Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Award Information


Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost scholarships awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge. Awardees are selected based on a demonstration of outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, commitment to improving the lives of others, and a good match between the candidate’s qualifications and aspirations and their desired postgraduate programme at Cambridge. The scholarships were established with the mission of building a global network of future leaders dedicated to applying their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of others.

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in… I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act… As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

William H. “Bill” Gates III, Founder of the Microsoft Corporation

Visit the Gates Cambridge scholarships website.


NOTE: Students must apply for admission to the University of Cambridge at the same time they are applying to the Gates Cambridge scholarship in order to be considered for the award.

For eligibility requirements, please see the Gates Cambridge webpage. In general, students should:

  • Be U.S. citizens.
  • Be a senior undergraduate or post baccalaureate at the time of application.

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Applying for a Gates Cambridge

To take full advantage of the support offered by the Distinguished Scholarships program, students planning to apply for the next round of Gates Cambridge Scholarships through WSU are strongly encouraged to:

  • Prepare a draft of a personal essay explaining why the Gates Cambridge is the scholarship you wish to apply for this year.
  • Supply a current resume.

On or before the WSU deadline of March 11, all of these materials should be provided to the Director of the Distinguished Scholarships program.

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At Washington State University, students typically:

  1. Carefully determine their eligibility for this scholarship. Read thoroughly through the Gates Cambridge website.
    1. Review the Apply section of their website to learn about the application process.
    2. Print a copy of the required application materials and the requirements for the personal statement.
  2. Meet with the Director of Distinguished Scholarships to discuss ideas for this scholarship (appointments at
    1. After your meeting, draft your personal statement asked for in the application.
    2. Forward your draft to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships for review. You should plan to do several drafts of your work before the WSU deadline.
  3. Contact three referees to ask for a reference. Two will be academic references; the third is a personal reference. Note also that the Gates Cambridge Scholarships have specific requirements for how letters of reference should be written; referees should prepare their letters accordingly. Ask for a hard copy of these recommendation letters one week before the WSU deadline to be provided to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships. (Tips for writing references)
  1. Complete your application and turn in to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships by August 22. Include:
    1. Personal statement.
    2. 3 letters of recommendation mailed in a sealed envelope to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships.
  2. Order transcripts from every college/university where you have received credit. These should arrive at WSU by August 29, and be provided to the Director of the Distinguished Scholarships program.
  3. Reviews will be held with all applicants during the first weeks of September. Reviews are offered in order to assist students in the application process.
  4. Turn in your recent photograph to the Director of Distinguished Scholarships.

After the Internal WSU Review

  1. Complete your personal statement draft.
  2. Complete the online application. Carefully fill in all required fields!
  3. Confirm that your referees have completed the online review process.
  4. Proofread your work thoroughly.
  5. Submit your online application at least one week before the national deadline.

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