Purpose: The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, to bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The first American Scholars were elected in 1904. Learn more about the Rhodes Scholarship from Amherst Alumni on the Office of Fellowships video page.

Eligibility: Applicants must be unmarried U.S. citizens between 18 and 24 years of age. Citizens of Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Leshoto, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe are eligible to apply through Rhodes offices in their own countries.

They must complete a B.A. before tenure at Oxford begins. Applicants must demonstrate:

  • academic excellence
  • energy to use one's talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead.

Award amount and conditions: Two years of study at Oxford University. Tuition, fees, living allowance, and travel expenses to and from Oxford are made in direct payment to the college and the scholar. There is potential for renewal for a third year.

Number offered: 32 American scholars per year. Amherst can nominate as many candidates as are deemed eligible.

Deadline: Preliminary applications are due in the Office of Fellowships early in September (see Deadlines and Events).  A personal statement and two letters of recommendation are part of this application.

Application materials: Preliminary application forms are available on this website in late spring of the year you plan to apply (see How to Apply)  Please contact us for complete details and winning examples. PLEASE NOTE THE ESSAY POLICY BEFORE YOU BEGIN TO WRITE. Students must sign and submit the following statement with their application:

     “I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”

Rhodes Preliminary Application

Official website address: www.rhodesscholar.org

For more information:

Denise Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising
413-542-2536 Fax: 413-542-8555
The Office is located in
212 Converse Hall.

The mailing address is:
Office of Fellowships
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

Converse Hall

Office of Fellowships
213 Converse Hall
Amherst College
Amherst, MA  01002

Fax. 413-542-8555

Denise Murphy Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising

Suzanne Fogel Spencer
Fellowships Coordinator