Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about applying to the McDonnell Academy.

Am I eligible to apply to the McDonnell International Scholars Academy?

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. 

  • Priority is given to international graduate and professional candidates who are graduates of one of the Academy’s partner universities.
  • Domestic (U.S.) citizens who have spent most of their life and earned previous degrees in the United States are eligible to apply to the U.S. Scholars Program.
  • International graduate and professional candidates from other international universities outside the partner network are also considered for a limited number of fellowships.
What is the application process?

The McDonnell Academy accepts applications beginning October 1st through January 31st every academic year via an online form. You will be required to complete the following:

  1. Complete your profile
  2. Academic history
  3. Personal essay
  4. Video introduction
  5. Recommendation letter

Complete details can be found on the Application Instructions page.

I have already applied to a Washington University graduate or professional degree program but have just determined that I am eligible to apply to the McDonnell Academy. What should I do now?

Your next step should be to complete the online application before February 1.

I have yet to apply to a Washington University graduate or professional degree program and would like to apply to the McDonnell Academy. What should I do now?

Applying to a Washington University graduate or professional degree program and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy are separate application processes. It is required that you complete and submit applications to both your chosen degree program and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy to be considered for admission to the Academy. Please visit the website of your potential Washington University school for a graduate or professional degree program application. The McDonnell Academy application is available during application acceptance dates.

I have applied to a Washington University graduate or professional degree program, but have not yet been accepted. Should I apply to the McDonnell Academy before receiving an acceptance letter from the program to which I have applied?

Yes, you should apply to the McDonnell Academy before the January 31st deadline. During the decision-making process, the McDonnell Academy admissions committee keeps all program decisions and deadlines in mind. The McDonnell Academy begins evaluating applications on February 15th while recognizing that some programs will make admissions decisions through April. During the evaluation period, the McDonnell Academy admissions committee will interview selected candidates; however, fellowships are not awarded until the degree program has made its final decisions. Only those accepted into a degree program will be eligible for admission to the McDonnell Academy.

I have submitted by application. When deadline to receive a letter of recommendation from my recommender?

Upon submission, your recommender will be sent a letter of recommendation request email which includes a link to upload the recommendation letter.  Recommenders are given 14 days from receipt of the letter of recommendation request email to upload the letter of recommendation. The upload link provided to the recommender automatically expires after the 14-day period. The application deadline is January 31st, which means recommendations can be submitted until February 14th and still be considered on time. This 14-day grace period allows us to accept recommendation letters until 11:59 PM CST on February 14th.

Is there any further information I need to provide to the McDonnell Academy in addition to the application?

No. Only your completed application is necessary.

What if I need to update or change information on my application?

Details such as your address and phone contact can be updated in your profile at any time.  Your academic history, personal essay, video introduction and recommender contact information can be changed at any time before your application is submitted. After submission, the application data cannot be changed.

How do I confirm the McDonnell Academy has received my application?

 After you have begun the online application process, you can check the status of your application on your applicant dashboard.  The dashboard provides the status of the different sections in your application (as you complete them prior to submission), and the status of your application after you have completed all sections and submitted the application.  Until your application has been submitted, your application status will be “Incomplete”.  This will change to “Pending” after you have submitted the application.  As applications are reviewed, other status updates will appear to indicate where your application is in the process.

When will acceptance or regrets be determined?

The McDonnell Academy admissions committee reviews each application thoroughly; decisions are typically made by the end of March, and usually no later than mid-April. Please keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process and the timeline is subject to change.

How am I notified of the decision? Can I check the status of my application online?

After you have begun the online application process, you can check the status of your application on your applicant dashboard. 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.

How many Scholars are admitted to the program each year?

On average, there are between 15-20 Scholars admitted each year across University Partners and degree programs at Washington University.