Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program at the University of California Berkeley, for Sub-Saharan African Students, 2017/2018

International, Masters, Scholarships, Undergraduate, USA

Application Deadline: varies by program (to fall between 1 December 2016 and 8 January 2017).

Offered annually? Yes

Brief description: At University of California Berkeley, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will provide holistic support – financial, academic, social, and career counselling – to Masters students from Sub-Saharan Africa from 2012 to 2020. UC Berkeley will receive $30 million in funding over the next eight years as part of MFSP.

Eligible Field of Study: Masters courses offered at the university

About Scholarship

Over the next eight years, the Scholars Program will bring students from Africa to UC Berkeley for master’s study. The program’s peak year at UC Berkeley will be 2016-17, when 81 Scholars will be enrolled.

Administered out of the Center for African Studies, the program at the University of California, Berkeley is supported by a broad cross-section of functional and disciplinary units on campus including the Division of Student Affairs, the Graduate Division, the Berkeley International Office, and the International House.

The Program is designed to provide holistic support, including:

  • Comprehensive scholarships (school fees, living expenses, books, stipends, transportation).
  • Mentoring and counselling including emotional and academic support.
  • Service and experiential learning (volunteerism, internships, entrepreneurship, ICT).
  • Transition support into higher education or the workforce in Africa.
  • Alumni network of next-generation leaders committed to service.

Scholarship Offered Since: 2012

Scholarship Type: The scholars will pursue professional master’s degrees

Selection Criteria and Eligibility: 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.

Number of Scholarships: Several

Value of Scholarship: Full scholarship

Duration of Scholarship: for the period of study

Eligible Countries: Sub-Saharan African

To be taken at (country): At University of California Berkeley, USA

How to Apply

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 Foundation Scholarship Program. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Graduate Division provide detailed information on the admissions process for international students.

Learn more about applying for Undergraduate scholarship

Learn more about applying for Masters Scholarship

Sponsors: MasterCard Foundation and the host university



  • my name is Gabayo Kumilacho, From Ethiopia, I graduated in my first degree by natural resource economics and policy on July 5/4/ 2014. in these short period of time i was worked in many institute, at least in three,those are 1st ministry of finance and economy development of Ethiopia. 2nd Ethiopian commercial bank, currently Ethiopian environment and forest research institute so until now i don’t chance my life and country even my parent life. i born from poor family and my country is not stable so now days if i get the chance to study abroad feel me an alarmingly happiness.

  • I’m from Ethiopia and I was graduated with in mathematics from Jimma University on 28th June 2014. I have taken Economics courses for two years. please! I wonder if you recognize me as nominee for scholarship.
    Thank you

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