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

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. McDonnell Scholars receive both financial and programmatic support. In selecting our Scholars, we consider academic distinction, global mindset, leadership, and community. Read more about the program.

The Application Process

The McDonnell Academy accepts applications beginning October through January.


This fellowship opportunity is open to prospective students applying to pursue an eligible full-time graduate or professional degree program at Washington University in St. Louis. Applicants from all countries are welcome. 

Which type of McDonnell Scholar are you? To determine admission eligibility, programming and financial support, please select one of the categories below which best represents your individual qualifications.


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.


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


  • Candidate’s biographic information and academic history
  • Personal essay
  • Short video
  • Recommendation letter

The online application requirements are outlined in detail on the application instructions page. You will also find information on how to update your profile and check the status of the various sections of your application prior to submission.

Decisions are typically made by the end of March. 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.

Call for Applications

The McDonnell Academy provides its Scholars with leadership training, mentorship by dedicated faculty members, and unique global engagement opportunities. It also facilitates collaborative research with its partners across disciplines and countries.

Admissions and Application Questions

Visit our FAQ section for some common questions about the McDonnell Academy application process or email