University of Wisconsin–Madison

RHODES SCHOLARSHIP*

DEADLINES

UW-Madison deadline: July 20, 2020 
Foundation deadline:
October 7, 2020 (11:59 p.m. ET)

*Candidates must be nominated by UW–Madison and may not apply directly. Students interested in applying should contact the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office for more information about the application process. Contact: 608-265-2428, awards@provost.wisc.edu

DESCRIPTION

Established in 1903, the Rhodes Scholarship program is the oldest international scholarship program in the world, and one of the most prestigious. The program offers 100 fully-funded scholarships each year for post baccalaureate study at the University of Oxford, and together 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. Up to 32 scholarships are awarded each year to American students.

AWARD

The scholarship covers tuition and fees, airfare, living expenses, and related expenses such as books, for two years of graduate or undergraduate study leading to a degree at Oxford University. At the discretion of the Rhodes Trustees, a scholarship may be renewed for a third year for scholars pursuing a DPhil.

ELIGIBILITY

To apply through the U.S., students must meet the following criteria:

  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA status
  • Age 18 but not yet 24 years old on October 1st of the year of application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree before scholarship begins
  • Older students who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual, must be under 27 years old on October 1 of the year of application
    and have earned their first bachelor’s degree on or after October 1 of the prior calendar year.
  • GPA ≥ 3.7
  • Extensive service and leadership experiences recommended.

Rhodes Scholarships are open to students of all nationalities, through over 22 designated Rhodes national or regional constituencies, as well as the Global Rhodes Scholarships. See the Rhodes ‘Which Scholarship’ webpage for details on how to apply.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

(as Cecil Rhodes set forth in his will)

  • 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.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Students applying through the U.S. Rhodes constituency must first apply for nomination through UW-Madison. To be considered for nomination, submit a complete campus application to the UAA Office by the campus deadline (see section below). The campus committee reviews applications and selects nominees. Nominees complete and submit the official Rhodes online application by the national deadline in early October. Applications are reviewed by one of sixteen district committees which interview finalists and select scholars in late November.

CAMPUS NOMINATION PROCESS

Please submit the following materials by 11:59 p.m. on the campus deadline.  Items 2-5 below will be submitted via the online campus application form (link below).  Letters of recommendation are to be submitted separately via email to the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office, awards@provost.wisc.edu.

  1. Campus Application Form
    You won’t be able to save your work to the online campus application, so plan to fill it out and submit at one sitting. Use a PDF of 2020 campus application as a guide to plan your answers.
  2. Personal Statement (no more than 750 words) describing your academic and other interests.  Help the reader understand who you are and how your academic passions and future goals have evolved.  Reflect on and analyze some of the significant activities/experiences that have shaped you. Please see the Requirements for the Personal Statement from the Rhodes Trust.
  3. Proposed Academic Program Essay(s) For each scholarship you check on the application form, write an essay (no more than 250 words each) giving reasons for your first choice academic program and university. How is the academic program a good fit for you? How will the program (as opposed to a top-ranked program in the U.S.) add value to your education and further your educational and career goals? If you want to pursue a research degree (as opposed to a taught master’s), outline the research you wish to undertake and list the name and title of the faculty member who has agreed to work with you if you receive the scholarship.
  4. A “Résumé” or List of principal activities (two pages, no smaller than 10 pt font) Organize to showcase your strengths.  You may want to include sections on education (universities attended, majors, degrees earned); research and publications; academic honors, awards and scholarships; service/volunteerism; employment and internships; other activities/interests.  For each activity you list, be sure to include your title/role, the name of the organization, dates active, and a brief explanation of your involvement/responsibilities.  Emphasize your leadership experiences. Don’t assume the reader will be familiar with UW-Madison or the surrounding community.
  5. Transcripts from all colleges attended (for campus purposes, an unofficial transcript or a copy of your UW-Madison student record is fine, as are photocopies of transcripts from other institutions).
  6. Letters of recommendation (5-8 total) primarily academic. Four must be from professors who have supervised your coursework or research.  If you are applying for nomination to more than one UK/Ireland scholarship, your recommenders do not need to submit a separate letter for each scholarship.  For the campus competition, they can submit one “combined” letter, recommending you for all the scholarships for which you are applying. They can address the letter to “Members of the UW-Madison Nominating Committee” and email an electronic copy to awards@provost.wisc.edu.   Should you receive university nomination, your recommenders will need to submit a separate letter to each of the scholarship foundations.  Please read over and give your recommenders a copy of Effective Recommendation Letters for UK-Ireland Scholarships.

RHODES SCHOLARSHIP WEBSITE

For official information on the Rhodes Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here), please see www.rhodesscholar.org

RESOURCES

UAA Comparison Guide – UK-Ireland Scholarships
Researching British Universities
Effective Recommendation Letters
Previous Rhodes Scholars
UK-Ireland Info. Session Webinar June 17, 2020