Rhodes Scholarship

Is it for you?

Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards for students to study for a graduate degree at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars are known as young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others, and show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future.

What are the key dates?

General Information Sessions: 

JHU pre-application deadline: April 22, 2024

Submitting a pre-application and joining our cohort advising process is required to secure a university endorsement, which in many cases is necessary to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship (please see the information on eligibility and “How do you work with the NFP?” below for more information). Rhodes applicants at JHU receive intensive support from the university and must themselves devote deep reflection and writing effort to the application over several months to craft a viable application and receive an endorsement. While we will accept late pre-applications for many weeks after the deadline, we can no longer accept them after mid-June given the intensity of the application/endorsement process.

The pre-application is available on NFP’s Canvas course for U.K. Scholarships applicants. Please email [email protected] to request the self-enrollment link. The course will be available by the first info session listed above (please note: the Canvas course is offline between application cycles).


Are you eligible?

Candidates for 2025 Rhodes Scholarships must:

  • 1) 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, if applying in the U.S. constituency, or 2) if a citizen of another country, determine the applicable rules for which constituency they must apply to by visiting the Rhodes Trust website, “Applications” page and then seek details in the appropriate “Information for Candidates” document (whether a university nomination is required, what the deadline is submitting applications, and how many recommendations are required can vary by constituency).
  •  be aged 18-23 at time of application OR (for older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual) under the age of 27 at time of applicant AND have completed your first undergraduate degree on or after 1 October 2023.

  • 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 re-applying: If unsuccessful in their first application for a Rhodes Scholarship, candidates may subsequently re-apply 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’s institutional endorsement (a.k.a. nomination) may be required (please check the “Information for Candidates” document applicable to your constituency, available via the Rhodes website). Nomination, if needed, is sought by working with our office through our U.K. Scholarships advising process. Please note that while the deadline for US applicants falls in early October, those applying through other constituencies may have much earlier deadlines (again, please check the “Information for Candidates” document applicable to your constituency).

The U.K. Scholarships advising process begins in the spring of the application year and is a cohort-based approach for applicants to one or more of several highly competitive scholarships (the Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarships). By an April pre-application deadline, prospective applicants declare their intention to join the U.K. Scholarships cohort. We closely advise cohort members on their applications individually and offer a range of skill- and community-building group activities from the late spring through early fall. Our Application Process and Timeline overview provides more details.

If applying to a constituency that does not require a nomination, applicants may choose to join the cohort advising or apply on their own.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process and when to reach out to us. In preparation, see “have a closer look” below for more resources about the Rhodes.

late March-mid-April
Attend an info session; stop by NFP office hours to discuss your plans and goals
late AprilSubmit pre-application materials
May-JuneAttend fellowship and writing workshops; consult individually with NFP advisors
July-AugustDraft and revise application materials; secure recommendations; participate in roundtable
late AugustMeet campus deadline for endorsement
SeptemberParticipate in roundtables & CV workshops
early OctoberMeet 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-application process in the spring and expect to spend significant time drafting revising the personal statement required for this application. Selection decisions (both on-campus and at the national level) are based on the following materials:

  • 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.
  • Curriculum Vitae: 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 750 words applicants must address each of the following prompts (the word allocation across the three is up to the applicant): “1. Which Rhodes Scholar quality do you display most strongly, and how are other contexts and people helping you to develop the others? 2. What would you like to learn from the Rhodes and wider community in Oxford? 3. From your place in the world, what is humanity’s greatest need?”
  • Academic Statement of Study: In no more than 350 words, applicants must explain: “your reasons for wishing to study at the University of Oxford, what your chosen course(s) of study is (are), and how this fits in your academic trajectory. Further, you may wish to explain how you hope to be stretched academically at the University of Oxford, or any academic support you imagine might be helpful.” Additionally, applicants should “demonstrate that you are able to at a minimum meet or exceed the specific entry and other academic requirements of the course(s) you have chosen. Tell us how you are prepared for the course(s) academically and otherwise.”

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 is a “big name” but doesn’t know you well.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Rhodes Trust

Explore JHU and NFP Resources

All applicants should enroll in our UK Scholarships Canvas site, which contains a wealth of information and resources about the application process. Please email us to request access in the spring.

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about 2023 Rhodes Scholar Alexandra Wong

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