UC Berkeley MasterCard Scholarship for African Students

The goal of the UC Berkeley MasterCard Scholarship is to create a group of young leaders who are moral, ambitious, and enthusiastic and who will spearhead socio-economic change in Africa.

The Scholars Program is a growing commitment, and as of today, the Program has committed over USD $1.2 billion to assist more than 40,000 young people in their pursuit of education and leadership development.

The University of California, Berkeley, and The Mastercard Foundation have joined forces to form a cooperative, international network of educational institutions and non-profit groups that support the idea that education is a driving force behind social and economic progress.


Over 120 master’s and undergraduate students have received support from the program based at the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley, between 2012 and 2020. This program does not accept applicants pursuing Ph.D. degrees. Through 2030, over 108 master’s degree students will receive assistance from the program at UC Berkeley.

Those interested in master’s degrees must first apply to the university through the standard admissions process in order to be eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Students will be invited to apply for the Scholarship by the Program after submitting an application for admission to a degree program if they are eligible.

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Level/Field of Study

The UC Berkeley MasterCard Scholarship is designed for postgraduate studies only. Undergraduates are not eligible for this scholarship.

Host Nationality

This scholarship is hosted by the University of California for postgraduate students. The University of California is one of the elite universities in the world.

Criteria for UC Berkeley MasterCard Scholarship

Having citizenship in a Sub-Saharan African nation: This comprises Africans who are displaced or refugees in the continent of Africa. The recipients of this scholarship are not from North African countries. Not eligible are people who have dual citizenship, asylee, refugee, or permanent resident status in the US, Canada, UK, or EU.

Being academically talented: To be eligible for the Scholarship, all potential Scholars must first be accepted into a master’s program at UC Berkeley. Academic excellence as evidence is a key requirement for admission to the university.

Having leadership potential: The Program is looking for people who are dedicated to learning the abilities and perspectives necessary for transformative leadership, or the kind of leadership that engages others in a morally responsible way to bring about long-lasting change.

Originating from a low socioeconomic background: This scholarship is intended for exceptionally gifted people who might not otherwise have access to high-quality postsecondary education.

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Having proven your dedication to giving back to your town, nation, or continent: We are seeking students who are well-rounded and active outside of the classroom. This may include other issues (social, economic, and political) that you are working on and passionate about, some of which may be directly related to your field of study. Both in their UC Berkeley application and later in their scholarship application, applicants should go into more detail about their accomplishments.

Having stated your aim and wish to return home after completing your studies: We are searching for individuals who will take advantage of their education at UC Berkeley to better prepare themselves with the knowledge and skills to solve these concerns when they return. These students should be involved in and passionate about issues that affect their communities. The purpose of the Program is to enable Scholars to return home after establishing vital professional contacts through internships, academic training, and job placements, even though significant work can be done from overseas.

Application Process for the UC Berkeley MasterCard Scholarship

Candidates that are qualified should apply by clicking the link below.

However, kindly note that:

Before being given consideration for the Mastercard Foundations Scholars Program, candidates for a master’s degree must first apply to a graduate program. Not every degree program qualifies. A list of master’s degree programs is provided below.

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Candidates should carefully evaluate the exact requirements for each eligible graduate degree program(link is external). Additionally, comprehensive information on the admissions procedure for overseas students is available from the Graduate Division(link is external). Direct inquiries about the requirements for admission should be made to the particular graduate program.

Although undergraduate students are not eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UC Berkeley, they are invited to submit an application to the university. On the Undergraduate Admissions website, you may get more details on the undergraduate application process. Students are being sought by other Scholars Program partners.

Scholarship Reward

The Scholarship is fully-funded. MBA students must seek additional income from the Haas Business School by receiving Haas scholarships, which necessitates fulfilling the Round One or Round Two application deadline.


Is the MasterCard Foundation scholarship limited to students from Africa?

The USIU-Africa Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is only applicable there. For the Scholars program, however, the Mastercard Foundation has collaborated with other colleges all across the world. Every partner university has a unique, independent hiring procedure.

Does UC Berkeley offer scholarships to international students?

Federal, state, and university financial aid that is based on need is not available to international students. Federal, state, and/or institutional need-based financial aid can only be given to U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens, and AB 540 eligible students.

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