McDonnell International Scholars Academy

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy incubates new ideas and mentors future leaders. In collaboration with its partners, the Academy leads groundbreaking research projects and prepares Scholars to be effective leaders in a global community. Scholars are selected on the basis of their promise to become future leaders in academia, government, the professions, or the corporate world.

Applications to the McDonnell Academy are accepted from graduates of universities across the world, with a special interest in those students from its network of partner universities. In creating an international network of research universities, Washington University is developing a cohort of future leaders in a global university system to promote global awareness and social responsibility.

The McDonnell Academy has a dual mission. First, it recruits top scholars from partner universities and mentors them as they pursue doctoral and professional master’s degrees in any of the 120+ academic programs offered at Washington University. Second, it leverages an international partnership network to incubate new ideas and foster collaborative research across countries and disciplines. There are more than 30 academic partners associated with the Academy, with at least one partner university on every populated continent. McDonnell Scholars receive full tuition and a generous living stipend for up to five years to support their degree experience. 

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.

Characteristics of McDonnell Scholars

In selecting its Scholars, the Academy considers 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 differences, 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 the Academy's global network of partners.

Learn More

For more information about eligibility, programming, and financial support, please visit the Admissions page of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy website.

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