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Marshall Scholarships

What is a Marshall Scholarship?

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programmes contributes to their ultimate personal success

The objectives of the Marshall Scholarships are to enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the UK; to help Scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain; to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centres of academic excellence; to motivate Scholars to act as ambassadors from the USA to the UK and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding; to promote the personal and academic fulfillment of each Scholar.

William & Mary's most recent Marshall Scholar is Judd Kennedy '08.

What does it take?

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. They must hold an undergraduate degree by the time they take up their Scholarship and have graduated from their undergraduate college or university after April 2012. Applicants must have a grade point average of not less than 3.7 and must not have studied for, or hold a degree or degree-equivalent qualification from a British University. (Studying abroad does not count.)

A Marshall Scholar must possess a keen intellect and a broad outlook. Selectors will look for distinction of intellect and character; preference will be given to candidates who combine high academic ability with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the UK university they attend, and to those who display a potential to make a significant contribution to their own society. Strong motivation and seriousness of purpose is also important. Applicants currently attending William and Mary must be endorsed by the College.

Do your homework: choosing a university

General information on studying in the UK, undergraduate and postgraduate, is available on the EducationUK website. Current faculty lists, and summary information on the universities themselves, is included in the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook (ACU - Association of Commonwealth Universities).

Look especially closely at the Marshall Partner Institutions.

W&M Campus Application Procedures

Read all of the information on the Marshall website carefully, particularly the Criteria, Rules for Candidates, and FAQs

If you think you are a qualified candidate, request a preliminary application questionnaire. Note that this is an in-depth questionnaire that will take some time to complete.

I. Preliminary Application - due by noon on July 15

The preliminary application questionnaire, a Banner transcript, and a list of activities of not more than 2 pages (all in Word format) may be submitted to [[lmgrim, Lisa]] at any time and no later than 12:00 noon on Tuesday July 15, 2014.  Potential applicants are encouraged to submit these materials well in advance of July 15.  

II. Campus Application - due by noon on Wednesday, September 3

Members of the campus nomination will review the prelimary application materials and respond to potential applicants within fourteen days of submission. Candidates who are asked to submit a full application will also receive instructions for their recommenders.  

Note that a request for a full application is not a guarantee of the College's endorsement. 

The full campus application is due by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, September 3 and must be submitted online through the Marshall application website. The application is submitted to William & Mary only - it does not go to Marshall and applicants will be able to edit it later.

In order to addition to the materials already submitted, the full campus application includes:

  1. Short answers (personal details, education, proposed program of study, employment, recommenders, activities, awards).  
  2. A personal statement of not more than 1,000 words describing in which the candidate describes his/her academic and other interests and pursuits.
  3. A brief essay in which the candidate desribes his/her proposed academic programme, giving reasons for their choice of course and preferred university. Those hoping to read for a research degree should give an outline proposal of the research they wish to undertake. 
  4. An essay in which the candidate discusses his/her reasons for wishing to live and study in the UK and how s/he thinks this will be beneficial in the future. The candidate should also think about how s/he will demonstrate commitment to the UK through volunteer and extracurricular activities. Candidates should also demonstrate how they will meet the Marshall Scholarships' objective of gaining an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain. In addition, they should demonstrate how they intend to fulfill the Marshall Scholarships' objective of becoming ambassadors / representatives for the USA in the UK and vice versa, thus strengthening British - American understanding.
  5. Candidates for one-year Marshall Scholarships must also submit an essay describing their immediate plans upon completion of the Marshall Scholarship and why one year spent undertaking a degree in the UK would enhance these plans. As well as describing plans for employment or further study, candidates should indicate how they would develop ongoing connections with the UK, through their UK institution or some other contacts they propose to make while in the UK. 
  6. Candidates for one-year awards also comment briefly on their future career aims.
  7. Four letters of recommendation must be submitted online
III. Interviews - September 8-15

The campus nomination committee will review the applications and issue invitations to those selected for interviews. Interviews will be held shortly after the campus deadline. The interview will last approximately 20 minutes. At the completion of the interviews, the committee will select the College's nominees and all applicants will be notified of their status.  

Note that the nomination committee determines the region to which each candidate is nominated.

IV. Fine Tuning - September 15-October 1

Candidates chosen as nominees will have time to fine tune their application materials prior to submitting them to the District Committee of Selection designated by the campus nomination committee. The final applications must be submitted online no later than October 1, 2014.

V. Regional Interviews

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview at one of eight U.S. regional centers. Dates for the interviews can be found here.

VI. Marshall Scholars Named

The final selection will be announced shortly after interview. Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship in writing, and will be asked to accept or decline this offer, also in writing, within 10-12 days of receiving it (Nb this timeframe may be shorter where the interviews occur late in the interview week). In keeping with other UK government-funded programs the Marshall Commission asks Scholars to give a definitive and final response in this way, so that the Commission can at the earliest opportunity arrange the best and most appropriate graduate program and living accommodation for each Scholar's needs.