Marshall Scholarship

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


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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 forty 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

To be eligible for a 2020 Marshall Scholarship, candidates must:

  • be citizens of the United States of America (at the time they apply for a scholarship);
  • (by the time they take up their scholarship ie September 2020) hold their first undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States;
  • have obtained a grade point average of not less than 3.7 on their undergraduate degree.  (Applicants must have a GPA of 3.7 at the time of application).
  • have graduated from their first undergraduate college or university after April 2017.
  • not have studied for, or hold a degree or degree-equivalent qualification from a British University or GCSE or A Levels taken at school in the UK.

Learn more about eligibility

Selection Criteria

Before completing the application candidates are advised to consider the objectives of the Marshall Scholarship Program (see opening paragraph of the Rules for Candidates) 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. A PDF of these criteria can be found here.

Learn more about criteria


Campus Endorsement Process

Campus endorsement is a competitive process and not guaranteed. Students seeking USC nomination must submit certain application components by the campus endorsement deadline (biographical info, grade report, statements 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 Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell and/or Rhodes Scholarship endorsement for the 2020-2021 grant year is April 1, 2019.

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

You must receive campus endorsement from the university in order to apply for the Marshall Scholarship. For endorsed candidates, a complete Marshall application includes the following components:

  • Biographical Information
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Post Scholarship Plan In 250 words or less, candidates should describe their immediate plans upon completion of their Marshall Scholarship and why two years spent undertaking a degree in the UK would enhance these plans. As well as describing plans for employment or further study, candidates should indicate how they would develop ongoing connections with the UK, through their UK institution or some other contacts they propose to make while in the UK. Please also include a brief statement of your future career plans.
  • Statements
    • Personal Statement: In no more than 1000 words, describe your intellectual development and other interests and pursuits.
    • Proposed Academic Program: In no more than 500 words, describe your proposed academic program, the reasons for your choice of course and preferred university.  Those hoping to pursue a research degree should give an outline proposal of the research they wish to undertake and with whom they would like to work. Candidates must also include a brief outline of why they have chosen their second choice courses and institutions.
    • Leadership: In 500 words or less, candidates should describe a situation in which they were working with a group of people and recognized and responded to a need for leadership. The example might emphasize some of the following characteristics: a) it delivered a real and concrete outcome, or evidence of demonstrable progress; b) it showed the candidate’s strong conviction and determination; c) the solution was innovative. 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.
    • Ambassadorial Potential: In 500 words or less, candidates should explain why they want to undertake their studies in the UK, and in what particular ways do they think that they will benefit personally and professionally from the experience? Candidates should discuss how work in their field of study (including their own research) can enhance the USA-UK relationship. They should further explain what they might do to contribute to improved relations in this area now and following the scholarship.
  • Letter of Endorsement 
  • Four letters of recommendation: Referees should use the letter of recommendation to comment on the candidate’s general fitness for the course proposed and the suitability of the university chosen as well as considering how they meet the Commission’s criteria of Academic Merit, Leadership and Ambassadorial Potential. Confidential observations on the candidate’s general character as well as academic standing and ability will be of great value to the selection authorities in their task of deciding which candidates should be summoned to the Regional Centre for interview.
    • The first of these should be designated the Preferred Recommender and this recommender should have supervised your university training.
    • At least two further recommendations must be provided by academics who have taught you.
    • One of the recommendations should primarily address your leadership and ambassadorial potential, and this need not be provided by an academic.
    • At least three of these recommenders must be in the United States.

Learn more about letters of recommendation


Application Timeline

USC Campus Endorsement Application (same for Churchill, Mitchell and Rhodes Scholarship campus endorsement)

  • Early April: Campus Endorsement application deadline  
  • Mid-April: Campus Endorsement interview for competitive applicants
  • Late April: Interviewed candidates are notified of the University’s nomination decision

Marshall Scholarship National Application 

  • Late May: Marshall Scholarship application opens
  • September 30, 2019: National deadline for applicants to submit application
  • October 3, 2019: National deadline for advisors to submit letters of endorsement and four letters of recommendation
  • November: Regional interviews of shortlisted candidates

Applicant Resources

Marshall Scholarship website: Interested applicants must complete an extensive review of this websites with special attention to the following pages in advance of submitting their application:


USC Recipients


AHF Advising

Open Advising: January – March
Request an Appointment

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