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  • Writer's pictureBen Luria

Rhodes Scholarship



For more information on the scholarship site

TL;DR: A leadership scholarship considered to be the most prestigious in the world, that funds graduate degrees (master's and doctoral degrees) in all areas of study at the University of Oxford.

Where: University of Oxford, UK


Field of study: All fields of study

Relevant dates: Applications are usually accepted from June to the end of September; interviews take place during November, and studies begin in October of the following year.


The scholarship and Israel: The scholarship is an international scholarship, with allocations made for participating countries. A few years ago, the scholarship opened to Israel for the first time, with allocations made for two Israeli recipients each year.


Age: Up to 27 years old at the time of application



Criteria for the Rhodes Scholarship:

  • The Rhodes Scholarship is a leadership scholarship by definition, however, leadership is interpreted flexibly and applies to many fields in a way that doesn't limit candidates to a specific profile. The scholarship's information page for candidates lists academic excellence and achievements in applicants' areas of interest (such as the arts, sports, debate, etc.), as well as moral character and care for the wellbeing of others.

  • With that being said, as with all international scholarships, there are minimal requirements in English and proven academic capabilities, including obtaining a bachelor's degree before the beginning of studies.


Submission requirements for the Rhodes Scholarship:

  • Identifying documents - Birth certificate, copy of passport, proof of residence in Israel for five years out of the last decade (high school transcript or certificate of entry and exit from the Ministry of the Interior)

  • Academic transcript

  • CV (without a picture)

  • English test results - 7.5 or higher in the IELTS or 110 or higher in the TOEFL

  • Two written statements:

    • Academic statement of study (750 words) - Detailed explanation of why the candidate wants to study at Oxford, their first and second preference for an academic degree at the university, and demonstration of proven academic ability so far.

    • Personal statement - "The personal statement is your chance to tell your story in your own voice: Who are you? What matters to you? What are you hoping to do in the world? Your academic transcript and academic statement of study, your curriculum vitae, and your reference letters will provide the substantive detail of your commitments and accomplishments, but this essay gives you the opportunity to cast the overarching narrative for the selection committee."

  • Referees:

    • Three to four academic referees - who will testify to academic abilities and potential for success at Oxford.

    • One to two non-academic referees (extracurricular/leadership/volunteering/ etc.) - who will testify to the candidate's character.


Application process

The submission window is open from June to the end of September. Applicants must submit the requested documents through the scholarship's submission portal, and enter the details of their selected referees. Referees will have an additional two weeks to submit the recommendation letters after the deadline to candidates (by mid-October), but of course it is best to update the recommenders and enter their details in advance. Answers are given regarding the next stage in November.


Towards the end of November, interviews are conducted with about ten candidates who passed the first stage. The interviews usually take place in Jerusalem (depending on COVID regulations), where a reception is held as an initial introduction between the admissions committee and the candidates, and interviews are conducted the following day. Answers are generally announced at the end of the day. Shortly after being awarded the scholarship, scholars must apply to their preferred degree directly to the university.


More details

The Rhodes Scholarship has been awarded since 1902 and is known as the oldest and leading international leadership scholarship. Among the scholarship graduates are prominent academics, leaders and intellectuals. The scholarship has been accepting two Israelis each year since 2016.


The scholarship, dedicated to studies at Oxford, offers a strong and supportive community, with Rhodes House often hosting social events, lectures and conferences for scholars. Scholars specialize in diverse fields of study (ranging from public policy, to neuroscience or art history, etc.), and it is possible to apply for any advanced degree at the university under the auspices of the scholarship.



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