Rhodes Scholarship

Open to US Citizens & non-US Citizens

Check out this step-by-step guide to the Rhodes process for potential applicants!

Rhodes Scholarship

Starting in 2018, the Rhodes Scholarship offers scholarships to citizens of any country (applicants who are not eligible to apply through a specific Rhodes constituency must follow the procedure below under "Special Note for Global, Multi-jurisdictional, or Inter-jurisdictional candidates"). Information on eligibility and the specific application process and requirements for Rhodes jurisdictions can be found at http://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/about/rhodes-countries. Potential Penn applicants are invited to learn more about the application process by completing this form to request access to Penn's Canvas site for Rhodes applicants, attending Fellowships Explained and Fellowship 201 for Rhodes applicants, and calling 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wallace Genser.

Rhodes Scholarships are awarded for two or more years of study at Oxford University (two years is the minimum, and recipients may apply for a third year to support doctoral studies).  The Rhodes Scholarship pays all tuition and fees, in addition to a personal allowance for living expenses. Information about courses of study at Oxford is available at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses. Details about eligible degrees can be found at https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/media/42584/conditions-of-tenure-2018-19.pdf

In addition to demonstrating wide-ranging academic excellence and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.70, the most successful candidates have demonstrated initiative and commitment to larger issues such as service, research, and engagement in efforts to serve humanity both on and beyond campus. At the time of application applicants must have a clearly articulated reason for studying at Oxford including a solid understanding of the specific Oxford graduate degree(s) they seek. The key Rhodes qualities are academic excellence through a cumulative GPA of at least 3.70, mastery in a skill or area that normally involves teamwork (such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, artistic pursuits, or other endeavors), unselfishness and a demonstrated commitment to helping the less fortunate, and the moral character required to become a leader in your field.

To learn more from Penn's recent Rhodes Scholars:


2020 applicants who wish to commence graduate study in Fall 2021 should complete this form to request access to Penn's Canvas site for Rhodes applicants, and complete Penn's Request for Endorsement form as soon as possible. See details at Endorsement Process for Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell

Penn Application Deadline for applicants eligible to apply from Canada and the US (including US Permanent Residents): August 1, 2020, 4:00pm. (All other applicants must meet their home country's deadline available at https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/apply/)

Special Note to 2020 Global Rhodes Scholarship applicants (or applicants who may qualify as "Multi-jurisdictional" or "Inter-jurisdictional" candidates) who are not eligible to apply through the US, Canada, or other existing Rhodes constituencies:

  1. Please submit Penn's Request for Endorsement form as soon as possible.
  2. Global, multi-jurisdictional, and inter-jurisdictional applicants should log on to the Rhodes Global application, complete the preliminary eligibility page, identify your Penn nominator as Dr. Wallace Genser, genser@upenn.edu, and click the "INVITE NOMINATOR" button within the Global Rhodes application system. At this point you should NOT complete the application and you should NOT register your referees on the Global Rhodes application system (you will need to both later if you are nominated by Penn).
  3. INSTEAD, Global, multi-jurisdictional, and inter-jurisdictional applicants must submit their entire Rhodes application (including recommendations) via Penn's Internal Rhodes application form no later than June 30, 2020 (to commence study at Oxford in Fall 2021) in order to be considered as one of Penn's nominees.

Penn’s Application Process for applicants OTHER than Global Rhodes applicants, including applicants from the US or Canada

The Rhodes Scholarship accepts nominations from institutions – students and alumni may not apply independently. To apply for Penn’s endorsement, you must complete the following steps by Penn’s Internal Deadline of August 1, 2020, 4:00pm.

  • Candidates should indicate their intent to apply for endorsement for the Rhodes Scholarship (as well as the Marshall Scholarship and/or Mitchell Scholarship, if relevant) as soon as possible by completing the Request for University of Pennsylvania Endorsement Form.  Candidates will then be assigned a Fellowship Advisor who will help the candidate clarify goals, values, and purposes, assist with application details, and draft the letter of endorsement on behalf of the University.  Candidates requesting endorsement after June 1 must contact Dr. Wallace Genser at genser@upenn.edu to request consideration for University of Pennsylvania endorsement.   
  • As soon as you have arranged for letters of recommendation for the Rhodes Scholarship, complete a CURF Recommendation Request Form for each recommender.  If you are also applying for the Marshall and/or Mitchell, separate requests must be submitted for each award.  At this point, DO NOT request letters of recommendation through the Rhodes application system. Letters of recommendations must be submitted to CURF via the webform no later than 4:00pm on August 1, 2020.
  • Complete Penn's Internal Rhodes application form, including the upload of a single PDF which combines your personal statement, list of principal activities and honors in college, unofficial transcript from Penn InTouch (and other institutions, if relevant), a high quality digital photograph of yourself (one that would be appropriate for a passport), and evidence of nationality.  If you do not receive an email confirming your submission within 4 hours, please IMMEDIATELY email aolson@upenn.edu to make sure CURF has received your submission. Submission is due by 4:00pm on August 1, 2020.
  • Following Penn’s internal deadline, candidate materials are reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Faculty Review Committee, which is comprised of Penn faculty who have been awarded prestigious scholarships and are actively engaged in promoting Penn’s academic mission.  The Committee will select candidates to interview for consideration for Penn endorsement.
  • Candidates selected for endorsement for the Rhodes Scholarship will receive further instructions. 


Contact Information

Dr. Wallace Genser
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships 
The ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk 
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6224
Please call 215-746-6488 to schedule an appointment

Fellowship Availability

Fellowship Location: 

Fellowship Type

Graduate Study

Fellowship Eligibility

Junior Senior Alumni Graduate Student