Documents for Postgraduate Scholarships

To successfully gain a graduate scholarship, these are the documents you will have to provide.

Studying in the USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, Russia, France, or any other country often requires some eligibility criteria an applicant must meet. Schools like Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oxford University, and the University of Tokyo are renowned for offering generous scholarships to deserving students.

To apply for admission to these schools and successfully gain a financial sponsorship, here is a rundown of the documents you will generally need:

1. Academic Transcript

A transcript is an official document showing records of your educational history. It provides a chronological summary of your academic performance at different levels of study.

When applying for local or international scholarships, admissions, or job employment, transcripts are required. You can request your official transcript through the various university Online Transcript Request Portals below:

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2. Letters of Recommendation

Typically, two to three recommendation letters from professors, mentors, employers, or supervisors who can attest to your abilities academically and personally are required. Inform your referees in advance to give them enough time to prepare thoughtful letters.

It is critical to select referees who can provide a thorough and honest assessment of your abilities and character. Consider contacting people who have worked closely with you, a research supervisor, or a supervisor with whom you had an internship. These personalities can provide vivid proof of your capabilities and accomplishments.

3. A Statement of Purpose (SOP)

It is often known as a personal statement or a motivation letter. They are required when applying for further studies in a university, college, or specific career opportunities.

The objective of an SOP is to allow candidates to explain their goals, experiences, motivations, and credentials clearly and succinctly. This essay showcases how the scholarship or program corresponds with your aspirations.

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4. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume

A detailed CV or resume outlines your academic achievements, professional experience, extracurricular activities, and awards.

Resumes are generally associated with American-based universities and are usually a one-page document that summarizes an individual’s education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments.

On the other hand, CVs are more commonly used in European countries and offer a more comprehensive overview of an individual’s academic and professional background. For graduate students, limiting your CV to 2 pages is advisable. However, if you have extensive work experience, your CV can cover additional pages. Also, see to it that your CV is well-written and formatted.

5. A Standardized Test Documents

You may be required to submit the results of standardized tests like the GRE, SAT, ACT, GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS, depending on the university or country.

For specific criteria, consult the scholarship-specified requirements. If you are not from an English-speaking country, you may obtain an English proficiency test document from your undergraduate institution to fulfill this requirement.

6. Proof of Nationality (Passport)

Passports are internationally recognized documents issued to serve as a means of identification for the holder. It involves providing evidence of citizenship.

In rare cases, you may have to submit a scanned copy of your passport. Scan the page of the passport booklet that holds your biodata. Ensure that the name stated on your passport is the exact name used in the admission application and any other documents you submit for the scholarship application.

In the unlikely event that you may have changed your name in the past, it is mandatory to provide an affidavit to serve as additional evidence.

7. Passport-sized Photos

This image serves as a form of visual identity of the applicant. Occasionally, some schools use this same photo for official documents such as student IDs.

A photo studio is the most appropriate way of obtaining a suitable captured image. However, should an applicant desire, they can also take their passport-sized photos using a high-resolution camera. 


  • Choose a plain, well-lit background and maintain a neutral facial expression with eyes open. 
  • Keep the camera at eye level.
  • Do not wear a hat or contact lenses.
  • Make sure that both ears are visible.
  • Take a picture of yourself from the top of your head to below your shoulders.

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8. A Captivating Portfolio

Creative or artistic professionals may be required to submit a portfolio in their scholarship or admission applications.

Such applicants should see that their portfolio is well-organized, includes valuable content, and represents their creative abilities. It should effectively demonstrate their creative intellect and talents.

9. Proof of Community Involvement

Scholarships frequently prioritize community service and extracurricular engagement as evidence of involvement. Engaging in these activities depicts your inherent capacity to contribute to society.

Scholarships are investments made by providers with the ultimate aim of yielding benefits for the betterment of humanity. Community engagements often include volunteering projects:

  • Environmental Stewardship is commonly called Communal Labor Activities. These include but are not limited to cleaning gutters, tree planting, waste reduction, or painting community schools.
  • Youth Programs like coaching a youth sports team, leading a scouting group, or teaching students.
  • Volunteering Activities like joining a local non-governmental organization (NGO), charities, or community organizations, for instance, helping at a food bank or in a clean-up exercise.

10. Interview Documentation

Often, some scholarships may demand an online video interview session as part of the application process. It’s essential to prepare adequately for this interview. Things to consider before taking the video interview include:

  • Read about the main objectives and history of that particular scholarship.
  • Find out the medium for the interview(e.g., Zoom or Google Meet).
  • Dress decently for the meeting.
  • Ensure that you have a stable internet connection.

11. Supplemental Essays or Documents

Other essays, papers, or materials may be needed. Some of these essays and documents include:

  • Research Proposal.
  • Death or Birth Certificate.
  • Financial Need Statement.
  • Diversity or Inclusion Statement.
  • Medical Certificate or Doctor’s certificate
  • Extra curriculum activities like online courses with certifications.

In conclusion, it is essential to stress that each scholarship program may have its requirements and deadlines. Aspirants are therefore urged to do extensive study on each scholarship opportunity. This will increase their chances of being shortlisted for a scholarship to support their academic endeavors.

2 thoughts on “Documents for Postgraduate Scholarships

  1. I am a Ghanaian and I just got admission to study Master of Science in Development Finance at the university of Ghana. The course duration is one year. Am I eligible to apply for the scholarship

    1. Kenneth, at the moment we only provide information on international scholarships. You may browse through our list of Master’s scholarships to apply for the ones you are eligible for. Also, I will advise you to check with the Dean of Students at the University of Ghana for available local scholarships if you wish to proceed with your Development Finance program in Ghana.

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