The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1904 by Cecil Rhodes to promote international understanding and peace. Each year, 32 scholarships are awarded to students in the United States for post-baccalaureate study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Prospective Rhodes Scholars are judged by four standards:
- 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
Prospective scholars must meet these requirements to apply:
- Be between 18-24 years of age at time of application deadline (October 1, 2020)
- Have obtained bachelor’s degree by October of entering year (October 1, 2021)
- Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years as of application deadline (October 1, 2020)
The application cycle for Rhodes Scholars beginning their program of study in October 2021 opens in Spring 2020 to ensure that students have sufficient support from the Scholarships & Fellowships Office and adequate time to put together a thorough application.
In Spring, the Scholarship & Fellowships Office opens its internal campus application for the Rhodes Scholarship and hosts information sessions to share details about the fellowship opportunity.
Prospective applicants should use the end of spring semester through the beginning of the fall semester to gather and complete their application materials. It is highly recommended that applicants revisit and revise them frequently, ensuring that their final application is a reflection of their best efforts.
After the internal campus deadline has passed, the Scholarship & Fellowships Office forwards completed applications to a faculty selection committee for review and consideration. Select candidates are then invited to an interview with the committee, after which the committee recommends particular students to receive a formal University nomination. Students who are chosen for University endorsement will continue to work with the Scholarship and Fellowships Office to gather and finalize the application materials due for the national deadline.
Endorsed candidates shall remain in communication with the Scholarship & Fellowships Office and provide application status updates. The Scholarships & Fellowships Office is committed to providing assistance and support throughout each student’s fellowship journey.
Click here for a detailed application timeline.
Applications for the Rhodes Scholarship will require University endorsement. This means that students will not be allowed to submit their application directly to the agency that handles the Rhodes Scholarship, but rather via the University with a formal nomination on their behalf. It is imperative that candidates work closely with the Fellowship Advisor to ensure that all application deadlines and requirements are met. Contact information may be found here.
For tips on putting together the various components of the application, please visit the Application Resources page.
The internal campus application consists of:
- Campus Application Cover Sheet
- Rhodes Scholarship Application
- List of Principal Activities
List institutions attended, activities, work experience, and awards/recognition. Extracurricular activities should reflect a commitment to serve others, leadership and initiative, and how well-rounded a candidate is overall. While athletic activity is not a specific requirement, it does help your application.
- Personal Statement
Essay of no more than 1,000 words focusing on the candidate, his/her interests and aspirations, what s/he plans to study while at Oxford and why s/he is choosing a particular program.
Students should not receive any outside guidance on this piece and must attest the statement as wholly his/her own work. Please conclude the statement with the attestation below, and follow it with a personal signature (the attestation and signature do not count towards the 1,000 word limit):
“I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any of earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”
*It is highly recommended for candidates to get in touch with degree programs or faculty within the proposed program of study at the University of Oxford to demonstrate commitment to the Rhodes Scholarship. Including contacts made and steps taken to understand the UK educational system, Oxford culture, and the intended degree of study will help to strengthen the application.
- List of Principal Activities
- 5 Letters of Recommendation
Letters should be addressed to the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, signed on letterhead, include an institution/company contact email address, and represent a range of academic and professional references.
- At least three of the letters should be from instructors/professors
- At least one letter must speak to the student’s character
- DO NOT have the letters submitted online; rather, ask recommenders to send letters electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Students may submit a STAR report for all coursework taken within the UH system; official transcripts must be submitted for outside institutions.
- Campus Interview
Select candidates will be invited for an interview with the faculty review committee; candidates will be informed if advancing to the interview stage via email.
The UH Mānoa campus deadline to apply is 4:00pm HST on August 10, 2020.
If selected for University endorsement, the following will must be submitted:
- Revised Rhodes Scholarship Application
- Revised List of Principal Activities
- Revised Personal Statement
Applicants are not permitted to receive any feedback on their personal statements.
- 5-8 Letters of Recommendation (1-3 letters in addition to the ones already submitted)
- At least four of the letters should be from instructors/professors
- At least one letter must speak to the student’s character.
- Official Transcripts
An official transcript must be submitted for all UH coursework.
- University Endorsement
- Proof of Citizenship/Residency Status
- Passport-sized Photo
Nominated candidates must submit their final application to the UH Mānoa Scholarships & Fellowships Office by 4:00pm HST on September 23, 2020. The deadline for endorsed applications to the Rhodes Trust is 11:59pm ET on October 1, 2020.
Find information about academic programs at the University of Oxford website.
The Application Resources page houses general application documents applicable to all fellowships as well as the following supplemental materials for this specific fellowship:
|Spring 2020||Campus Announcement for Open Applications|
|Mar 10, 2020||Marshall/Luce/Rhodes Info Session, 3:00 & 4:00pm in Sakamaki C102 (2 sessions this day)|
|Mar 11, 2020||Marshall/Luce/Rhodes Info Session, Time 3:00 & 4:00pm in Sakamaki C102 (2 sessions this day)|
|Jul 1, 2020||Rhodes Scholarship Application Available Online|
|Aug 2020||Deadline for Internal Campus Application|
|late Aug 2020||Campus Interviews for Select Candidates|
|late Aug 2020||All Applicants Notified of Status|
|Sep 2020||Deadline for Nominated Candidates to Commit|
|Sep 2020||Deadline for Final Application for Endorsed Candidates|
|Oct 1, 2020||Deadline to Submit Applications to Rhodes Trust|
|Oct/Nov 2020||Mock Interview for Finalists|
|Nov 2020||Marshall Finalist Interviews and Selection|
|Oct 2021||Rhodes Scholars Begin Study|