Rhodes Scholarship

Is it for you?

The Rhodes Scholarship funds two to three years of graduate study at Oxford University.

What are the key dates?

Information Sessions:

JHU Campus Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2021 at 9am EST – Pre-Application Due (see below)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship must:

  • be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., or a U.S. resident with DACA status on April 15 in the year of application. Citizens of certain other countries may apply through regional competitions; new “global” scholarships are open for all others (see Rhodes Trust, Oxford website, “Which Scholarship?” for details).
  • be either under 25 years of age, or up to a maximum age of 28 if they have completed their first undergraduate degree within the last 2 years upon entry to Oxford.
  • show academic accomplishment (as evidenced in a required GPA of 3.70+ among other achievements) and well-rounded intellectual engagement.
  • demonstrate a record of intellectual distinction, leadership, extra-curricular activity, and service to others.
  • Note about the maximum number of times a candidate may apply: If unsuccessful in their first application to the Rhodes Scholarships, candidates may subsequently re-apply only once more (and this must be in the same constituency), subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

How do you work with the NFP?

To apply for the Rhodes, JHU nomination is required. Candidates must go through a campus pre-selection process that begins in February of the application year. This overview explains the process and includes a detailed timeline. Please read the overview before completing the pre-application to understand the big picture of our UK Scholarships application process. By the March campus deadline, all candidates must complete a pre-application form, using the accompanying pre-application instructions. Contact Dr. Hamell with any questions. We closely advise candidates on all parts of the application, including facilitating individual feedback sessions with faculty.

Pre-Application Materials

The timeline gives an overview of the application process. Your first step is to attend a U.K. Scholarships information session. In preparation, have a closer look at the resources below to learn more about the Rhodes.

late February-March Attend an info session
mid-March Submit pre-application materials
late March Interview with campus committee
April Attend writing workshops
late May-June Participate in junto meetings & CV workshops
early September Meet deadlines for written materials
early October Meet official Rhodes deadline

Are you competitive?

Thirty-two scholarships are awarded to U.S. citizens/residents each year. Applicants must plan on participating in the pre-selection process in the spring and expect to spend significant time revising the essay required for this application. Selection decisions (both on-campus and at the national level) are based on the following criteria:

  • Academic record: The Rhodes requires a minimum GPA of 3.70. Students should both excel in their chosen field and be broadly educated, having chosen challenging courses outside their major.
  • List of Principal Activities and Honors: This list should show sustained commitment to serving others, leadership and initiative, and using their talents (sports, arts, theater, debate, and other teamwork activities) to the fullest. A significant extracurricular record is necessary to be competitive.
  • Personal Statement: This essay of no more than 1,000 words should give the committee a clear sense of who you are, how your interests have developed, and why study at Oxford and the Rhodes Scholarship fit into your future plans. Applicants must know which degree program they plan to pursue at Oxford and why. Students should be able to describe specific courses, faculty, and facilities that will be available to them at Oxford; they should also be able to explain how the particular degree they have chosen will advance them along their career path. The selection committee is primarily seeking “young people of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service who demonstrate through their chosen examples a strong propensity to emerge as ‘leaders for the world’s future,’ wherever their careers might take them, and in any field.”

Letters of Recommendation: Five to eight letters are requested; you should aim for six–seven substantive letters. Three or four should be from professors who have taught you at the undergraduate level and an additional letter must focus on your character. Choose your recommenders carefully. These professors should be able to compare you to other students they have taught, and each letter should shed light on a unique dimension of your candidacy. Do not choose someone who does not know you well, but is a “big name.”

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Rhodes Trust

Explore JHU and NFP Resources

All applicants nominated by JHU’s campus committee are enrolled in our GRMMC Blackboard site, which contains a wealth of information and resources about the application process.

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about 2021 Rhodes Scholar Vijay Ramasamy

HUB article about 2019 Rhodes Scholar Alaleh Azhir

HUB article about 2017 Rhodes Scholar Nicole Mihelson

HUB article about 2015 Rhodes Scholar Peter Kalugin