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Nationally Competitive Scholarships

Campus SignNational Competitive Scholarship Logo

Nationally competitive scholarships help support students to study within the U.S and abroad, by providing funding for graduate school and research opportunities. These scholarships are recognized as some of the most prestigious in the world, and their purpose is to develop outstanding students into leaders whose research and careers will have far-reaching impacts on the world.

UMBC provides direct support to students seeking to apply for nationally competitive scholarships. If you are interested in applying for one of these opportunities, please make an appointment to meet with Dr. April Householder, by emailing her at, and provide a brief narrative (250 word limit) outlining your background and interest in the scholarship. Before the meeting, please review the eligibility guidelines for the scholarship(s) you are interested in, and forward an unofficial copy of your transcript to Dr. Householder.

Please be aware that all scholarships listed below require university sponsorship, and have an on-campus application/interview process, and an internal deadline that is earlier than the final submission deadline.


Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Each year 32 young students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Applicants from more than 320 American colleges and universities have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.
Application cycle: July through October.

Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

Meet UMBC’s Gate’s Scholars

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.
Application deadline: mid-October.

Marshall Scholarship

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study. As future leaders, with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions. Marshall Scholars are talented, independent and wide-ranging, and their time as Scholars enhances their intellectual and personal growth. Their direct engagement with Britain through its best academic programmes contributes to their ultimate personal success.
Application deadline: early October.

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Meet UMBC’s Goldwater Scholars

The Goldwater Scholarship is granted to college students who intend to pursue careers in the following fields: science, mathematics, and engineering. The applicants are evaluated based upon their field of study, career objectives, and the potential and dedication for the applicant to make a significant contribution to their field.
Applications due: Late January.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Meet UMBC’s Truman Scholars

Truman Scholars are agents for change and have an extensive background in community service; a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit and advocacy sectors; communication skills and a high probability of becoming a “change agent”; and a strong academic record with likely acceptance to the graduate school of the candidate’s choice.
Application Deadline: February.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. It awards grants in nearly all fields and disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, STEM fields, and creative and performing arts. UMBC strongly encourages applications for both research and English Teaching Assistant grants from its academically strongest graduating seniors and graduate students.

Contact: Dr. Brian Souders at

Dr. April Householder
Director of Undergraduate Research and Nationally Competitive Scholarships
(410) 455-5754