The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge; this is the largest ever single donation to a UK university.
Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. The selection criteria are:
- outstanding intellectual ability
- leadership potential
- a commitment to improving the lives of others
- a good fit between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying
While at Cambridge, Scholars pursue full range of subjects available at the University and are spread through its departments and Colleges.
Our Alumni are pursuing further study or employment across many sectors of society and, despite the relative youth of the programme, are increasingly taking on leadership roles and applying their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of others.
The aim of the Gates Cambridge programme is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.
You can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if you are:
- a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom
- applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge:
- PhD (three year research-only degree)
- MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree)
- One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
Gates Cambridge administers two selection rounds each year:
Round 1: US citizens normally resident in the USA
Applicants in this round must apply by 11 October 2017 for entry in October 2018.
Round 2: all other eligible applicants
The application deadline in this round is determined by the course you are applying for. You can check which of the two deadlines below applies to you by checking the course directory
1. Departmental ranking
In order to ensure only the most academically outstanding candidates are considered, the Trust asks academic departments in Cambridge to rank eligible applicants on academic ability only. Those who are put forward by their departments are considered the most academically outstanding applicants they have received that year.
Once the Trust has a list of all ranked candidates, these are divided into broad subject areas and passed to our Shortlisting Committees. These Committees look at the candidates’ entire application pack (including the Gates Cambridge Statement and Reference) and apply all four Gates Cambridge criteria in order to identify those who will be invited for interview. Everyone who is shortlisted for interview will have gone through an exceptionally competitive process and will show evidence of meeting the four Gates Cambridge criteria.
All shortlisted candidates have a short interview to assess how they meet all four Gates Cambridge criteria and Scholars are selected after interview.