What is the Gates Cambridge Scholarship?

National Deadline:

US citizens living in US: 2023-2024 deadline TBD

All other candidates including US citizens living abroad: 2023-2024 deadline TBD

Contact the Office of Fellowships for support at least one month before this deadline.

The Gates funds one to three years of graduate study at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Applicants may pursue a PhD (three year research-only degree); one-year post-graduate course (MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA, etc.) or a two-year research-only degree (MSc or MLitt). The programme aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. Gates Cambridge alumni are pursuing further study or employment across many sectors of society. Despite the relative youth of the programme, Gates Cambridge alumni are increasingly taking on leadership roles and applying their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of others across the globe.

Award Details

How do I apply and what do I need?

A young man in a tuxedo in an opulent room
Application is made directly through the University of Cambridge application process. This application opens in early September. In the application, candidates indicate their interest in being funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust (and also have opportunity to indicate interest in other funding sources.) There is no internal nomination/ endorsement process through Amherst College, but both senior and alumni applicants are welcome to seek guidance, essay feedback, and interview coaching from the Director of Fellowships. Applicants should seek support well before the deadline, since fall is extremely busy in the Office of Fellowships. Applicants should investigate the deadlines and requirements for their chosen programs, learn about choosing a college within the university, and take any exams required for entrance well before the deadline. 

Application components: In addition to the usual components of the University of Cambridge application (biographical information, resume/cv, transcript(s), possibly a research proposal or writing sample, and two academic recommendations), to apply for the Gates, candidates must prepare a Personal Statement, and seek a Personal Reference.

Personal Statement prompt:  In approximately 500 words (no more than 3000 characters), please explain why you are applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and how you meet the four main criteria. The four main criteria are academic excellence, leadership potential, a commitment to improving the lives of others, and a good academic fit with Cambridge.

Research Proposal (PhD applicants only): PhD applicants must also submit a research proposal as part of their application, even if the department does not require it as part of the application. If you are pursuing a degree other than the PhD, no research proposal is required as part of the Gates application. 

Personal Reference: This should be from someone of appropriate standing who is able to answer the following prompt with authority and who understands what type of person Gates Cambridge is looking for and how competitive the Scholarship is. Please give your assessment of the applicant’s suitability for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. These are awarded on the following criteria: intellectual ability, leadership capacity, a commitment to improving the lives of others, and a good fit between the abilities and aspirations of the applicant and what the University of Cambridge can offer in its graduate programme.

Have questions? Please contact us.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall


Physical address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002