Masters Rhodes Scholarship Program at Oxford University

Masters Rhodes Scholarship Program at Oxford University

Table of Contents

A Rhodes Scholarship offers the opportunity to study at Oxford University for two years, with all tuition fees paid and a living allowance provided. Thirty-two American Rhodes Scholars are selected from all over the nation to pursue a course of study of their own choosing at Oxford; students may work toward a master’s degree or a second bachelor’s degree.

Intellectual and academic achievement of a high standard is the first quality required of applicants, but they will also be required to show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead, and the energy to use their talents to the full. The Rhodes Scholarship program especially seeks to select individuals who possess remarkable leadership experience.  For further information, visit the Rhodes website.

Basis of Selection

“Quality of both character and intellect is the important requirement for a Rhodes Scholarship.” Cecil Rhodes hoped that the Scholar “….would come to esteem the performance of public duties as the highest aim.” These are among the qualities sought by the Selection Committees: scholastic ability and achievements, courage and strength of character, leadership ability, unselfishness, interest in one’s contemporaries, and physical vigor. Race, religion, and need are not factors.


At the time of application:

  1. An applicant must be a citizen of the United States; pending application for citizenship does not qualify a person to apply.
  2. An applicant must, by October 1, 2021, be at least 18 but not yet 24 years of age.
  3. An applicant must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before October 1, 2022.

In the opinion of the Rhodes Trust, an applicant should have the academic background and accomplishment to be admitted into top graduate programs whether in the US or UK. While not stated specifically, a GPA of 3.9 or above is strongly recommended.

Period of Study

Subject to the consent of their colleges, Scholars may read for the Oxford B.A. in any of the Final Honour Schools or, with the consent of their colleges and the relevant faculty, they may be admitted, if qualified by previous training, to read for a higher degree such as the B.Phil., M.Phil., M.Litt., M.Sc. by Research, or D.Phil. All proposals must include two-year programs.  Please refer to the Rhodes website with regards to eligible degree programs.

Special Considerations

All GW Rhodes nominees are also eligible to be considered for the George Washington UniversityJ.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Scholarship to the University of Oxford.


The stipend of a Rhodes Scholarship consists of a direct payment to the Scholar’s college of all tuition fees (such as matriculation, tuition, laboratory fees, and certain other set charges), plus a maintenance allowance of not less than 735 pounds per month paid directly to the Scholar in installments during the term of the Scholarship. Although a Rhodes Scholar may be married, no allowance is made for the spouse’s expenses.


The Rhodes Trust has recently and fundamentally revised its instructions to prospective applicants and nominating universities.

Beginning with the 2014 application cycle, all  applicants must add the following statement at the conclusion of their personal statement and before their signature:

“I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”

Likewise, all nominating officials will need to affirm:

“I am knowledgeable regarding the institutional practices of [name of institution] in connection with applications for the Rhodes Scholarship. To the best of my knowledge and belief, [name of institution] has provided no editorial review of the applicant’s [or applicant’s name] personal statement.”

Consequently, GW’s Endorsement Process for Rhodes Scholarship is revised as well in order to minimize any possible conflicts with the Rhodes Scholarship’s recent changes.

GW Endorsement Process:

Registration: All students intending to apply for GW endorsement for the RhodesMarshall and Mitchell Scholarship programs must submit a pre-application questionnaire to the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.  By completing that questionnaire, applicants for GW endorsement will be sure to receive the advice and support of fellowships center staff.  Prospective applicants must complete the require pre-application questionnaire no later than May 10, 2021.  That pre-application questionnaire is available through CUFR’s InfoReady portal.

Since we can no longer provide support and feedback on your Rhodes essay, prospective applicants for the Rhodes Scholarship must prepare a Marshall Scholarship application, and they must submit drafts of Marshall essays no later than June 11, 2021.

A 2021 Marshall scholarship application form, including five required essays

  • A personal statement of 750 words or less;
  • Academic Program (500 words); the majority of the essay should focus on your first choice; your alternate should be mentioned.
  • Essay Addressing the Citizen-Ambassadorial Qualities; (500 words).
  • Essay detailing a leadership experience; (500 words).
  • Statement of post-scholarship plans, including why a studying in the UK would enhance those plans; (300 words).

In order to best prepare the eventual endorsees, the GW endorsement application consists of the Rhodes application requirements:

  1. A 2021 Marshall scholarship application form, including five required essays:
  • A personal statement of 750 words or less;
  • Academic Program (500 words); the majority of the essay should focus on your first choice; your alternate should be mentioned.
  • Essay Addressing the Citizen-Ambassadorial Qualities (500 words).
  • Essay detailing a leadership experience (500 words).
  • Statement on post-scholarship plans (300 words).
  1. A minimum of six (6) recommendation letters, of which four (4) must be from academic in nature.
    c. A GW transcript (an unofficial transcript printed by the Student Services Hub would suffice for nomination purposes), together with official transcripts from ALL other universities attended (study abroad, community college, etc).
    d. A concise resume/list of honors and activities, no more than two pages in length.

GW Endorsement Interviews. The GW Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell nomination committee will notify select GW students and alumni submitting complete applications of its desire to interview them. Those interviews take place during half of September.

Further information and support materials (application timelines and checklists, information for recommenders, etc.) are available from the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.


GW Endorsement Application: All students seeking endorsement for the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell competitions must submit complete applications by Friday, August 20, 2021.


Class Year

  • Senior
  • Recent Graduate


  • Multiple


  • English


  • Other

Program Type

  • Graduate Study
  • Study Abroad


  • Europe

GWU Sponsored?


GWU Endorsement Required?


Make an Appointment

To discuss this and other opportunities, schedule an appointment with the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships & Research.