How to Apply for the World Bank Scholarship Program

As an aspiring student seeking financial aid for your education, you may be interested in the prestigious scholarships offered by the World Bank. With awards available at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, these scholarships support students from World Bank member countries to pursue full-time education in select fields. The application process can seem daunting, but being prepared and diligent can help.

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn everything you need to know to successfully apply for the competitive World Bank Scholarship Program. The article covers eligibility requirements, fields of study, application components, selection criteria, and tips to stand out. Follow the advice presented here to craft a strong application and get fully funded to earn your degree at a top global university. With focus and dedication, you can achieve your academic goals with the help of this prestigious scholarship program.

Overview of the World Bank Scholarship Program

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the World Bank Scholarship Program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of a World Bank member country
  • Have at least 2-3 years of relevant work experience
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a development-related field
  • Meet the admissions criteria of a participating World Bank master’s degree program
  • Not be an employee of the World Bank Group

Areas of Study

The World Bank Scholarship Program supports master’s degrees in areas that are closely aligned with the World Bank’s mission, such as:

  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Economics
  • Finance and Banking
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Environment and Natural Resource Management


The World Bank Scholarship Program provides recipients with:

  • Full tuition fees for the duration of the master’s program
  • A monthly stipend to help cover living expenses
  • Round-trip airfare to the program location
  • Health insurance

In return, recipients commit to work for the World Bank for at least two years after graduation. This work experience allows scholars to gain valuable skills that can help advance their careers and support development in their home countries.

Application Process

To apply for the World Bank Scholarship Program, candidates should:

  1. Review the eligibility criteria and areas of study to ensure a good fit.
  2. Apply and be accepted to at least one participating master’s degree program.
  3. Submit an online application including essays, references, transcripts, and test scores.
  4. If selected as a finalist, attend an interview. Final selection decisions are made by the World Bank based on both the strength of the application as well as the interview.

The World Bank Scholarship Program provides an exceptional opportunity for development professionals to gain knowledge and experience to help build a more sustainable future. For the right candidate, it can be the start of a rewarding career in development.

Eligibility Requirements for the World Bank Scholarship

To be eligible for the World Bank Scholarship Program, applicants must meet certain criteria. Citizenship and Country of Study First, you must be a citizen of a World Bank member country. You must also be studying or applying to study in a country other than your country of citizenship or permanent residence. So for example, if you are a citizen of Nigeria, you would need to be studying or applying to study in a country other than Nigeria, such as the United States or United Kingdom.

Level and Field of Study

Second, you must be pursuing or applying for a master’s or PhD degree in development-related fields such as economics, public policy, agriculture, engineering, environmental studies, and health. The scholarship aims to support future development leaders and priorities fields of study that align with the World Bank’s mission.

Academic Merit

Third, you must meet the academic requirements of your proposed program of study, including minimum GPA or GMAT/GRE scores. The scholarship is highly competitive, and strong academic performance and potential are assessed.

References and Experience

Finally, as part of the application process, you will need to submit references and a statement of purpose outlining your relevant experience, future career goals, and how the program of study relates to development priorities. Relevant work or internship experience, extracurricular activities, and community service are viewed positively.

Meeting these eligibility requirements is essential to be considered for the World Bank Scholarship Program. If you fulfill the criteria, you are strongly encouraged to apply, as the program can be an unparalleled opportunity to advance your education and contribute to international development.

How to Apply for the World Bank Scholarship Program Step-by-Step

The World Bank Scholarship Program offers talented individuals in developing countries the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies in development-related fields. To apply, you must meet the eligibility criteria and follow the application process.


You must be a national of a World Bank member country, and be under 35 years of age. You must have a relevant bachelor’s degree with above average grades. You must be admitted unconditionally to enroll in a master’s or PhD program at an accredited university.


First, review the program requirements and documents needed, including proof of citizenship, transcripts, and admission letters. Next, access the online application and create an account. Provide information on your background, proposed program of study, and career goals.


Applications are reviewed by World Bank staff and external reviewers. Selection is based on academic merit, relevance of your studies to development, leadership potential, and commitment to your home country. Approximately 20-25% of applicants are shortlisted for an interview.


If shortlisted, you will be invited to a video interview. The interview aims to assess your motivation, enthusiasm, and how your studies align with your career and development goals. Interview performance and final selection decisions are made by a committee comprising World Bank staff and external educators.


Successful applicants will receive an acceptance email and letter with details on the scholarship award. This includes tuition fees, living stipend, travel allowance, and health insurance. You must accept or decline the offer within 10 days. If you accept, you can then proceed to make arrangements to start your studies.

The World Bank Scholarship Program can be a life-changing opportunity. With diligent preparation, a relevant program of study, and a passion for development, you have a strong chance of being selected for this prestigious award.

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In summary, the World Bank Scholarship Program provides outstanding students from developing countries the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at world-class universities. With full funding available for tuition, living expenses, travel, and more, this highly competitive program can make advanced education accessible when it would otherwise be out of reach.

The application process requires dedication and attention to detail, but the potential rewards are immense. If you have the academic credentials and passion to create positive change in your home country and region, take the time to put together the strongest application possible. The chance to earn your master’s or PhD with financial support from the World Bank could launch your career as a leader in your field.

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