The McDonnell Academy is a university-wide initiative that benefits all seven WashU academic schools by attracting premier graduate students from international institutions and the United States.

Learn more about admissions and eligibility

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By the Numbers
Current Scholars
International University Partners

On-campus Scholars participate in a collaborative graduate-level leadership program and become part of a unique global community. They represent different countries, cultural viewpoints, academic and personal interests, and they enrich Washington University and its graduate student body. The McDonnell Academy aspires to have one Scholar from each partner university in residence at Washington University at all times.

McDonnell Scholars receive both financial and programmatic support:

  • full tuition;
  • a monthly living stipend;
  • a relocation expense allowance and travel allowance;
  • opportunity to reside in private, modern cohort housing within walking distance to campus;
  • multifaceted instruction designed to develop the McDonnell Scholars defining attributes of global mindset, leadership, and community;
  • cultural experiences such as cohort trips to Washington D.C. and New York, and participation in international research symposia;
  • individual mentorship by dedicated faculty who support the Scholar’s academic and professional growth;
  • expansive network of students and alumni from across countries and disciplines.

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. Most of our Scholars reside together in the Academy’s housing complex, which provides Scholars with unique living, learning and social experiences.

Learn more about the graduate experience at WashU and how you can become a McDonnell Scholar – Watch our video!

What We Are Seeking in a Scholar

In selecting our Scholars, we consider the following:

  • Academic distinction: Scholars are selected on the basis of their academic talent, promise and ambition to become future leaders in academia, government, the professions, or the corporate world. 
  • Global mindset: Scholars share a global outlook, embrace difference, and express interest in broader social and cultural issues. They are committed to engaging in dialogue across disciplines and cultures.
  • Leadership: Scholars demonstrate a desire and potential to generate positive change in their communities and around the world. They are committed to engaging in the Academy’s platform for leadership development and communication acumen.
  • Community: Scholars become part of a diverse, close-knit community. They share a commitment to engaging in the Academy’s academic, professional and social activities and to strengthening ties across our global network of partners.

Defining Attributes

The three pillars of the McDonnell Scholars program represent the defining attributes of every McDonnell Academy Scholar, beyond being an expert in one’s discipline. These competencies focus our programming and help Scholars track their progress.

Meet our Scholars

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

Become a McDonnell Scholar

In creating an international network of research universities, WashU is developing a cohort of future leaders in a global university system, promoting global awareness and social responsibility.

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