These prestigious one- and two-year awards finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom (U.K.). 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.
“I think that there has always been, in American policy, a very strong feeling for greater unity in Europe, a belief that European unity must be promoted and that this could be done as a counterpart, so to speak, of American assistance.”
Roger Mellor Makins, 1st Baron Sherfield, GCB GCMG FRS (shown at left), British Ambassador to the United States from 1953 to 1956. Lord Sherfield was the principal architect behind the Marshall Scholarship award program.
“If man does find the solution for world peace it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known… The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.”
George Catlett Marshall, Jr. (shown at right), Chief of Staff of the United States Army, United States Secretary of Defense
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 programs at 168 higher education institutions in the U.K. contributes to their ultimate personal success.
Up to 40 Marshall Scholarships can be awarded annually. They cover university fees, cost-of-living expenses, an annual book grant, a thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the U.S., and, where applicable, a contribution toward the support of a dependent spouse.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements, please consult the Marshall Scholarship webpage. In general, students should:
- Be U.S. citizens.
- Be a senior undergraduate or have graduated within two years from a first baccalaureate degree at the time of application.
Thinking and Planning Ahead
Are you a potential Marshall Scholar? Learn more about this nationally competitive, distinguished scholarship and the processes involved in applying for it. You should:
- Review the goals and criteria of the Marshall Scholarship.
- Become familiar with all of the useful information on the Marshall Scholarship website at www.marshallscholarship.org. Be sure to:
- Review the FAQs in the “Applications” section of the Marshall Scholarship website to answer your specific questions.
- Determine how you will demonstrate your interest in attending a school in U.K.
- Consider how your interests will forward U.K./U.S. relations.
- Carefully review the actual online Marshall Scholarship application.
- Take actions that demonstrate commitment to the goals of the Marshall Scholarship. This means getting involved—preferably beginning your freshman year. Your involvement might include campus, research, and community activities. Stay involved and commit to a few key things. Assume leadership roles. Make a difference. If possible, secure a paid job in your academic area of interest.
- Maintain a good GPA, particularly in your major.
- Attend a U.K. scholarships workshop as well as other workshops offered by the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program.
- Schedule a meeting with the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program. Send an email to DistinguishedScholarships@wsu.edu.
Multiple Steps with Deadlines over Several Months
Applying for a Marshall Scholarship is a process. Throughout, you will gain valuable insights into your interests, strengths, and goals, and more clearly envision how you will represent WSU and the U.S. in meeting the objectives of the scholarship. The WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program will help you coordinate with WSU reviewers, specialists, and experts who will provide thorough application feedback at numerous points in your progression.
Step One: Gather Key Materials
Deadline: March 11
Well in advance of this date, you must prepare by studying online information about the Marshall Scholarship and your related accomplishments, and have been in close contact with the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program. No later than this date, you must schedule a meeting with the director to discuss and submit your:
- Draft of a personal essay that explains why the Marshall is the distinguished scholarship that you seek, and are qualified for, this year.
- Draft of your essay about the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., and how your work today and in the future will affect this relationship (500 words maximum).
- Describe your proposed academic programme, giving reasons for your choice of course and preferred university.
- Finalized list of four-to-six (4-6) recommenders (i.e., people who will each write a letter of recommendation for your Marshall Scholarship application).
- Updated résumé or academic vita.
Step Two: Meet with Director to Review Submitted Materials
Deadline: Late March
- Contact the director of Distinguished Scholarships program to arrange a meeting.
Step Three: Meet with Selection Committee
Deadline: Early April
- Application materials will be reviewed by the Distinguished Scholarships Selection Committee. NOTE: WSU will only nominate students who are chosen by the reviewers to represent WSU. You will be notified in mid April whether you will be put forward as a university-nominated applicant for a Marshall Scholarship.
Step Four: Finalize Letters of Recommendation
Deadline for Receipt: May 15
No later than this date, you must make any necessary arrangements for the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program to receive:
- Final versions of four-to-six (4-6) letters of recommendation supporting your Marshall Scholarship application; each recommender may mail or email their document directly to the program director.
Step Five: Have Your Transcripts Sent
Deadline: May 20
Not later than this date, you must make any necessary arrangements so that the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program will receive:
- One (1) official transcript from every college/university where you have received academic credit; the institution(s) must mail or email the document directly to the program director.
Step Six: Application Review
April – June
During these months, you, as a nominee, will have the opportunity to revise your application materials based on feedback from the reviewers and other faculty members. You will work closely with the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program to:
- Revise, re-draft, and then finalize your personal essay and your essay about the U.S.-U.K. relationship.
Step Seven: WSU Endorsement
Each WSU student who has been chosen by the Distinguished Scholarships Selection Committee to apply for a Marshall Scholarship must meet with the Distinguished Scholarships Endorsement Committee. The director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program will arrange for you to:
- Meet in person with members of the Distinguished Scholarships Endorsement Committee, who then prepare the institutional endorsement letter nominating you as an applicant from WSU.
Step Eight: Submit Your Application
Mid-September (i.e. 7-10 days prior to that year’s Marshall Foundation deadline)
To complete final application tasks, you must:
- Complete the Marshall Scholarship online application by uploading your final essays and carefully filling in all fields.
You must also make any necessary arrangements for the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program to receive:
- Your recent portrait. It must be no larger than two inches wide by three inches tall (2×3) and that is high resolution (no less than 300 dpi). The director will help you arrange for such a photo if you do not have an acceptable one.
The director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarship Program will:
- Complete a thorough review of your application materials and contact you by phone with any concerns.
- Confirm with your recommenders that they have completed their letters and submitted them online directly to the Marshall organization.
- Submit to Marshall your WSU nomination letter as well as university transcripts.
- Mail required documentation to the British Consulate in San Francisco before the national deadline.
Step Nine: Notify Director
Upon announcement of Marshall Scholarship interviews and, later on, awardees
When you receive notification whether you are being interviewed for a Marshall Scholarship (or, later on, that you have been awarded), you should:
- Notify the director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program. This allows the director to determine any next steps to be taken.