St John’s College, Annapolis, Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship

Application Process

STEP 1: Apply to the Graduate Institute’s Master of Arts in Liberal Arts degree program. Ramsay Scholars will start together in the Fall Semester. Whilst applications are considered on a rolling basis, early submission is highly encouraged. Candidates who wish to apply for the Ramsay Scholarship should submit an application to St John’s College, Annapolis, before January 2024.

STEP 2: If you are admitted to St. John’s, you may then apply for the Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship, which will open on February 1 2024.

STEP 3: With the support of St. John’s and Ramsay Centre staff, prepare to move to the U.S. and begin your course in August 2024. It is important to apply for a visa as early as possible.

For more information, contact Brendan Boyle, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at


Are you ready to embark on a world-class education that will push you to think with some of history’s most brilliant philosophers, poets, and scientists? To ask and attempt to answer the most timeless and timely questions of human existence?

At St. John’s, great books—and great discussions—are the heart of the college’s distinctive liberal arts program. The aim of the education offered by St. John’s is the liberation of the human intellect. By reading great books and struggling together with the fundamental questions that they raise, students and their teachers learn from their differences and discover more deeply their shared humanity. From conversations around the seminar table and beyond, students leave St. John’s intelligently and critically appreciative of their common heritage and well equipped to master the specific skills of any calling.

Our Ramsay scholarship supports up to six Australians a year to:

  • participate in an internship program in an area of interest in Washington D.C.

Value: AUD$75,000 p.a. for two years

The scholarship payment is a contribution towards your tuition, living and travel costs associated with your postgraduate study. The scholarship will not cover all expenses incurred whilst studying abroad.

Why St John’s?

St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, stands for the restoration of the original idea of liberal education through the “great books.” These books are the most important teachers, for they express most originally, and often most perfectly, the ideas by which contemporary life is knowingly or unknowingly governed. As such, the aim is to ascertain not how things were, but how things are to help students gain understanding and make reasonable decisions in whatever circumstances they face. And it is the ultimate aim of the academic program that the habits of thought and discussion honed in seminar should continue with graduates throughout their lives.

The two-year Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) is ideal for Australian students wishing to immerse themselves in this kind of education for the first time or to enrich their previous study of the great books by encountering them anew through St John’s famous seminars and tutorials.

Students earning the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) spend four semesters studying in four of five available segments: Politics and Society, History, Philosophy and Theology, Literature, and Mathematics and Natural Science. Students are also able to study Ancient Greek. View the Reading Lists and the Academic Schedule.

The Graduate Institute is a tight-knit and vibrant community with many opportunities for social events outside of the classroom. As one former student in the graduate program puts it:

It doesn’t matter what our backgrounds are, or how old we are, or what our previous education has been: When we sit around the table together, we’re simply human beings grappling with ideas, posing questions, and responding to the material. The collective bond we form around the great books is profound. St. John’s isn’t about competing, it’s about students and tutors becoming comrades on a remarkable journey.

St John’s is situated in the heart of Annapolis, an idyllic sea-side colonial city founded in 1649 that is capital of the state of Maryland and the original capital of the US. Receiving approximately two million tourists a year, Annapolis is bursting with history, quaint boutiques and cafes, and a thriving art and music scene. It is a walkable and friendly small town, home to the US Naval Academy and just 30 minutes from Washington DC.

St John’s is the third oldest college in the US. Students at the college have been reading great books since 1937, when its “New Program” in liberal education was adopted. The low-student-faculty ratio of 7:1 contributes to its number 8 ranking for “Best Classroom Experience” by Princeton Review. The Princeton Review also ranks St John’s fifth best in the country for top professors.

Washington DC Internship opportunity

St. John’s prepares you for every imaginable career. Annapolis offers unparalleled access to organizations large and small.

While Washington DC has always been a magnet for politically engaged students, in recent years DC has also transformed into a major cultural and artistic centre. There are endless career options to explore in Washington DC whether it be work in politics, law, think tanks, embassies, museums, cultural institutions, defence, security, or a diverse range of businesses and other institutions.

Ramsay Postgraduate Scholars at St John’s College will have opportunities for internships in Washington DC in their second year. Prior to the commencement of the scholarship, St. John’s College will assign a mentor to the scholars to assist them individually to secure internships in their unique areas of interest. Scholars will also be invited to participate in a summer study group as a cohort.

Internships will normally commence in the North American summer (June-August) and may be continued part-time during the remainder of the student’s time as a student at St John’s. 

Scholars will be encouraged to turn their attention to securing an internship soon after commencing their study.

For further questions about the St. John’s Graduate Institute MALA Program, please contact Brendan Boyle, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs (