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Rhodes Scholarship

Established in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship fully funds 2-3 years of graduate study at Oxford University in any field.  Scholars pursue either a taught or research-based Master’s or Doctoral degree. (More information from Rhodes Trust.)

U-M Contact: Henry Dyson, Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF)

Eligibility:

  • At least 18, but not yet 24 years of age. (Applicants must still be 23 on October 1st of the year of application.)  

  • Sufficiently advanced academically to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before October 1st in the year following election.  The scholarship cannot be deferred.

Rhodes Selection Criteria:

  • Literary and scholastic attainment (academic excellence).  The Rhodes Scholarship does not set a minimum GPA, but successful applicants for U-M institutional endorsement will typically have a 3.8 or higher GPA and significant academic and co-curricular accomplishments.

  • Energy to use one’s talents to the full (as demonstrated by mastery in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theater, and artistic pursuits, especially where teamwork in involved).

  • 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.

Institutional Endorsement: Applicants for the Rhodes Scholarship must follow one of three routes, each with different application instructions and deadlines:

(1) Citizens and permanent residents of the United States and Canada must apply for UM institutional endorsement by the fourth Monday of August.  Instructions for applying to for UM endorsement are listed below.  American and Canadian citizens may not apply directly for the scholarship without UM endorsement.

(2) Applicants from the following Rhodes constituencies must apply via their home country: Australia, Bermuda, China, East Africa (see list of specific countries), Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Southern Africa (see list of specific countries), Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, West Africa (see list of specific countries), Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Each Rhodes constituency has a designated number of scholarships.  Deadlines and application instructions for each of these Rhodes constituencies can be found on the Rhodes Trust website.  They do not typically require UM institutional endorsement.

(3) Applicants who are not citizens of any of the countries listed above can now apply for two Global Rhodes Scholarships.  Applicants for the Global Rhodes Scholarship must receive UM endorsement and may not apply separately without UM endorsement. The deadline to apply for UM endorsement in 2018 will be the Fourth Monday of June by 12 noon.  Application instructions are listed below.

Dual citizens may choose which route they will follow, but may apply via only one Rhodes constituency.  


U-M Institutional Endorsement Deadline for US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents
: Fourth Monday of August by 12 noon.  Application Timeline

U-M Institutional Endorsement Deadline for the Global Rhodes Scholarship: Fourth Monday of June by 12 noon.

Application Instructions for US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents:

  • Contact Henry Dyson to register as an applicant for U-M nomination.
  • Applicants should submit each of the following to Henry Dyson at onsf.applications@umich.edu by 12 noon on the fourth Monday of August:

1) Five to eight letters of recommendation sent directly to onsf.applications@umich.edu. At least four of these must be faculty.  At least one must speak to your character (see Rhodes Selection Criteria above).  Typically letters will represent each of the applicant’s major academic and co-curricular accomplishments.  Applicants are encouraged to consult a member of the nomination committee regarding the selection of letters.

  • Prior to requesting letters of recommendation, you must fill out the ONSF Student Waiver form, found here, and submit directly to us at onsf.applications@umich.edu.  You will then fill out the FERPA Release for Letter Writers and submit that form to each of your letter writers when asking them to write a letter of recommendation for you.  Please advise your recommenders that their letters of recommendation should be entitled "StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_AdvisorLastName" and emailed directly to ONSF at onsf.applications@umich.edu with "Rhodes Recommendation" in the subject line.

2) A personal statement* (1000 word limit) stating the applicant’s goals and intended program of study at Oxford.  Applicants are not allowed to receive any editorial advice or assistance on this personal statement and must sign a pledge that the statement is entirely his/her own work.  Applicants are encouraged to consult a member of the nomination committee regarding the topic of this essay prior to writing.

Note: Regarding the Rhodes Personal Statement

*The Rhodes Scholarship does not allow applicants to receive any editorial help on their personal statements.  All applicants must add the following statement at the conclusion of their personal  statement and before their signature:“I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful.  Neither it nor any 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.”

All institutional endorsements must include something explicitly to this effect:"I am knowledgeable regarding the institutional practices of [name of institution] in connection with applications for the Rhodes Scholarship. To the best of my knowledge and belief, [name of institution] has provided no editorial review of the applicant's[or applicant's name] personal statement."

3) A two page resume of major academic and co-curricular activities.

Top candidates for U-M endorsement will be invited to interview with the Rhodes and Marshall Nomination Committee in early September.  Candidates selected for endorsement will work with Henry Dyson to complete the final application before the October 1st national deadline.

Application Instructions for the Global Rhodes Scholarship:

  • Contact Henry Dyson to register as an applicant for U-M nomination.
  • Applicants should submit each of the following to Henry Dyson at onsf.applications@umich.edu by 12 noon on the fourth Monday of June:

1) No more than five letters of recommendation sent directly to onsf.applications@umich.edu. At least three of these must be academic references.  At least one must speak to your character (see Rhodes Selection Criteria above).  Typically letters will represent each of the applicant’s major academic and co-curricular accomplishments.  Applicants are encouraged to consult with Henry Dyson regarding the selection of letters.

  • Prior to requesting letters of recommendation, you must fill out the ONSF Student Waiver form, found here, and submit directly to us at onsf.applications@umich.edu.  You will then fill out the FERPA Release for Letter Writers and submit that form to each of your letter writers when asking them to write a letter of recommendation for you.  Please advise your recommenders that their letters of recommendation should be entitled "StudentLastName_StudentFirstName_AdvisorLastName" and emailed directly to ONSF at onsf.applications@umich.edu with "Rhodes Recommendation" in the subject line.

2) A personal statement* (1000 word limit) stating the applicant’s goals and intended program of study at Oxford.  Applicants are not allowed to receive any editorial advice or assistance on this personal statement and must sign a pledge that the statement is entirely his/her own work.  Applicants are encouraged to consult a member of the nomination committee regarding the topic of this essay prior to writing.

Note: Regarding the Rhodes Personal Statement

*The Rhodes Scholarship does not allow applicants to receive any editorial help on their personal statements.  All applicants must add the following statement at the conclusion of their personal  statement and before their signature:“I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful.  Neither it nor any 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.”

All institutional endorsements must include something explicitly to this effect:"I am knowledgeable regarding the institutional practices of [name of institution] in connection with applications for the Rhodes Scholarship. To the best of my knowledge and belief, [name of institution] has provided no editorial review of the applicant's[or applicant's name] personal statement."

3) A two page resume of major academic and co-curricular activities.

Top candidates for U-M endorsement will be invited to interview with members of the UM nomination committee via videoconference during the weeks of June 18th and 25th.  Endorsements must be submitted to the Rhodes Trust by June 30th.  The endorsed candidates will work with Henry Dyson to complete the final application before the September 30th application deadline.