Marshall Scholarship

About the Marshall Scholarship
Basic Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Campus Endorsement Process
Application Components for Campus Endorsement
Application Timeline
Applicant Resources
Apply for Marshall Scholarship USC Endorsement
USC Recipients
AHF Advising


University Endorsement Required

About the Marshall Scholarship

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to fifty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study. As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programs contributes to their ultimate personal success.

The objectives of the Marshall Scholarships are:

  • To enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country’s future leaders, to study in the UK.
  • To help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain.
  • To contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain’s centers of academic excellence.
  • To motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from America to the UK and vice versa throughout their lives thus strengthening British American understanding.
  • To promote the personal and academic fulfillment of each scholar.

Basic Eligibility

Open only to United States citizens who (at the time they take up their Scholarship) hold a first degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States with a minimum GPA of 3.7. To qualify for awards tenable from October 2022, candidates must have graduated from their undergraduate college or university after April 2019.

Selection Criteria

Before completing the application candidates are advised to consider the objectives of the Marshall Scholarship Program, review the Candidate Evaluation Criteria and to be aware that the selection committees are seeking candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars, leaders and as contributors to improved UK-US understanding. The selection criteria are divided into three equally weighted categories:

Campus Endorsement Process

Campus endorsement is a competitive process and not guaranteed. Students seeking USC endorsement must submit certain application components by the campus endorsement deadline (biographical info, statements, grade report, and four letters of recommendation).  Candidates will be notified whether they have been invited to a campus endorsement interview.

The campus deadline to apply for Marshall, Mitchell and/or Rhodes Scholarship endorsement for the 2022-2023(4) grant year is June 1, 2021.

Additional Guidelines
Applicants are evaluated by a committee panel of USC faculty. The panel has endorsed students from a wide range of majors, career goals and leadership experiences. While there is no standard portfolio for a successful candidate, the faculty committee looks for demonstration of the Marshall selection criteria in candidates. The Selectors will also look for adequate preparation for the proposed course of study, particularly in the upper-level course work and real strength in the major field. Preference will be given to candidates who combine high academic ability with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the United Kingdom university to which they go, and to those who display a potential to make a significant contribution to their own society.

Application Components for Campus Endorsement

To apply for the Marshall Scholarship at the national level, you must receive campus endorsement first.  USC’s Marshall, Mitchell and Rhodes campus endorsement is the same application.  Candidates only need to submit one application to be considered for multiple awards.  A complete campus application requires the following:

  • Complete online application: includes basic biographical and academic data
  • A 750-word motivation statement (also called a personal statement): Your motivation statement is the heart of your application and should provide the reader with a clear sense of what you care about and why, what major problems or issues motivate your work both inside and outside the classroom, and why you need to pursue your chosen degree programs in light of your future vocational aims. It should give the reader a sense of what motivates you (not exclusively the motivation of your research) and a sense of ways in which you are moving toward making a substantive difference in your field, your local, national and international communities.
  • Describe one specific example of leadership (350 words): Candidates should describe a specific example in which they responded to a need for leadership․ The example must evidence the following characteristics: a) it delivered a real and concrete outcome, or evidence of demonstrable advancement; b) it showed strength of purpose and aligned with candidates broader academic and professional plan; c) the solution was innovative and showed creativity and problem solving; and, d) exhibits self-awareness – that the candidate understands their own style of leadership and how to motivate others․ The objective is to help the committee understand the candidate’s leadership conviction and drive, style and potential rather than provide a list of achievements․ Should show delivery results and that you actually changed something.
  • Describe a recent, particularly satisfying public service activity (350 words): Candidates should describe a recent, particularly satisfying public service activity. Or, if you have focused your efforts on research, please describe a particularly satisfying broader impact experience you have had (either in your research or in public science education, tutoring, etc.).
  • Ambassadorial Potential (350 words): Candidates should discuss how work in their field of study (including their own research) can enhance the USA-UK and/or Ireland relationship.  They should further explain what they might do to contribute to improved relations in this area now and following the scholarship.
  • List the 3 most significant courses you have taken in preparation for your proposed graduate study and future career (150 words).
  • Describe the top-choice graduate program in the UK, Ireland or at Oxford, if you receive a Marshall, Mitchell or Rhodes scholarship (250 words).
  • Describe the problem or needs of society (domestic or global) you want to address once you have finished your formal graduate training (350 words).
  • What do you hope to do and what position/role do you hope to have upon completing your studies in the UK or Ireland? (3-5 year post-scholarship plan; 150 words).
  • What do you hope to do and what position/role do you hope to have 7-10 years later? (150 words)
  • Additional information (250 words): is there anything else you would like the nomination committee to know about you that is not reflected elsewhere in your application (other essays, motivation statement or CV)?
  • A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae (CV) detailing honors, awards, research, leadership/service, and other co- and extra-curricular activities you have pursued since starting College. Do not include high-school experiences.
  • Unofficial transcripts. (OASIS course plan)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: your letters of recommendation will be requested and uploaded via the campus application portal. Two of your three letters should be academic-focused letters from teaching faculty and/or research mentors; if you are involved in significant co- or extra-curricular activities or post-graduate activities, including employment, a third letter focused on your leadership/service/professional life is acceptable. All of your letters must be in-depth letters from individuals who know you well.

For the Mitchell and Rhodes campus application you will be asked for the names of one additional recommender (Mitchell) and five additional recommenders (Rhodes). (The Marshall Scholarship requires a total of 3 letters; the Mitchell Scholarship requires a total of 4 letters; the US Rhodes Scholarship requires 8 letters of recommendation.)

Note: Your academic letters should be obtained from faculty.  They do not have to be tenured, but should know you in a teaching or research capacity. You should not request letters from graduate students, post-docs, career or academic advisors; leadership/public service letters should not come from “famous” or high-ranking individuals who do not know you well. Please have your letters sent on letterhead, signed, and addressed  to the “UK-Ireland Scholarship USC Campus Selection Committee”.

Application Timeline

USC Campus Endorsement Application (same for Mitchell and Rhodes Scholarship)

  • June 1, 2021 by 11:59pm: Campus Endorsement application deadline  
  • Mid-June: Campus Endorsement Interview for competitive applicants

Marshall Scholarship National Application 

  • Early June: National Marshall Scholarship Application Opens
  • Late September: National deadline for applicants to submit application
  • October: National deadline for advisors to submit letters of endorsement and four letters of recommendation
  • November: Regional interviews of shortlisted candidates

Applicant Resources

Before you apply, complete an extensive review of the Marshall Scholarship website with special attention to:

Apply for Marshall Scholarship USC Endorsement

Begin a Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarship Campus Endorsement Application

USC Recipients

AHF Advising

2021 Information Sessions

Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarship Overview & Campus Endorsement Process 

Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarship Essay Overview Video Recording
Special Guest: 2018 USC Marshall Scholar Jamie Kwong

Marshall Scholarship Personal Statement Essay Example (password protected – please email AHF)

Advisement Period: April-May

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