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Rhodes Scholarships

Postgraduate degree at Oxford in any field

Grade Level: Seniors & recent grads
2021 Campus Deadline: August 15


Rhodes 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 Oxford in any field of study. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.  The specific selection criteria are:

  1. literary and scholastic attainments;
  2. energy to use one's talents to the full (as demonstrated by mastery in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, including where teamwork is involved);
  3. truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship;
  4. moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

Note: Rhodes requires that applicants complete college with a GPA of 3.7 or higher, with no rounding. Applicants are not allowed to apply with a lower GPA unless a special exception has been granted by the American Secretary.

Campus Nomination Process

Overview: The following application components must be uploaded to the Charles Center Box folder (with materials labeled by: lastname_first_materialtype) by the campus deadline of August 15: 1,000 word personal statement, 750-word academic statement, unofficial transcript, and a full curriculum vitae which should include details about academic qualifications, prizes, scholarships, positions of leadership, employment positions, involvement in student, voluntary, community or political activities and any cultural, musical or sporting accomplishments. This should not exceed two letter size pages in length with a minimum 10 pt font. The letters of recommendation (at least 5 and up to 8), are also due to the Charles Center inbox by August 15. You should also begin (not submit) your application in the Rhodes online portal. The application components you send to the inbox will be the same as the ones in the application portal. Since campus advisors are not given access to the portal, you also have to share those materials with the Charles Center.

Note: It is your responsibility to let your recommendation writers know that they will have to submit their letters twice: first to the Charles Center inbox (for the campus review process) by the campus deadline of August 15; and a second time to the Rhodes application portal (the system will generate a letter request when you enter their email into your application account) by the national deadline. Guidance for referees is available on the last two pages of the information for candidates packet (available under the Quick Links section).

Application Format: The application is completed on the Rhodes online application portal (that same material must get sent to the Charles Center by the campus deadline). Review the eligibility requirements and information for candidates before beginning an application.

Deadlines and Timeline: 

  • August 15 at 11:59 p.m.: Campus Deadline (see the requirements in the Overview section above)
  • Early September: Campus Interviews Take Place
  • September: Campus finalists will have a short window to edit applications after the campus interviews before submitting their applications in time to meet the national deadline.

Nominations: William & Mary is not limited in the number of applicants it can nominate. However, nominations are only given to students who will be competitive at the national level.

National Application Process

The national deadline is October 6, at 11:59 EST. All students must meet the campus deadline (posted above) in order to be eligible for endorsement by the national deadline. Learn more about the Rhodes Scholarship including specific information for candidates, frequently asked questions about the program, and previous award winners.

Next Steps

Please note: for Rhodes, we cannot offer any help on your personal statement and you should not seek assistance from anyone else. Rhodes requires that an applicants' personal statement is strictly their own work. Applicants & the campus representative must submit a certification attesting this is true.

However, there is no stipulation that applicants do not receive assistance with the academic statement of study. Quite the opposite: Rhodes actively encourages applicants to discuss their proposed courses of study with their academic advisors and mentors, as well as professors or lecturers in that field - and, if possible, with someone who has knowledge of United Kingdom universities.