Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Marshall Scholarship Deadline

Monday, August 15, 2016 - 4:00pm

The Marshall Scholarships were established by the British government in 1953 to express British gratitude for the European Recovery Program, instituted by General George C. Marshall in 1947 when he served as US Secretary of State. Up to forty Scholarships are offered each year, up to five for each of eight regions into which the US is divided. The Scholarship provides overseas transportation, all tuition and fees, and a personal living allowance typically for two years of study and can, in a few exceptional cases, be renewed for a third year.While there is an option for one year of study for those with obligations that require that they return to the US after a single year (e.g., deferral of acceptance to graduate school, a job offer that is being deferred), no more than eight one-year Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year.

While the Marshall Scholarship is tenable at any university in the United Kingdom, since its goal is to promote US/UK connections throughout the UK the Scholarship particularly welcomes candidates interested in studying at universities other than Oxford, Cambridge and LSE, especially the UK partner institutions listed on the Marshall website.

Among the Marshall Scholars selected in December 2016, half will be studying at universities other than Oxford, Cambridge and LSE.

Marshall candidates should also consider applying for the Thouron Award. If you wish to study at Oxford, you should also consider applying for the Rhodes Scholarship. If you wish to study at Cambridge, you should also consider applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.


CANDIDATES SHOULD INDICATE THEIR INTENT TO APPLY FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR THE MARSHALL SCHOLARSHIP NO LATER THAN MARCH 31, 2016, BY COMPLETING THE REQUEST FOR UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA ENDORSEMENT FORM. Candidates who submit a Request for Endorsement by March 31 will be assigned a Fellowship Advisor who will help the candidate clarify goals, values, and purposes, assist with application details, and draft the letter of endorsement on behalf of the University.

Candidates who submit a request for endorsement form between April 1 and June 30 are not guaranteed a Fellowship Advisor, but will be considered for endorsement. Candidates requesting endorsement after June 30 must contact CURF to petition to be considered for University of Pennsylvania endorsement. All endorsed candidates must submit their finalized application and ensure that their recommendations are submitted online to the Marshall website.

The internal University of Pennsylvania deadline for receiving all required application materials (including recommendation letters) to be considered for University of Pennsylvania endorsement for the Marshall Scholarship is 4:00pm on August 15, 2016.

The 2017 Marshall Application is now available on the Marshall website. Penn applicants should review these materials but *not* register their recommenders on the Marshall site until and unless they receive Penn endorsement in September 2016. Applicants and recommenders must submit all materials to the CURF website no later than 4:00pm on August 15, 2016. If an applicant is endorsed for the Marshall Scholarship, applicants and recommenders will be required to submit all application materials to the Marshall website no later than October 3, 2016.


Candidates must:

  • Be a US citizen by October of the year in which they apply for the Marshall Scholarship
  • Have graduated from her or his undergraduate university within the past four years
  • Possess a cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.70 at the time of application

Selection criteria -- described in detail here -- include significant:

  • Academic Merit
  • Leadership Potential
  • Ambassadorial Potential

The most successful candidates have also demonstrated initiative and commitment to larger issues such as service, research, and engagement in efforts to serve humanity both on and beyond their campus. Candidates should demonstrate wide-ranging academic excellence, which should be reflected in the candidate’s overall academic record. The candidate should show qualities of moral leadership and social purpose, and should also exhibit outstanding achievement and potential for future success within the classroom, through engagement on their campus, and beyond the confines of university life. Finally, they should also have a clearly articulated reason for studying in the UK and a solid understanding of the research they will conduct in a specific graduate program.



Following Penn’s internal submission deadline, candidate materials are reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Faculty Review Committee for the Marshall Scholarship, which is comprised of Penn faculty who have been awarded prestigious scholarships and are actively engaged in promoting Penn’s academic mission.

The Faculty Review Committee will review applications and select candidates to interview for consideration for Penn endorsement. Candidates selected for endorsement must then apply directly through the Marshall website and provide all necessary materials to the Marshall Scholarship.

The Marshall competition is a regional competition. US candidates from Penn may apply through their home state or through Pennsylvania (by virtue of living in Pennsylvania to attend school). Most candidates are better served by applying through their home state and region. Candidates make the final decision of which region to apply through, but should consult with Dr. Wallace Genser before making this decision.


  • Marshall scholarship application form
  • Outline of proposed studies in the UK
  • Statement describing academic and other interests and pursuits
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • Official college transcripts
  • Letter of endorsement from the University of Pennsylvania (CURF)

All of these materials -- except the letters of recommendation Letter of endorsement from Penn -- must be submitted to CURF by our internal deadline via the Internal Penn Marshall Application form.


Requests for letters of recommendation must be submitted through the Recommendation Request Form on the CURF website. Letters of recommendations must be submitted to CURF no later than 4:00pm on August 15, 2016. If an applicant is endorsed by Penn, after final consultation with CURF Marshall candidates must register their recommenders within the Marshall Application form on the Marshall application site, and make certain that their recommenders submit their letters to the Marshall site no later than October 3, 2016.



In order to compose the most effective recommendation possible, fellowship recommenders are urged to review the information and suggestions CURF has developed. In addition, your letter should describe what you have observed of the candidate that illustrates the traits and abilities that will lead to academic, personal and professional success. Specific examples of work the candidate has performed and behaviors that you have observed are crucial to successful letters.

Recommenders are required to upload a separate letter for each fellowship for which the candidate is applying. While it is not generally necessary to tailor a letter specifically for each fellowship, it is extremely important to refer to the correct fellowship, degree program, and school in each letter (e.g., “I write to recommend [Student Name] for the Marshall Scholarship to obtain an MSc in International Relations at the University of Bristol”).



By early November the selection boards, situated in British consulates in each of the eight regions throughout the US, will have met and selected applicants for interviews held in early November. Marshall Scholars are announced in early December.