Rhodes Scholarship

Campus Deadline Disciplines Purpose Open To Eligibility
August 1 All fields 2-3 years at Oxford University Seniors & BA U.S., Chinese, or Indian citizen, age 18-23, 3.7+ GPA


About the Rhodes Scholarship

Rhodes Scholarships are awarded for a period of study at Oxford University. A Rhodes Scholarship covers all University and College fees, a personal stipend and one economy class airfare to Oxford at the start of the Scholarship, as well as an economy flight back to the student's home country at the conclusion of the Scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship is normally for two years, but the Scholarship may be held from one to three years, depending on the degree program pursed by the scholar.

Selection criteria include proven intellectual and academic achievement, integrity of character, interest in and respect for others, the ability to lead, and the energy to use talents to the full.

The criteria were established by the will of Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the Scholarships, which specified the following four standards:

  1. Literary and scholastics attainments;
  2. Energy to use one’s talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports;
  3. Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship;
  4. Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.

The stereotype of the Rhodes Scholar as a student-athlete-politician presents the obstacle that potentially strong candidates who do not consider themselves the Rhodes type may not apply for the Scholarship. The variety of winners in recent years suggests that there is no uniform Rhodes type. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.

The Rhodes Scholarship requires an institutional endorsement.  If you intend to apply, make sure you know the MSU internal competition deadline.

How to Apply

1. Review the Rhodes Scholarship website and guidance 
2. Complete the NIFS Intent to Apply Form at www.nifs.msu.edu to get on our list of applicants.
3. Complete the Internal Rhodes Pre-Application Form, and email to nifs@msu.edu along with your resume and possible dates/times to meet with an advisor.
4. Work with the NIFS Office on application draft and resume.

Application Materials (send all to nifs@msu.edu):

·Rhodes Pre-application 
·Rhodes Internal Application 
·Resume using the NIFS resume template 
·Eight recommendations (have a conversation with NIFS Office first)
·Transcripts from all higher education institutions attended after high school

Specific to U.S. citizens

A candidate must be a U.S. citizen, between the ages of 18 and 24 on October 1 of the year of application and sufficiently advanced academically to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before October 1 in the year following election.  The 32 Rhodes Scholarships awarded each year to U.S. citizens are distributed according to a system of 16 geographical districts. Rhodes Scholarships are available to citizens of 20 countries besides the U.S. in separate competitions. 

Specific to Chinese citizens

Candidates must have completed (or be due to complete by August 2016) their undergraduate degree in China or overseas. If studying overseas, candidates must provide evidence that they have received at least five full years, out of the last 10 years, in full-time education in China.  Candidates must have reached their 19th and not have passed their 25th birthday on October 1. 

Specific to Indian citizens

Candidates must have undertaken formal study at an educational institution in India for a minimum of 4 of the last 10 years, and have completed a school leaving exam (10th or 12th standard) at a school in India.  Please note that only one of the five available Scholarships for India (and in exceptional cases, two) may be awarded to candidates who are pursuing, or have pursued, their undergraduate studies abroad.

Candidates must have reached their nineteenth birthday, and not have passed their 25th birthday by October 1.


To learn more, visit the Rhodes Scholarship website.