The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
The University of California, Berkeley has partnered with The Mastercard Foundation in a collaborative, global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations that believe education is a catalyst for social and economic advancement. The Scholars Program aims to develop a cohort of ethical, entrepreneurial, and energetic young leaders who will drive and lead socio-economic transformation in Africa. Since 2012, the Program has created 35,000 scholarships for young people, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The future of Africa will be shaped by its young people, including those talented, yet economically disadvantaged students who face significant barriers to accessing quality education. The Mastercard Foundation’s strategy, Young Africa Works, aims to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. To harness the potential impact of this generation, The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program provides next-generation leaders who are committed to the social and economic transformation of their continent with access to quality education by delivering comprehensive financial, social, and academic support throughout their secondary and university education and supports their transition to further study or to the workforce.
The Program at UC Berkeley
At UC Berkeley, the Program has provided support to over 120 students from 2012 to 2020, both undergraduate and professional Master’s students. Students seeking doctoral degrees are not eligible for this Program. To be considered for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, both undergraduate and graduate degree seekers must first be admitted to the university through the regular admissions process. Once students apply for University admission, the Program will invite them to apply for the Scholarship if they meet eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Apply page for more information on the application process.
Am I Eligible for the Scholarship?
The five main eligibility criteria are:
- Being a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country – If you have refugee status, are stateless, or have other questions regarding your citizenship, you may still be eligible. Please contact us directly to clarify. This scholarship is not intended for citizens of North African countries.
- Excelling academically – All prospective Scholars must first be admitted to UC Berkeley to be considered for the Scholarship. An important criteria for admission to the University is demonstrated academic excellence.
- Coming from an economically disadvantaged background – We aim to admit those from the bottom two income quintiles per country. This Scholarship is designed for those extremely talented individuals who have no other means of acquiring the further education required to help realize their dreams and ambitions.
- Having demonstrated the will to give back to your community, country, or continent – We are looking for well-rounded students who are engaged in activities beyond the classroom. Some may be directly related to your field of study, but this may also include other issues (social, economic, political) that you are working on and passionate about. Applicants should elaborate on their achievements both in their application to UC Berkeley, and then later on the Scholarship application.
- Having expressed the desire and intention to return to your home country after completing your studies – We are looking for students who are engaged with and passionate about issues affecting their communities, and who will take advantage of their education at UC Berkeley to better equip themselves with the knowledge and training to address these issues upon return. While important work can be done from abroad, the intention of this Program is to enable Scholars to return home, after forming valuable professional connections through internship and job placements.
Apply to be a UC Berkeley MasterCard Foundation Scholar
Both undergraduate and graduate degree seekers must first be admitted to the university through the regular admissions process before they will be considered for the MasterCard Foundations Program Scholarship. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Graduate Division provide detailed information on the admissions process for international students. Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed toward the appropriate Admissions Office.
For more details, please select the level of studies you would like to apply for: