• Scholarships: Masters, Undergraduate
  • Location: United States
  • University: University of California Berkeley
  • Deadline: March 1, 2024


The University of California Berkeley MasterCard Scholarships are designed to cultivate a community of ethical, entrepreneurial, and dynamic young leaders who will be at the forefront of driving socio-economic transformation in Africa.


This scholarship program is an evolving commitment, and it has already dedicated over USD $1.2 billion to support the education and leadership development of more than 40,000 young individuals.

Type: Masters, Undergraduate

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024


Value & Duration of Award:

The scholarship is fully funded, encompassing the following for Mastercard Foundation Scholars:

  • A comprehensive scholarship that covers the expenses associated with obtaining a master’s degree. This includes travel, tuition, Berkeley student fees, visa and SEVIS fees, housing, food, living expenses, and cohort signature programs that focus on leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • MBA students must seek additional funding from Haas Business School through obtaining Haas scholarships, which requires meeting the Round One or Two application deadline.

For more detailed information on this unique process, we encourage you to reach out to us.

Eligible Field of Study: Please refer to the list of eligible Master’s Degree programs.

Eligible Countries: All Sub-Saharan African Countries



To be considered for the scholarship, you must:

  • Be a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country, which includes Africans who are refugees or displaced within the African continent. Note that this scholarship is not intended for citizens of North African countries. Additionally, those with dual citizenship, asylee, refugee or permanent resident status in the US, Canada, UK or EU are not eligible.
  • Demonstrate academic talent: All prospective scholars must first gain admission to a UC Berkeley master’s degree program to be considered for the scholarship. Academic excellence is a crucial criterion for admission to the University.
  • Demonstrate leadership potential: The program seeks individuals who are dedicated to developing the skills and mindsets associated with transformative leadership, engaging others ethically to generate positive and lasting change.
  • Come from a socio-economically disadvantaged background: This scholarship is tailored for exceptionally talented individuals who might not otherwise have access to quality higher education.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to giving back to your community, country, or continent: The program is looking for well-rounded students who are actively engaged in activities beyond the classroom. These activities may be directly related to your field of study or include other issues (social, economic, political) that you are passionate about. Applicants should highlight their achievements in their application to UC Berkeley and later in the scholarship application.
  • Express the desire and intention to return to your home country after completing your studies: The program is seeking students who are involved with and passionate about issues affecting their communities. They should aim to utilize their education at UC Berkeley to better equip themselves with the knowledge and training needed to address these issues upon returning home. While significant work can be done from abroad, the intention of the program is to empower scholars to return home after establishing valuable professional connections through internships, academic training, and job placements.
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How To Apply:

For Master’s degree applicants, the first step is to apply to a graduate program before being considered for the Mastercard Foundations Scholars Program. Please note that not all degree programs are eligible. Specific requirements for each eligible graduate degree program can be found on the Graduate Division’s website. Applicants should refer to the program’s admission requirements. Detailed information on the application process for international students is also provided on the Graduate Division’s website. The program outlines further details of the application process for master’s programs. Applications will be accepted through the fall of 2028.

While the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UC Berkeley is not open to undergraduates, students at this level are encouraged to apply directly to the University of California, Berkeley. Further information regarding the undergraduate application process is available on the Undergraduate Admissions site.


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