Marshall Scholarship: An Overview

At A Glance...

Official Name: 
Marshall Scholarship
Campus Deadline: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Who Should Apply?: 

Seniors or within two years of graduating from their undergraduate institution; U.S. citizens

U.K./Ireland Pre-Application must be completed and submitted by June 1.

What It's For: 

1–3 years of graduate study in the United Kingdom

Fields of Study: 
any field offered at a U.K. institution

The Marshall Scholarship finances up to 40 independent, wide-ranging students who have outstanding leadership potential and who wish to study for a graduate degree by any institution in the United Kingdom. The program seeks to encourage applicants' personal and intellectual growth by fostering their understanding and appreciation of contemporary Britain, its relationship with the United States, and its role on the world stage.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Seniors, graduate, or professional students, and recent alumni are eligible to apply within two years of earning their undergraduate degree.
  • A minimum 3.7 GPA is required.
  • Must not have studied at, nor hold a degree from, a British university.

Applicants cannot apply directly to the Marshall Commission; rather, they must receive university endorsement in order to submit a Marshall application. 


  • Intellectual distinction, strong motivation, and a mature character
  • Rationale for pursuing your chosen program of study at a particular university in the U.K.
  • Preparedness for rigorous, independent graduate study
  • Potential to make a significant contribution to society and to one's field of study
  • Demonstrated leadership and community involvement
  • Desire to act as a U.S. cultural ambassador to the U.K. and to understand the "special relationship" between the U.K. and U.S.

The specific selection criteria are:

  1. Academic merit: The quality of the applicant’s proposed program of study, their knowledge of their proposed courses and supervisors, evidence of academic excellence and background relevant to their planned field of study, and the quality and breadth of their recommendations.
  2. Leadership potential: Ability to deliver results, strength of purpose (as evidenced in commitment to extracurricular involvements), creativity and innovation in the applicant’s approach to solving problems, and self-awareness in their desire to contribute to society and their impact so far.
  3. Ambassadorial potential: Knowledge of U.S./U.K. relations, evidence of transferable extracurricular activities, interpersonal skills and ability to engage with others, self-confidence, and ability to seize opportunities.

In summary, applicants should have a clear idea of what they want to study, how their goals build on their past accomplishments in and out of the classroom, and how they expect to make a major contribution or help to advance their field.


  • Online application, including 5 written components:
    — 1,000-word Personal Statement
    — 500-word Proposed Academic Program essay
    — 500-word Post-Scholarship Plan essay
    — 500-word Leadership essay
    — 500-word Ambassador Potential essay
  • Official transcript
  • Four letters of recommendation tailored for the Marshall Scholarship. Letters should be written to the "Marshall Scholarship Committee" and are limited to 1,000 words. Share this important information with your recommenders: Instructions for Recommenders: U.K. & Ireland Awards.
  • UMass Amherst Endorsement Letter


All applicants MUST be nominated by their college or university. As such, UMass Amherst applicants must apply through ONSA.

ONSA staff encourage you to set an advising appointment during the spring semester to discuss your eligibility and competitiveness for the UK/Ireland scholarships. After discussing with us your academic record and leadership experience for these highly competitive scholarships, students will pre-apply with ONSA by June 1.

The pre-application process officially informs ONSA about your application plan and allows students to start working early on their applications.

After June 1 pre-application deadline, you will work on your essays, which will allow you to move forward with a full application for the campus endorsement process. In some cases, we may recommend that you consider other opportunities that are a better fit.

PDF icon U.K./Ireland Scholarships Pre-Application

APPLY with ONSA by August 15:

Finalize your Marshall application on the Marshall website. We will access your application from there.


After August 15, we will review your application and inform you if you will be endorsed for the national competition.