University of California, Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program 2021/2022 – Apply Now

UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Center for African Studies are glad to announce a new phase of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Study how University of California, Berkeley started before you can apply for this scholarship.
Program at the University of California, Berkeley. With the Mastercard Foundation, we are embarking on a ten-year partnership in 2020 to support over 108 master’s degree students from Sub-Saharan African countries who are academically talented and committed to transformative change on the continent.

Mastercard foundation scholars Program will recruit widely across Sub-Saharan Africa and will encourage applications particularly from women, people with disabilities, and those who are refugees or displaced.


Since 2012, the MCF Scholars Program has supported over 120 students from Sub-Saharan African countries to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Berkeley.

About The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UC Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley has partnered with The Mastercard Foundation in a collaborative, global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations that believe education is a catalyst for social and economic advancement.
This Scholars Program desires to develop a cohort of ethical, entrepreneurial, and energetic young leaders who will drive and lead socio-economic transformation in Africa.

The Scholars Program is a growing commitment, and, to date, the Program has committed over USD $1.2 billion to supporting the education and leadership development of more than 40,000 young people.

The future of Africa will be shaped by its young people, including those talented young people, yet economically disadvantaged students who face significant barriers to accessing quality education.

Mastercard Foundation’s plan to achieve a long-term, Young Africa Works, aims to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030 to harness the potential impact of this generation,

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program provides next-generation leaders who are committed to the social,

And economic transformation of their continent with access to quality education by delivering comprehensive financial, social, and academic support throughout their secondary and university education and supports their transition to further study or to the workforce.

The Program at UC Berkeley

At UC Berkeley, the Program has offered support to over 120 students from 2012 to 2020, both undergraduate and master’s degree students. Students searching for doctoral degrees are not qualify or eligible for this offer. Going forward through 2030, the Program at UC Berkeley will provide support to 108 master’s degree students.

To be considered for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, master’s degree seekers must first apply to the university through the regular admissions process.

However, after the students apply for admission to a degree program, the Program will invite them to apply for the Scholarship, if they meet requirements. Please check below to know how to Apply & the application process.

Aligned with the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy and with Berkeley’s commitment to excellence for positive global contributions, the UC Berkeley Program seeks to enhance connections between the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems at Berkeley and those on the African continent. In addition to receiving high-quality education, Scholars will receive specialized training in leadership and entrepreneurship, and participate in program connecting them to the innovative ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.


Check also: American University of Beirut (AUB) MasterCard Foundation 2021 Graduate Scholarship Program

Partnership with African universities is the most important aspect of the Scholars Program. Mastercard foundation working with at least three different African partners over the course of the grant to create opportunities to share Berkeley’s core competencies of innovation, entrepreneurship and research with partner institutions in the Scholars Program network.

Through the grant, the Center for African Studies will reward catalytic seed grants to Berkeley faculty to inspire research collaborations with scholars at African institutions on projects that tackle critical needs and issues relevant to the Young Africa Works strategy. These funded projects will also offer MCF Scholars with career-enhancing research opportunities. The initiative will include a local Advisory Board to assist with creating and enhancing links between the Bay Area and African innovation hubs. Another element is an Alumni Impact Fund that will leverage the creativity within our own MCF Scholars community.



Applicant need to find out if their eligible for this scholarship before you can apply. There are five main eligibility criteria you need to check;

  • Being a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country

    Note that this includes Africans who are refugees or displaced. Scholarship is not intended for citizens of North African countries.

  • Having Academic Talent

    All prospective Scholars must first be admitted to a UC Berkeley master’s degree program to be considered for the Scholarship. An important criteria for admission to the University is demonstrated academic excellence.

  • Demonstrating Leadership Potential
    The Program seeks those committed to developing the skills and mindsets associated with transformative leadership, i.e, that which engages others in an ethical manner to generate positive and lasting change.
  • Coming from a socio-economically disadvantaged background

    This Scholarship is designed for those extremely talented individuals who might not otherwise have access to quality further education.

  • Having demonstrated the commitment to give back to your community, country, or continent

    Application need a well-rounded students who are engaged in activities beyond the classroom. Some may be directly related to your field of study, but this may also include other issues (social, economic, political) that you are working on and passionate about. You should elaborate on your achievements both in your application to UC Berkeley, and then later on the Scholarship application.

  • Having expressed the desire and intention to return to your home country after completing your studies

    The application need students who are engaged with and passionate about issues affecting their communities, and who will take advantage of their education at. UC Berkeley to better equip themselves with the knowledge and training to address these issues upon return. While important work can be done from abroad, the intention of this Program is to enable Scholars to return home, after forming valuable professional connections through an internship, Academic Training and job placements.

UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UC Berkeley will support 17 scholars (8 graduate students and 9 undergraduates) from 7 African countries in 13 different majors and degree programs.

This Program has graduate over 111 Scholars from 22 African countries in 2012.
62 received bachelors degrees and 49 received master’s.

So far, we have over 39 current Scholrs
Senior, Master’s
66% Men and 33% Women

Since 2014 UC Berkeley have graduated over 76 student so far.

There are 13 countries that can apply for UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars which are;

  1. Cote D’Ivoire
  2. Ethiopia
  3. Ghana
  4. Kenya
  5. Liberia
  6. Nigeria
  7. Rwanda
  8. South Africa
  9. South Sudan
  10. Togo
  11. Uganda
  12. Zambia and,
  13. Zimbabwe

Studying 21 Majors you need to find out

  1. Global studies
  2. Economics
  3. Music
  4. Legal Studies
  5. Enviromental Economics and policy
  6. Congnitive Science
  7. Applied Mathematics
  8. Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  9. Social Welfare
  10. Political Economy
  11. Development Practice
  12. Data Science
  13. Mechanical Engineering
  14. Interdiscriplinary studies.
  15. Computer Sciense
  16. Architecture
  17. Civil Engineering
  18. City & Regional Planning
  19. Publick Health
  20. Journalism
  21. Molecular and Cell Biology

Apply For UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars

The Master’s degree applicants must first apply to a graduate progam before they will be considered for the Mastercard Foundations Scholars Program. Not all degree programs are eligible. On the portal, you will see a list.
Each eligible graduate degree program has specific requirements and applicants should carefully review those.
However, the Graduate Division also provides detailed information on the admissions should be processed for international students. The applications will be acceptable through the fall of 2028.

While the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UC Berkeley is not open to undergraduates, students at this level are welcome to apply to the University of California, Berkeley. More information on the undergraduate process is available on the Undergraduate Admissions site. Other Scholars Program partners are recruiting undergraduates.


Click here to apply via the official site of the UC Berkeley Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program for Graduate Application Process