Selection Criteria in detail

While it is expected that most applicants will have graduated in the past 5 years, the Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships are open to all Australian citizens. The three criteria are assessed as follows:

Strength of character, leadership and service

It is expected that Ramsay Scholars will go on to make significant contributions to Australian society in their chosen career. In your application you will therefore need to show and articulate a sustained record in leadership and community contribution. Examples could include active participation in charitable activities and projects; music, theatre, debating and sport; and entrepreneurial activities. Evidence of real-world problem solving, or overcoming personal challenges, will also be considered. 

In your application, you will be asked the following questions:

  • What kind of leader are you?
  • What contribution have you made as a leader to your community? (What tangible benefit has the community seen?)
  • What have you learnt from your community work and extra-curricular activities?

Academic achievement

Postgrad academic achievementApplicants will need to have secured a place in a graduate program at a university of their choice before finalising their Ramsay Scholarship application. You will need to provide evidence of this (in the form, for example, of a letter of offer) when applying for the scholarship. 

Entry to the world’s best universities (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Harvard, Yale, Bologna, the Sorbonne etc.) is extremely competitive. Typically, a first-class undergraduate honours degree or Masters equivalent will be required for admission to the top graduate programs. 

For entry to the Master of Arts at St John’s College, Annapolis, an honours degree is not a requirement. 

In evaluating the strength of an applicant’s academic credentials (including the prestige and benefits of the program into which they have been accepted), the Ramsay selection committee will consider evidence of non-degree intellectual attainment, e.g. academic publications, public commentary, op-ed pieces, the publication or public performance of creative works, etc.

In the application, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Reflect on your academic career to date – your struggles and successes. What has been the most interesting thing you have learnt about your area/s of study and about yourself?
  • Have you changed your mind about anything important as a result of your studies?

Commitment to advancing a richer and deeper understanding of our civilisation

postgrad commitment to advancing our civilisationIn keeping with Mr Ramsay’s vision of promoting studies of Western Civilisation, applicants will need to provide in their applications either evidence of prior interest and achievement in Western civilisation studies broadly defined and/or a proposal for postgraduate study in a coursework or research programme with a significant element demonstrably related to this same general field. 

In your application, you will be asked the following questions:

  • How have your studies to date deepened your appreciation of western civilisation broadly defined?


  • Identify how your proposed course of study or research will help you gain and advance a deeper appreciation of some aspect of western civilisation.

Future Goals

Finally, you will be asked to reflect on your choice of graduate program, your main professional goals for the future, how your course of study will help you realise these goals and how they will benefit the Australian community.

The past is insight. The future is in sight.