About the Rhodes Scholarships
The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals. The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain and other generous benefactors. A class of 89 Scholars is selected each year from: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica & the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United Arab Emirates, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Applying for the Rhodes Scholarships
89 Rhodes Scholars are selected annually from 32 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. This is a most prestigious financial aid programme in the region.
Rhodes selection criteria
The selection criteria govern selection across all Scholarship 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 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. Please refer to the relevant country page: New Zealand.
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)
- 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 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.
The Rhodes Trust focuses on four criteria which are used in the selection of Scholars:
- literary and scholastic attainments
- the energy to use ones¹s talents to the full, for example through achievement 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.
In short, Rhodes Scholarship selection committees seek young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as ‘leaders for the world’s future’.
At Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Rhodes Scholars join just over 20,000 students from more than 140 countries currently studying at the University, and are enriched by the stimulating and rigorous education and the vibrant cultural and community life.
Nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, the professions, commerce, the arts, education, research and other sectors. They are well known advocates for expanded social justice, and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine.
A Rhodes Scholarship covers all University and College fees, a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to Oxford at the start of the Scholarship, as well as an economy flight back to the student’s home country at the conclusion of the Scholarship.