Scholarship
Applications for Rhodes Scholarships open during the spring and summer of the preceding year.
All candidates for the Scholarship should read the information about the Scholarships applicable globally here, and then proceed to their country-specific page here.
You may also view the detailed guidance for constituency-specific information. Online application is not available for applicants to New Zealand and Pakistan. Please refer to the relevant country page: New Zealand or Pakistan.
Note to applicants:
Successful candidates will be asked to provide original copies of academic transcripts (and other supporting documents as required). References may be checked during application review, and any applications deemed fraudulent will be rejected. Authors of fraudulent applications will be pursued to the full extent possible under the law.
A Rhodes Scholarship is confirmed once a successful candidate has been offered a place in a Department or Faculty of the University of Oxford and in a college.
For information about other awards to support postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, click here.