Montage of African Textiles

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Visit the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program website:


In 2012, the University of California, Berkeley became a partner in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a $500 million education initiative that will provide 15,000 talented, yet economically disadvantaged students from developing countries – particularly in Africa – with comprehensive support for secondary and university education. At UC Berkeley, this program will provide holistic support – financial, academic, social, and career counseling – to 113 students from Sub-Saharan Africa from 2012 to 2020. The scholars will pursue both undergraduate and professional master's degrees.

Other partners in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program include include the African Leadership Academy, American University of Beirut – Faculty of Health Sciences, Arizona State University, Ashesi University, Duke University, EARTH University, Michigan State University, Stanford University, and Wellesley College.

Campus Team

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, Undergraduate Admissions, the Graduate Division, the Berkeley International Office, and the International House.

Harry Le Grande, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs is primary investigator. Martha Saavedra from the Center for African Studies is the program lead and Jessica Clarkson from the Center is the Program and Student Services Advisor. Also on the core team are Lin Larson, International Admission Specialist in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and Ivor Emmanuel, Director of the Berkeley International Office.

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 Foundations Program Scholarship. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Graduate Division provide detailed information on the admissions process for international students. Questions regarding admission requirements should be directed toward Admissions Offices at the following links:

Tests required for admission: Please carefully review which exams are required for your programs and be sure to enroll as soon as possible. Most exams must be completed by December to be eligible for admission evaluation for the following fall. In rare cases, tests may be taken by January, but only if you are an undergraduate student. Contact an international specialist in the Admissions Office if you believe this is necessary (, and be sure to mention that you are applying for the Program. If you need additional assistance regarding country-specific test-taking opportunities, please refer to the EducationUSA website. Click here for test dates for the TOEFL exam.

We will contact you after you have been admitted, if you are eligible for the Scholarship. Eligibility depends strongly upon demonstrated financial need, a strong will to give back to your community, country, or continent through your field of study, and an expressed desire to return after completing your studies. Please check back at this site to get the most up-to-date information on the Program at UC Berkeley.

You may consider applying to more than one university that has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation. To date, there are 14 university and secondary school partners in this program. Please explore the other universities to see if any of them may better suit your needs, interests, and circumstances. Each university varies in admission requirements and programs offered.

For more information about the program at UC Berkeley, please contact us at

Links to news and resources

The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 49 countries, the Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006. For more information, visit


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