The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford. The Scholarships provide transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals, encouraging them to ‘fight the world’s fight’ throughout their lives, and aiming to contribute to international understanding.
83 Rhodes Scholars are selected annually from 14 countries or groupings of countries around the world. They are outstanding young women and men of diverse backgrounds and interests who show strong potential to be public-spirited leaders for the world’s future.
Selection in each Rhodes constituency is by committees comprised of Rhodes alumni and distinguished non-Scholar members of the community. Though the selection criteria are uniform across all countries, there are some eligibility requirements that vary.
General eligibility requirements and application information, along with the courses available for study on a Rhodes Scholarship, are available below. Also available on the country pages are contact details for the National Secretaries, who can provide additional information for prospective applicants in each country.
Rhodes selection criteria
The selection criteria, as found in the Will of Cecil Rhodes, govern selection across all Rhodes 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.
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, 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 fulfill 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 election. In most constituencies, the age limit is 24 or 25. Please check carefully the specific age requirements for your constituency before applying.
- 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. Please check the detailed requirements via the country links. Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.
Eligible African Countries
Namibia or Swaziland
What to submit
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 to the character and intellect of the applicant, including academic, personal, extra-curricular and leadership achievements
Available courses of study and conditions of tenure at 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.
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.
Deadline: 15 August 2011
Practical steps to making an application for the Rhodes Scholarships
The online application form for the Rhodes Scholarships 2012 is available here.
For application criteria specific to Southern Africa click here
Applicants from Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe should click here and follow the links for their countries.