the rhodes scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship Overview


The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international scholarship program, first awarded in 1902. Over a hundred years later, Rhodes Scholarships enable outstanding students from around the world to tackle full-time postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Most importantly, Rhodes Scholarships aim to identify young leaders who have the potential to lead and will make a positive impact in the world. 

Moreover, hundreds of Rhodes Scholarships are available per year for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Take the time to research beforehand and apply to the Rhodes Scholarship that’s the best fit for you.

About Rhodes Scholars

This is more than a bursary. It is also a life-changing opportunity. There will be first and second-year retreats, social and discussion events, as well as conferences and workshops.

Rhodes Scholars see a visiona better worldand understand how they can make a difference, no matter their field of interest. Rhodes alumni distinguish themselves and enter a life-long fellowship that opens the door to network with current and Senior Scholars. Check out Scholar Stories for more details.

Key Qualities of a Rhodes Scholar

Selection Committees select Rhodes Scholars with a focus on intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service because the program in Oxford wishes to build on these qualities. Back in 1902, these criteria governed the initial selection of Rhodes Scholars and remain the guiding criteria today:

  • Literary and scholastic attainments such as academic excellence.
  • Mastery in areas such as artistic pursuits, dance, debate, music, sports, and theatre, especially where teamwork is involved.
  • Courage, devotion to duty, truth, kindliness, unselfishness, sympathy for and protection of the weak, and fellowship. 
  • The moral force of character.
  • Instincts to lead.
  • Takes an interest in fellow human beings.

What Does The Rhodes Scholarship Cover?

The Rhodes Scholarship covers the costs of:

  • Oxford University (and College) fees.
  • An annual stipend for living expenses. However, this is not sufficient enough to cover dependents or partners. For example, in 2019/20, the stipend was £15,900 per annum, which is £1,325 a month. 
  • A Tier 4 study visa and the associated International Health Surcharge (IHS). The latter grants international students access to the UK’s National Health Service.
  • Two economy class flights. One for the beginning and one at the end of your studies in Oxford.
  • On arrival, Scholars receive a settling in allowance. 
  • The fee for a visa renewal and further application for IHS if the Scholar wishes to transition to a second course of study in Oxford. 
  • Research grants are available and enable Scholars to conduct fieldwork, attend international conferences, and more.

Furthermore, review the Conditions of Tenure document for an outline of permitted degree combinations and the years of study that are covered by the Rhodes Scholarship. Please keep in mind that your course choice impacts the number of years that they cover. For example, Scholars who undertake a Ph.D. at Oxford can receive up to three years of fees and stipend whereas the basic coverage is typically two years.

Want to know more about the application process? Read the Rhodes Scholarship: How To Apply next!