Rhodes Scholarship

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 100 Scholars is selected each year from over 60 countries 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 2019. 

International and domestic candidates seeking the endorsement of Western University's President must submit a competitive application by the SGPS deadline and undergo a successful interview by members of Western’s Rhodes Scholarships Selection Committee. 

Spotlight on Recent Western Rhodes Scholars

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

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates for the Rhodes Scholarships, who are current undergraduate or graduate students, must seek endorsement from their undergraduate university. The Rhodes Trust now accepts applications from all citizens in all countries around the world. The majority of applicants will be eligible to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship through one constituency only, such as Canada. A small number will meet the eligibility criteria for more than one constituency and, as they can only apply to one Rhodes Scholarship in a year, they will need to choose. Candidates who do not meet the eligibility criteria for any constituency may be able to apply for inter-jurisdictional consideration or for one of the new Global Rhodes Scholarships. Read for more detail

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.  
  • 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 the completion of an honours bachelor's degree by the October following election. As well, academic standing must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which has very competitive entry requirements. In Canada, a GPA of minimum 3.75/4.0, or equivalent, is expected.

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 review them 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
  • University deadline to receive complete Rhodes applications is Friday, August 24,2018 
  • September: University committee members review applications for endorsement, and provide the authorization code to those selected for endorsementand so they can complete the process of filing their applications online.
  • Global deadline for endorsed candidates to file applications online is Friday, September 28, 2018 
  • October/early November:
    • Regional Rhodes Committee Secretaries send interview invitations to successful candidates
    • Mock Interviews at Western to prepare invited candidate(s)
    • Regional Rhodes Candidates’ Receptions followed by Interviews and Selection
  • By early December: Announcement of new 2018 Rhodes Scholars-Elect

How to Prepare Your Candidacy at Western

  • Application Process: The online application opens in June each 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. 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)
    • Photograph
    • 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 (single PDF), including references and transcripts, must be submitted to Paula Menzies Cameron by 4:00pm EDT Friday, August 24, 2018 
  • Candidates are recommended for endorsement after a review of the applications by members of the university committee.
  • The Committee selects successful candidates based on the merits of their application.
  • Western will provide an official letter of endorsement directly to the appropriate regional selection board chair for each successful candidate

A Rhodes Scholarship Application

To be considered for a Rhodes Scholarship, a student must submit a complete application to SGPS (single 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.
  • Detailed listing of principal activities and honours while in university including scholarships, prizes, awards, positions of leadership, involvement in student, voluntary, community or political activities and any cultural, musical or sporting accomplishments. (maximum 2 pages)
  • Official current transcripts 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. Referees must not be personal friends, relations or contemporaries. 

Selection Criteria

Selection of successful candidates will be based on the criteria set out by the Rhodes Trust. 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.

If You Are Selected for an Interview in Your Constituency

  • You will receive a message from the regional committee secretary inviting you to the final phase of competition by way of an invitation to a reception and interview.
  • Notify SGPS as soon as possible if you receive an invitation.
  • SGPS will convene the university Mock Interview Panel to help you prepare.

Resources

All information updated May 24, 2018