Deadline NYU Internal Deadline - May 1, 2018 (see notes below)
External Deadline - October 2018 (for degrees beginning Fall 2019)
Eligibility Bachelor's by time of award
Duration Two-year graduate study at Oxford University (with possible third year for D.Phil students)

Candidates must:

  • be between eighteen and twenty-three years of age
  • be a U.S. citizen (for the U.S. competition)
  • complete the bachelor's degree for admission by an Oxford College
  • demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, community service, concern for and protection of the weak, and vigor in extracurricular activities, which may or may not include sports

NB: Citizens of other nations may be able to compete in their home country's Rhodes competition, if they meet that country's eligibility criteria. Contact if you have ascertained you are eligible.


From the Rhodes Trust website:

“Rhodes's vision in founding the Scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who would be motivated to fight 'the world's fight' and to 'esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim', and to promote international understanding and peace. His will outlines four criteria to be used in the election of Scholars:

  • literary and scholastic attainments
  • energy to use one's talents to the full
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

In short, Rhodes Scholarship selection committees will be seeking young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.  The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as 'leaders for the world’s future'.”

If you think you’re eligible for the Rhodes, and you have a clear sense of what you want to study and why, email us at by May the 1st at 5pm EST with the subject heading RHODES APPLICATION and include the materials listed below.  

Applying for UK Fellowship Awards: Dates, Development Process and Expectations

FAQ?s about the May 1st deadline

Application Timeline and NYU’s Endorsement Process

  1. The Rhodes Scholarship is a very competitive scholarship, and application involves a commitment from you in terms of time, effort, and emotional capital. You will be asking a number of people to write detailed recommendations on your behalf, and NYU will also write a lengthy letter of endorsement. Because of this, you need to do due diligence. There needs to be a compelling reason why you want to do a two-year program at Oxford University.
  2. Acquaint yourself with the U.S. Rhodes Trust website and its notes on the application process and eligibility.
  3. Oxford’s university structure is very different from NYU’s. You need to know what a “college” means in this new context, and how the graduate school is structured. The Rhodes Trust has a very useful overview, but you will also need to start looking at Oxford University’s various colleges and graduate programs. You need to find a degree / program and understand who’s currently teaching and/or enrolled in it.
  4. If you think you’re eligible for the Rhodes, and you have a clear sense of what you want to study and why, email us at by May 1st at 5pm EST with the subject heading RHODES APPLICATION. The May 1st deadline is because our support process and your application development will be extensive. If you have missed this deadline and believe you can still make the final October deadline, you can write to us with your reasoning and we will consider your case.
  5. When you have submitted your internal application, we will arrange a half hour meeting with you to discuss your materials. This is a chance for us to give you initial feedback, and to create a meeting plan over the coming months. We will contact your school, and let them know that you are interested in applying. They can reserve the right to not endorse your application (after all, the letter of endorsement will eventually come from the Dean's Office), which is why it's important that we immediately assess whether your application is a plausible one or not.
  6. The short answers in NYU's Rhodes internal application should be understood as a way to assess the general plausibility of your application. We understand that by May, your thinking may well be highly provisional and subject to change; as such, it's a way for us to get to know you and to begin thinking about your application. There will be many refinements in the months to come, so we ask for these answers simply to make sure that you have done due diligence with regard to researching Oxford and thinking about how your own activities might reflect the vision of the Rhodes Trust. Your answers will not be a draft of your personal statement in any way. 

Internal Application for Rhodes: Required Materials

Please email the following materials as attachments within a single email with the heading “RHODES INTERNAL APPLICATION.”

  1. Unofficial Transcript
  2. Statement of Activities (1-2 pages). This is how the Rhodes Trust describes it: “A principal list of activities/resume, not to exceed two pages in length and in no smaller than 10-point type.” We would suggest you list according to academic theme or focus; most of us have activities that cluster around 1-3 foci. The committee members should be able to guess what you are interested in studying at Oxford simply by glancing at this list of activities.
  3. A word document, saved as “Rhodes Internal Your Name” that includes answers to the following short answer questions:
  • What do you want to study at Oxford? Name the program, length, and why it stands out to you from other graduate options at other universities. What will this program allow you to do that you couldn’t do elsewhere? Be specific. Don’t give general answers like “academic community” or “international network of scholars.”
  • How does this program develop your education to date? What learning will this allow you to build on? And what will this program allow you to do on graduation? What are your career aspirations? What fields / types of institutions do you want to work in? How do you want to ultimately make a difference? Note in the overview above that Rhodes wants to support those who think about the “bigger picture.”
  • What have you done, outside your undergraduate study, which shows your commitment to this bigger picture? You need to be able to cite concrete evidence of this commitment.
  • Describe a situation in which you recognized and responded to a need for leadership.

(N.B. It is a Rhodes Trust requirement that you must not receive feedback on any draft of your personal statement. We cannot look at it, your professors cannot read it, and neither can friends or family. If you have already written one, please do not send it to us.)

4. A list of 5-8 recommenders. You will eventually be asked to contact between five and eight people for letters of recommendation. At least four of these must be people “from whom you have received undergraduate or graduate instruction, and at least one letter must speak to your character.” Give us a list of who you would ask, with a brief explanation of why.

Zachary Fine (2016):

Advice: The work required to apply for national scholarships is grueling but worthwhile. The process spans many months and it is not simply taxing on you--your school work, your leisure time, and so forth--but on those close to you. In my experience, it required immense patience and support from my friends and family, not to mention the tireless faculty and administrators who guided me through. The exercise of having to sit down, week after week, and articulate (when crafting the application) precisely what it is you are interested in and how you hope to bring it into the world--this can be maddening but it is important, I sense. By the end of the process, I realized that, even if I was not able to obtain a scholarship, I had become keenly aware of what kinds of issues compel me to think, write, and act in particular ways. For that, I am especially grateful. 


Shamma Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, NYUAD (2014): 

Advice: The best advice I received was to enjoy the process and not think of it as a competition but an opportunity to express my dream, goals and passion.  


Hamel AlQubaisi, NYUAD (2015):

Advice: In a hectic world where we have deadlines to meet and, frankly, TV shows to watch, we sometimes fail to take a step backwards and look at where we are heading with our lives. The most rewarding part of the application process is that it allows us to truly reflect on our future plans.