Rhodes Scholarship

The oldest international fellowship in the world, the Rhodes Scholarship provides support for graduate study at the University of Oxford. The Rhodes Trust aims to identify and develop exceptional young people who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act. The combination of a collaborative and dynamic environment, intensive and challenging education, and a focus on character, service, and leadership prepares them to make a positive impact on the world.

This award requires university endorsement through a competitive campus process. In order to apply, you must contact NCA by the Intent to Apply Deadline.

Having trouble writing an essay on your leadership skills?

Prestigious scholarships often ask for a leadership essay, but what does such an essay entail? NCA has recorded a webinar full of tips to help you craft a compelling leadership narrative for your application. Please watch our 30-minute Leadership Essay Webinar (be sure to view as a Slide Show for audio narration). Closed captions are available. 

Deadlines

Campus Deadline: March 26, 2021 @ 12PM
Applications Opens: July 1, 2021
National Deadline: October 6, 2021

Please note that these deadlines are for the U.S. Rhodes competition. International candidates may need to apply on a different timeline.

Each year, 32 Americans are chosen from a pool of 800-1,000 applicants who first have been endorsed by their university. The scholarship covers two years at Oxford, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend. The award also covers roundtrip airfare.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Rising seniors or recent alumni may apply
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident with DACA status by April 15 of application year (Note: international students may apply for a Rhodes Scholarship through a different process. See International Student Awards for more information.)
  • At least 18 but not yet 24 years of age at time of application (i.e., the applicant must still be 23 on October 1 in the year of application).
  • Minimum GPA of 3.7 (no rounding)

Please refer to the Rhodes website for a detailed description of the eligibility criteria.

Selection Criteria

The Rhodes Scholarship is looking for candidates who exhibit academic and scholarly excellence; strength of character; the vision and skills needed to be a leader in their field; a genuine regard for others; and a commitment to improving the lives of those around them. Rhodes Scholars must exhibit:

  • 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

Please refer to the Rhodes website for a detailed list of the selection criteria.

  • Background information
  • Official transcripts
  • List of principal activities
  • Personal statement (1000 word max)
  • Academic statement of study (750 word max)
  • Letters of recommendation (5-8)

Read more about the application components.

  • In the spring, attend an NCA Learning Series session on the Rhodes Scholarship. This year, the Learning Series are on February 17th @ 12:30PM via WebEx, February 24th @ 4PM via WebEx, and February 25th @ 12:30PM. Please fill out our registration form, and you will be sent a link to the WebEx. 
  • Schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Jenny Hyest through Starfish. In advance of that appointment, please: 
  • Complete NCA Campus Endorsement Application by March 26, 2021.
  • Launch your online application. (Application opens July 1, 2021)
  • Endorsed candidates submit revised application by National Deadline: October 6, 2021
  • Please note that you are prohibited from receiving feedback on your Personal Statement. No one—NCA, family, friends, writing center—may comment on or edit your essay.
  • Remember the Rhodes Scholarship is a means to an end—and that end is an Oxford education. Spend time researching life at Oxford and your chosen degree program.
  • Though you cannot receive feedback on your essay, the Rhodes House does provide helpful videos that address aspects of the application process, including the personal statement.
  • Information on this page is intended to supplement, not supplant, your own careful review of the official Rhodes website. If you find any discrepancy between the two, the Rhodes website takes precedence.
  • UC’s Student Code of Conduct applies to this application process.