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: Monday, April 24, at 9 am ET

The pre-application is available on NFP’s Canvas course for U.K./Ireland Scholarship applicants. Please email nfp@jhu.edu to request access to the course.

JHU endorsement deadline: August 28, 2023 (for those in the U.K./Ireland Scholarships cohort only – please see “How do you work with the NFP?” below for more)

National/final deadline: October 4, 2023 (for those in the U.K./Ireland Scholarships cohort only – please see “How do you work with the NFP?” below for more)

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’s institutional endorsement (a.k.a. nomination) is required and is sought by working with our office through our U.K./Ireland Scholarships advising process.

The U.K./Ireland 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, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships). By an April pre-application deadline, prospective applicants declare their intention to join the U.K./Ireland 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.

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