The Rhodes Scholarship

“…the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world” for graduate study at the University of Oxford

The criteria which Mr. Rhodes set forth in his Will still guide Committees of Selection in their assessment of applicants. The Will contains four standards by which prospective Rhodes Scholars should be judged:

  • literary and scholastic attainments;
  • 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, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

Because Rhodes Scholars are selected for their potential over a lifetime, importance is properly attached to their capacity to meet the demands for physical fitness imposed by an active career. Satisfying the second standard does not require evidence of outstanding achievement in organized sports. All applicants, however, should be able to demonstrate the physical vigor which will enable them to make an effective contribution to the world around them. Moreover, American and other foreign students who are prepared to participate in sports played in the English amateur tradition have typically derived additional benefits from their Oxford experience. Many lifetime international friendships have been formed as by-products of the athletic competition among Oxford's colleges. er and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

Additional details about Oxford and the Rhodes Scholarship selection process can be found in the FAQ section of the United States Rhodes Scholarship web site:


  • USD Preliminary Application Deadline: September 1, 2020
  • USD Committee Interviews: September 7, 2020 to September 11, 2020
  • Rhodes Trust Deadline: October 7, 2020

“Each year 32 young Americans are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Applicants from more than 300 American colleges and universities have been selected as Rhodes Scholars... Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”

All potential candidates should carefully work through the information and requirements for the scholarship at www.rhodesscholar.orgPlease direct any additional questions to Cassandra Gomez at

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must have sufficiently advanced academically to assure completion of a bachelor’s degree before October 1 in the year following election
  • Candidates must be citizens of the United States
  • Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 23 on October 1st of the candidate’s application year
  • Candidates must have earned a 3.65 cumulative G.P.A (USD criteria)

Rhodes candidates must receive the official endorsement of the University of San Diego.  All interested and eligible candidates should submit their preliminary application via email to Cassandra Gomez ( on or before September 1, 2020.The preliminary application includes the following items:

  1. Personal Statement part I (1,000 words maximum). Describe and discuss your scholarly and personal accomplishments to date and your goals for the future.
  2. Personal Statement part II (1,000 words maximum). Outline how graduate study at the University of Oxford facilitates your scholarly, personal and professional goals. Make sure to identify the target academic program at Oxford and link it to your scholarly and career goals.
  3. Curriculum Vitae that highlights your academic accomplishments, leadership positions and professional endeavors on and off campus.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from professionals who are positioned to comment on your scholarly, leadership and professional accomplishments.Recommenders can submit their letters directly to Ms. Gomez at

The University of San Diego Rhodes Scholarship Committee will meet in early September. All candidates will receive feedback from the Committee and some will be selected to move onto the USD interview phase to ultimately select candidates who will receive the official USD endorsement for the Rhodes Scholarship.