Mitchell Scholarship


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


University Endorsement Required for current full or part-time undergraduate students at time of application

About the Mitchell Scholarship

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Basic Eligibility

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • As of 2020: Be 18 years of age or older, but not yet 30, on the date the application is due. For example, if the deadline is September 29 and you turn 30 on September 28, you are not eligible.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before beginning study as a Mitchell Scholar. Degrees from international accredited universities are acceptable, if all other conditions are met.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are judged on three criteria:

  • scholarship
  • leadership
  • a sustained commitment to community and public service

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 Mitchell Scholarship at the national level, you must receive campus endorsement first if you are a currently enrolled undergraduate student.  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 Marshall and Rhodes Scholarship campus endorsement)

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

Mitchell Scholarship National Application 

  • May: Mitchell Scholarship application opens
  • Late September: National deadline for applicants to submit application
  • November: Finalist interviews in Washington, DC

Applicant Resources

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

Apply for Mitchell Scholarship USC Endorsement

An applicant who is a full-time or part-time undergraduate student at the time of application must receive campus endorsement from USC in order to apply for the Mitchell Scholarship.  Graduate students and applicants in possession of an undergraduate degree at the time of the application deadline do not participate in the campus endorsement process.

Begin a Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes Scholarship Campus Endorsement Application

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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