The McDonnell Academy is no longer accepting applications for the 2024-25 academic year. The application for the 2025-26 academic year will open in September 2024.

The McDonnell Academy selects Scholars based on outstanding academic achievement and on an applicant’s commitment to learning about international issues and global leadership.

About the Program

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy fellowship program cultivates a community of culturally and academically diverse leaders who will address the world’s most complex challenges by driving positive and lasting change. Through its longstanding international partnerships, the program is an incubator of groundbreaking ideas that advance collaborative interdisciplinary research. A transformational experience, the Academy enhances leadership capacity through mentorship, professional development, and unique engagement opportunities. It is this foundation that builds the character and conviction to lead with a global mindset and social responsibility. McDonnell Scholars are selected based on their ability to emerge as leaders who are experts in their fields with perspectives that reflect cultural competence. Scholars are given a generous financial package to support their graduate and professional degree studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

What are We Seeking in a Scholar?

McDonnell Scholars come from varied degree programs and different countries in order to maximize the diversity of the program and create a rich dialogue and experience. In selecting our Scholars, we consider academic distinction, global mindset, leadership, and community. Read more about the program.


Fellowship Benefits

McDonnell Scholars receive both financial and programmatic support, including:

  • full tuition and a monthly living stipend;
  • a relocation expense allowance and travel allowance;
  • opportunity to reside in private, modern cohort housing within walking distance to campus, and;
  • multifaceted instruction, cultural experiences, dedicated mentorship, and an expansive worldwide network of students and alumni.

Eligibility

The McDonnell International Scholars graduate fellowship is open to prospective graduate and professional degree students who plan to attend Washington University in St. Louis and enroll in one of a select group of full-time doctoral or master’s degree programs.

To qualify to apply for the McDonnell International Scholars program:

  • Applicants must apply to an eligible WashU doctoral or master’s degree program. Application to the McDonnell Academy is separate from and in addition to an application to a graduate degree program at Washington University in St. Louis. Applicants must apply separately to both the McDonnell Academy and the WashU doctoral or master’s program. 
  • Applicants must have earned or plan to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher before the end of the 2023-24 academic year (July 2024).
  • This fellowship is not available for undergraduate studies.
  • Applicants from all countries are welcome. However, priority is given to international graduate candidates who are graduates of one of the Academy’s Partner Universities.
Am I eligible?

Not sure if you’re eligible to apply? Respond to the questions below to check your eligibility.

Applicant Eligibility Form

To be eligible to apply to the Mcdonnell Academy, you must first apply to an eligible WashU graduate program. Please review the list of eligible WashU doctoral or master’s degree programs.

Have you applied to an eligible WashU doctoral or master’s degree program?

To be eligible to apply to the Mcdonnell Academy, you must have earned or plan to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher before the end of the current academic year. This fellowship is not available for undergraduate studies.

Have you earned or plan to earn a bachelor’s degree before July 2024?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the McDonnell International Scholars program at this time.

You are eligible to apply to the McDonnell International Scholars program.


For more information about eligibility, programming, and financial support, please select one of the categories below which best represents your individual qualifications.

Partner
Scholar

Priority is given to international graduate and professional candidates who are graduates of one of the Academy’s partner universities.

United States Scholar

Graduate and professional candidates who are U.S. citizens and have earned previous degrees in the United States are eligible to apply.

Global
Scholar

International graduate and professional candidates from international universities outside the partner network are eligible to apply.


Process & Requirements

Application to the McDonnell Academy should be completed online as part of your WashU graduate program application. The following application materials should be received by the application deadline — January 31 at 11:59 pm CST.

  • Personal essay
  • Short video
  • Recommendation letter

Please visit the application instructions page for detailed information on the required components and to learn how to apply. 

Application Evaluation & Decisions

Once an applicant record is ready for review, the admissions committee will begin the evaluation of applicant records. We appreciate your patience during this period, as some programs will evaluate through April. Decisions are typically made by the end of March, and usually no later than mid-April. Approximately 20 Scholars are admitted to the McDonnell Academy each year.

Your applicant dashboard within the online application will be updated to reflect the decision that is reached regarding your acceptance.  Accepted individuals will also receive an email notification with further information.

Thinking about applying to become a McDonnell Scholar? Check out this video to learn more about the McDonnell Scholar experience!

Did not find the answers you are looking for?

Visit our FAQ section for some common questions about the McDonnell Academy application process or email mcdonnelladmissions@wustl.edu

FAQs