The Rhodes Scholarships, widely considered the world’s most prestigious international scholarship program, support outstanding students from around the world in postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Established in the will of Cecil Rhodes, the program aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world's future, and to promote international understanding and peace. Rhodes Scholars are selected on the basis of outstanding intellect and character, capacity and instincts for high leadership, demonstrated rigor and commitment to service and extracurricular activity, with a focus on effecting positive change in the world.
A class of 89 Scholars is selected each year from the Rhodes constituencies around the world. A Rhodes Scholarship covers all University and College fees, a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to Oxford at the start of the Scholarship, as well as an economy flight back to the student's home country at the conclusion of the Scholarship. Successful candidates in the upcoming competition will undertake their programs of choice at Oxford in the fall of 2017. International and domestic candidates seeking the endorsement of Western University's President must submit a competitive application by the internal deadline and complete a successful interview by members of Western’s Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee.
Spotlight on a Western Rhodes Scholar
Value and Duration
The Scholarship is normally tenable for two years and consists of:
- Direct payment to the University and the Scholar’s College to cover costs such as matriculation, tuition, laboratory and certain other ancillary fees
- Direct payment to the Scholar of a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to and from Oxford at the beginning and end of the Scholarship
Candidates for the Rhodes Scholarships who are current undergraduate students or who are current first year graduate students, must seek endorsement from their undergraduate university.
The following eligibility criteria apply to all applicants for the Rhodes Scholarships:
- Citizenship and residency: Each applicant must fulfil 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 October 1st of the year following selection. In most constituencies, the age limit is 24 or 25. Please check carefully the specific age requirements for your constituency before applying. Successful candidates will arrive at Oxford the October following the selection process. The Scholarship may not normally be deferred.
- 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. Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.
Rhodes-Eligible Postgraduate Degrees at Oxford
Rhodes Scholars may undertake any full-time postgraduate degree 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. For the full listing of degrees offered by the University of Oxford, visit www.ox.ac.uk.
- At the discretion of the Trustees, the Scholarship may be extended for a third year for those who continue 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.
- For the detailed conditions of tenure, including exceptions and qualifications to the above, please click here.
Important Note: Since the residential colleges and academic departments at Oxford determine their own admissions, there is no guarantee of a place and the offer of the Scholarship is not confirmed by the Rhodes Trustees until the Scholar-elect has been accepted by both the University and a College.
Timeline and Deadlines
- June: Annual competition launched by the Rhodes Trust
- For International students, application deadlines vary among all Rhodes constituencies. International students must follow the timeline and guidelines for their home constituency. SGPS is committed to providing the same application and interview support to international candidates as it does to Canadian candidates. It is important to let SGPS know of your specific country's timeline as soon as possible.
- For Canadian students the university deadline to receive complete Rhodes applications is Friday, September 8, 2017
- September: Candidate interviews with university committee members and selection of successful candidates
- For Canadian students, the Rhodes Trust Online Application deadline is Friday, October 13, 2017
- Canadian Regional Rhodes Committee Secretaries send invitations to successful candidates
- Mock Interviews at Western to prepare invited candidate(s)
- Canadian Regional Rhodes Candidates’ Receptions followed by Interviews and Selection
- By early December: Announcement of new Rhodes Scholars-Elect
- April: Rhodes Information Session for Upper Year Scholars jointly hosted by SGPS and the Student Success Centre. Call for Candidates sent to Deans and Associate Deans, the Student Success Centre and upper year undergraduate students for upcoming competition.
- April-June: Western News item runs once a month approaching the annual launch.
How to Prepare Your Candidacy at Western
- Application Process: Applications for Rhodes Scholarships open during the spring and summer of the preceding year.
All candidates for the Scholarship should read the information about the Scholarships applicable globally, and then proceed to their country-specific page. Applicants in Canada must read the Memorandum for Canadian Applicants. Online application is not available for applicants to New Zealand. Please refer to the relevant country page: New Zealand. 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)
- Six reference letters from appraisers who can attest in confidential references to the character and intellect of the applicant, including academic, personal, extra-curricular and leadership achievements (and who should never include people to whom you are related). Reference letters must be submitted with the other application materials to SGPS by the internal deadline.
- Submission Deadline: Applications from Canadian students must be submitted to Paula Menzies Cameron by 4:00pm EDT Friday, September 9, 2016.
- Candidates are recommended for interviews after a review of the applications by the members of the university committee.
- Recommended candidates are invited to be interviewed by the members of the university committee.
- The Committee will select successful candidates based on the merits of their application and interview.
A Rhodes Scholarship Application
To be considered for a Rhodes Scholarship, a student must submit a complete electronic Rhodes application to SGPS (either Word or PDF) that includes the following, in order:
- Personal Essay that sets forth a self-reflective picture outlining personal aspirations and a specific plan of study for the proposed program of study at Oxford supported by concrete examples of accomplishments and character.
- This essay must not exceed 1,000 words in length and be wholly written by the applicant. Selection committees will place special emphasis on it and for each successful candidate, it will be sent to the designated Oxford College for admission purposes.
- Curriculum vitae of principal activities and honours while in academia including scholarships, prizes, awards, elected positions, volunteer activity and community outreach, extra-curricular interests and activities.
- Official transcripts (scanned copies) of all university studies completed at Western and elsewhere.
- Six (6) letters of reference on appropriate letterhead (scanned signed copies). At least four (4) of these letters must be academic in nature, attesting to your scholastic achievements and intellectual potential.
- Selected candidates are given Western’s access code to the application portal in late September, in which they identify each of their six referees in the online application which prompts automated invitations to be sent to them, The invitation contains instructions on how to complete the task of submitting the official letter of assessment to the regional selection committee. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that a minimum of 3 complete reference letters are provided to SGPS with the application, otherwise the application will not be accepted.
University Selection and Endorsement Process
Selection of successful candidates will be based on both the assessment of the Rhodes applications and the outcomes of the candidate interviews.
- Successful candidates are notified by SGPS and given access to the Rhodes Scholarship Online Application (Endeavour System) and must complete the process of application by the deadline set in the online system.
- SGPS will confirm with the applicant the province to which they are applying so that the correct access code can be obtained.
- SGPS will arrange for the President's supporting letter to be delivered directly to the appropriate constituency's Selection Committee Secretary by the annual October deadline.
- All students who submit Rhodes applications to SGPS for competition are notified individually of their result in early October.
If You Are Selected for an Interview in Your Constituency
- You will receive a message from the constituency's Selection Committee Secretary informing you of your advancement to the final phase of competition by way of an invitation to a reception and interview.
- Notify SGPS as soon as possible of your invitation.
- SGPS will convene the university Rhodes Scholarships Mock Interview Panel for a series of preparatory sessions for Western finalists.
All information updated October 12, 2016