|Eligibility||Seniors and recent alumni|
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps the best known of the postgraduate scholarships. An endowment bequeathed by Cecil J. Rhodes in 1903 established the Rhodes Scholarship Trust to bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. Every year, thirty-two U.S. citizens win Rhodes Scholarships.
The Rhodes is a graduate scholarship for two years of study at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars may pursue any full-time graduate course offered by the University, whether a taught Master's program or research degree.
Rhodes specified in his will the four standards by which applicants should be judged:
- Literary and scholastic ability and attainments;
- Truthfulness, 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;
- Physical vigor, energy. This used to be associated with sports, but the Rhodes Trust now has a broader interpretation of this standard.
The Rhodes has recently broadened its scope; when looking for civic leadership, committees will not disqualify a social activist, and when looking for athletic prowess, they might accept hiking. Rhodes has deemphasized sports because of the developing “professional orientation” in college athletics. Athletic achievement combined with successes in other areas, however, would not be a detriment. The most important qualities are character, intellect, and an ability to make a difference in the world. People who are strongly goal-oriented and who have achieved some measure of success in these goals make good candidates. As stated by the Rhodes Trust, “Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals. Accordingly, applications are sought from talented students without restriction as to their field of academic specialization or career plans although the proposed course of study must be available at Oxford, and the applicant’s undergraduate program must provide a sufficient basis for further study in the proposed field.”
The Rhodes Trustees cover all educational costs, including tuition, relevant fees, and travel for two-three years of study at Oxford University.
Download our brochure "Guide to Fellowships in the U.K. and Ireland"
As part of the application process, the Rhodes Scholarship Trusts requires that Brown and other universities review prospective applicants to determine their suitability for institutional endorsement as Rhodes Scholarship candidates. Accordingly, a committee made up of faculty and deans has set the following guidelines for Brown's in-house review. By the campus deadline of August 5, 2013, candidates must submit the following via UFunds, Brown's online application system.
- A completed application form as found on the Rhodes online application site.
- A two-page activities list that includes extracurricular activties (such as community service, leadership, athletic participation, etc.) and academic involvements outside the classroom such as research or publications, as well as other honors.
- A solid draft of the 1000-word Rhodes personal essay which includes a brief discussion of the proposed course of study and the degree program at Oxford.
- An official Brown University transcript.
- At least six and no more than eight letters of recommendation, at least four of which must be from Brown faculty (Please consult with Dean Dunleavy about exceptions.)
- Clayton Aldern, '13
- Brianna Doherty, '12
- Nabeel Gillani, '12
- Emma Leblanc, '11
- David Poritz, '12
- Zohar Atkins, '10
- Rakim Hassan Brooks, '09
- Kerianne Marie Backus, '07
- Christie Hunter, '05 (Bermuda Rhodes)