Applying for the Rhodes Scholarships

Why Apply?

83 Rhodes Scholars are selected annually from 14 countries or groupings of countries around the world. They are young women and men from diverse backgrounds and interests who show potential to be public-spirited leaders for the world's future. Below is a video of current Rhodes Scholars discussing what it is like to study at Oxford.


To read about the Rhodes class of 2014, please click here, and for the Rhodes class of 2013 please click here.

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.

Selection in each Rhodes constituency is by committees comprised of Rhodes alumni and distinguished non-Scholar members of the community. 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.  Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.

Application process

1. Application to the 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, and then proceed to their country-specific page. Online application is not available for applicants to New Zealand and Pakistan.  Please refer to the relevant country page: New Zealand or Pakistan

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)
  • Photograph
  • 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)

In the below video, current Rhodes Scholars speak about the personal statement and what is required for this part of the application process.

2. Choice of course in 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.

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.