Gates Cambridge

About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Basic Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Campus Advisement Process
Application Components
Application Timeline
Applicant Resources
USC Recipients
AHF Advising


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About the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in October 2000 by a donation of $210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge; this is the largest ever single donation to a UK university.  Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. The aim of the Gates Cambridge program is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.


Basic Eligibility

An applicant must be:

  • a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom
  • applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge:
    • PhD (three year research-only degree)
    • MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree)
    • One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)

Learn more about eligibility

Selection Criteria

Each Scholar is different and brings something unique. The Gates Cambridge Selection Committee is looking for four key criteria:
  • Academic excellence
  • Leadership potential
  • A commitment to improving the lives of others
  • A good academic fit with Cambridge

Learn more about selection criteria


Campus Advisement Process

The Gates Cambridge application does not require university endorsement or evaluation to apply.  However, Academic Honors and Fellowships is committed to helping motivated applicants (including current USC undergraduates and recent alumni) and will offer application feedback throughout August and September.

To schedule an appointment, you must prepare a Gates Cambridge Statement draft for AHF staff to review. Your draft does not have to be perfect, but it is expected that you present complete materials.

Once your drafts are ready, email Katie Capra to schedule your feedback session.


Application Components

The large majority of applicants submit their application for admission and funding (Gates Cambridge and other funding) via the University’s Graduate Application Portal. There is a separate application route for MBA and MFin applicants. It is not possible to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship without applying to the University of Cambridge.  Gates Cambridge has access to the full application for admission and funding when reviewing applications.

Learn more about how to apply

As part of your application you will submit the following:

University Application

  • Graduate Application Form (which includes a Gates Cambridge portion)
  • Academic transcripts
  • 2 academic references

Gates Cambridge portion

  • Gates Cambridge Statement
  • CV/Resume
  • Research proposal (PhD applicants only)
  • Gates reference In addition to two academic references for admission, Gates Cambridge applicants submit a reference about their fit with the scholarship.

Learn more about application components


Application Timeline

Gates Cambridge considers candidates in two selection rounds each year:

Round 1: US citizens living in the USA only

Applicants in this round must apply by mid-October to begin courses the following October.

Round 2: All other eligible applicants (part of the Graduate Funding Competition)

The application deadline in this round is determined by the course you are applying for and is set by the central Graduate Admissions Office. You can find which of the two deadlines applies to you by checking the Graduate Funding Competition deadline in the course directoryPlease also note that if a course deadline is earlier than the relevant funding deadline above (e.g. the LLM in Law), you must apply by the earlier course deadline.

Learn more about the application timeline


Applicant Resources

Gates Cambridge website – Interested applicants must complete an extensive review of the website with special attention to the sections within the “Apply” menu. Additional helpful pages include:


USC Recipients

2016: Parvathi Subbiah
2014: Reid Lidow
2009 & 2010: Kavita Ramakrishnan & Megan Sim


AHF Advising

Open Advising: August – September
Request an Appointment

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