The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in October 2000 by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge. The program offers full-cost scholarships each year to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to Ph.D. students, with approximately 25 awards available in the U.S. round and 55 available in the International round.

The aim of the program is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. 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 program at Cambridge for which they are applying

General Eligibility

Please see the Cambridge graduate program websites for specific program eligibility requirements and the Gates Cambridge Criteria page for additional insight. 

  • Class year: Seniors and alumni at the time of application who are applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses at the University of Cambridge:
    • Ph.D. (three-year research-only degree), preferred course for U.S. candidates.
    • MSc or MLitt (two-year research-only degree)
    • One-year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
  • Citizenship: A citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom. Please note there are different deadlines for U.S. citizens living in the United States at the time of application and for all other eligible applicants.
  • GPA: To gain admission to Cambridge, minimum 3.5 GPA is required; if the academic requirement of the course is a first, minimum 3.7 GPA is required.

Application Process

To be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you must apply via the University's Graduate Application Portal and complete the section to apply for admission to a course, and a College place, and the Gates Cambridge part of the funding section. (See the Gates Cambridge website for application instructions for MBA and MFin applicants.) Gates Cambridge has access to the full application for admission and funding when reviewing applications. Please note there are different Gates Cambridge application deadlines for U.S. citizens living in the United States at the time of application and for all other eligible applicants. 

Interested candidates should review the Gates Cambridge Fellowships Toolkit article (Handshake login required). 

Learn More

For more information, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program at or schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships & Scholarships, through Handshake (login required). Also, visit the Gates Cambridge Scholarship website.