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Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are prestigious, highly competitive full-cost scholarships. They 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 Gates Cambridge Scholarship supports one to three years of postgraduate study in any field at the University of Cambridge.

The programme aims to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, potential for scholarly development, and a commitment to use the benefits of their education for the common good. Citizens from any country other than the UK are eligible.

Who Should Apply?

To be eligible for Gates Cambridge, you must:

  • be a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom

  • be 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.). See courses that do not qualify here.

  • hold academic qualifications that will enable them to gain admission to the highly selective graduate programs of Cambridge University.

Selection criteria:

  • 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

The ideal candidate will be academically outstanding, possess demonstrated leadership potential, show a commitment to improving the lives of others, and be a good academic fit with Cambridge and the selected program.

How to Apply

The Gates-Cambridge application opens in early fall. More information about the current year's competition, application resources, and guidelines are available on our Fellowships Resource Site.

Application components

Candidates apply for Gates-Cambridge as part of the application process for postgraduate study at Cambridge.

The application includes:

Program Timeline/Deadlines

Review specific dates and timelines on the Gates-Cambridge website.

  • Applications for U.S. Citizens: mid-October

  • All other eligible candidates: December or January (varies by course)

  • Finalists and Selection: January

    Finalists will be invited to interview with a panel of four people, usually consisting of a representative of the Trust, two academics and a former Gates Cambridge scholar. The Center for Scholar Development will coordinate mock interviews for any students called for a finalist interview. Scholars are announced shortly after the interviews.

Advising and Feedback

Current students and Drexel alumni are strongly encouraged to submit a Fellowship Interest Form to set up a meeting with the Center for Scholar Development to discuss the program and any steps you can take now to become a more competitive candidate.

The Gates-Cambridge Scholarship program does not require a university endorsement process, but the Center for Scholar Development is able to provide feedback on your materials prior to submission. If you are interested in meeting with a Fellowships advisor or receiving feedback on your application, please submit a complete PDF of your application and a current résumé at least three weeks prior to the official deadline.

For more information, please submit a Fellowships Interest Form.

Additional Information and Resources

For official information on the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, (which supersedes any information provided here) and access to the online application, please visit the official program website.

Other useful websites:
Cambridge Graduate Admissions:
Cambridge course listings:

Last updated: October 2019

Related Awards:

Marshall Scholarship; Mitchell Scholarship

Fields of Study:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Arts and Creative Fields
  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • University of Cambridge, UK

Program Type:

  • Study
  • Travel


  • US Citizen
  • US National or Permanent Resident
  • Citizen of another country

Program Length:

  • Multi-year


  • October (US Citizens); December (International) 

Degree Level:

  • Post UG
  • Graduate


  • Cost of Cambridge graduate education, maintenance allowance for a single student, and airfare