British Marshall Scholarships for Graduate Study in the U.K.


The campus deadline is the first week in September to the Honors College Office in Whitmyre Hall. Your materials will be forwarded to the regional competition by the October deadline.


Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at a U.K. institution in any field of study.

As future leaders with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments, and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent, and wide-ranging, and their time as scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programmes contributes to their ultimate personal success.

The objectives of the program are as follows:

  • To enable intellectually distinguished young Americans, their country's future leaders, to study in the U.K.
  • To help scholars gain an understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain.
  • To contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, the humanities, and social sciences and the creative arts at Britain's centers of academic excellence.
  • To motivate scholars to act as ambassadors from the USA to the U.K. and vice versa throughout their lives, thus strengthening British-American understanding.
  • To promote the personal and academic fulfillment of each scholar.

Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honour of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.

Marshall Scholarships are mainly funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and are overseen by the Marshall Commission. The Secretariat is provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities. In the U.S., the selection process is managed by the regional consulates general in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and in Washington, D.C., by the British Council on behalf of the British Embassy.

Scholarships are tenable at any British university, and cover two years of study in any discipline leading to the award of a British university degree. Third-year extensions are possible. Expressions of interest in studying at universities other than Oxford or Cambridge are very welcomed.

The total value of the scholarship varies a little according to the circumstance of each scholar, but the figure tends on average to be about $24,000 a year.

Value: University fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States, and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.

Number of Awards: Up to forty scholarships awarded annually.

Tenure: The traditional Marshall Scholarship is tenable for two academic years (i.e., twenty-two months), but may be extended by the commission, though not beyond the end of a third academic year. Third-year extensions are granted by the commission on a limited basis for strong academic reasons, subject to the availability of funds. In addition, thanks to the generous support of the following universities:

  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by the University of Edinburgh to those pursuing a doctorate at Edinburgh.
  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by King's College London to those pursuing a doctorate at KCL.
  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by the London School of Economics and Political Science to those pursuing a doctorate at LSE.
  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by the University of Nottingham to those pursuing a doctorate at Nottingham.
  • Up to three third-year extensions may be granted by the University of Oxford to those pursuing a doctorate at Oxford.
  • Up to two third-year extensions may be granted by the University of St. Andrews to those pursuing a doctorate at St. Andrews.

In addition, a limited number of one-year Marshall Scholarships are available. These scholarships are tenable for one academic year (i.e., twelve months), and cannot be extended.

In addition, before applying for a 2011 Marshall Scholarship, candidates should review the information on the Marshall Partnership Scholarships.

What happens after Applying?

Applications will be received and reviewed at eight regional centers in the United States. Shortlisted candidates will be called for interview in November. Dates for the 2011 interviews can be found here. The final selection will be announced shortly after interview. Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship in writing, and will be asked to accept or decline this offer, also in writing, within twelve days of receiving it. In keeping with other U.K. government-funded programs, the Marshall Commission asks scholars to give a definitive and final response in this way, so that the commission can, at the earliest opportunity, arrange the best and most appropriate graduate program and living accommodation for each scholar's needs.


The Marshall is almost as prestigious as the Rhodes, but ranks with the Fulbright as one of the most prestigious awards a graduating senior can receive. It will open doors for you at home and in Britain, and help you establish important professional contacts. Past winners include Bruce Babbit, David Yergen, Tom Friedman, and Ray Dolby (inventor of the Dolby sound system). This will be of immense help in applying for graduate or professional school, and of some help in applying for jobs.

Depending on your background and area of study, two years may be enough time for you to complete a British master’s degree. If you do not want or cannot achieve a British master’s degree in this time period, many of the credits would transfer to an American graduate or professional program.

Two to three Marshall years give you the opportunity for intensive study in a field which could later be the basis for a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Should you be selected from this region of the country, you will be interviewed in Washington, D.C., sometime in November.

The Interview Process

See The Interview Process for details on what panelists look for and what to expect. Previous Marshall candidates have said that the majority of their questions come from their personal statements. Make sure you know your personal statement inside and out.

The Odds

Roughly 1,100 candidates apply for forty scholarships in a given year. Marshalls are awarded by regions. Our region receives nine per year. Typically, 170 candidates apply for the nine scholarships, and thirteen to twenty are invited to interview.

Our regional competition is less keen than for the Rhodes because of the way the Marshall divides the country. Additionally, many of the same students apply for a Marshall and Rhodes, and some will get a Rhodes.


To be eligible for a 2011 Marshall Scholarship, candidates must:

  • be citizens of the United States of America (at the time they apply for a scholarship)
  • (by the time they take up their scholarship in September 2011) hold their first undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States
  • have obtained a grade point average of not less than 3.7 (or A-) on their undergraduate degree. (Exceptions will be considered only on the specific recommendation of the sponsoring college.)
  • have graduated from their first undergraduate college or university after April 2008
  • not have studied for, or hold a degree or degree-equivalent qualification from, a British university

Note: Persons already studying for or holding a British degree or degree-equivalent qualification are not eligible to apply for a Marshall Scholarship.

Apply To

Please visit the website for application information. To apply, you must create an account.

Full instructions on filling in the application form are available once you start the process of applying online.

Applications are made in one of eight regions in the United States. Candidates may apply in one region only—either that in which they have their permanent home address or ordinary place of residence/employment, or that in which they are studying. Any candidate applying in more than one region will automatically be disqualified.

Candidates fill out the form and submit it through the system to their institution; the institution ensures that the application is complete and decides whether or not to endorse it. If the institution decides to endorse the application, they will add the letter of endorsement and will then submit it through the system to the appropriate regional committee. Candidates should contact the appropriate contact at their institution if they are considering applying for a Marshall Scholarship.

Candidates must submit their application on the online form provided. Applications must be endorsed by the president, provost, or academic dean of the applicant's educational institution (or employer). The online application must be submitted and authorised by a designated member of staff at the applicant's educational institution (or employer). Note: Your institution may have earlier deadlines for submission of your application. Whether this is the case or not, you must submit your application in a timely manner in order for your institution to be able to authorise it for submission by a date to be announced in October 2011.

All items, including the four letters of recommendation, must be submitted online by the authorized contact and received at the regional center no later than a date TBA in October 2011.

Note: Academic transcripts must be sent by mail (not online) to the regional center. One original and five copies should be sent, and they should be marked with the ID code given and be received no later than a date TBA in October 2011.

Contact Information

Marshall website

Inquiries about the Marshall Scholarship Application should be sent to

Dr. Janet Goebel, IUP Marshall Advisor
Robert E. Cook Honors College
136 Whitmyre Hall

British Embassy, Cultural Department
3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008-3600
(202) 462-1340

British Consulate-General
845 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 745-0252