UniversitiesHow to Apply for World Bank Scholarships 2024-25 to Study in USA,...

How to Apply for World Bank Scholarships 2024-25 to Study in USA, Europe, Africa, Oceania, Japan for Free

The World Bank Scholarships Program is a prestigious initiative aimed at fostering capacity development and knowledge sharing in the developing world. It plays a crucial role in promoting economic development and shared prosperity by investing in education and human resources. Are you a citizen of a developing country looking to pursue a master’s degree in a development-related field? The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) offers a fantastic opportunity to study at top universities around the world, fully funded by the World Bank and the Government of Japan.

Here are some guide that will walk you through everything you need to know about the JJ/WBGSP scholarship for the 2024-2025 academic year, including eligibility requirements, benefits, participating universities and programs, and the application process.

What is the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program?

The JJ/WBGSP is an international scholarship program that provides opportunities for graduate studies to individuals from World Bank member developing countries. Established in 1987, the program aims to contribute to the development of human resources and build a pool of well-trained professionals in developing countries.

The scholarship is jointly funded by the World Bank Group and the Government of Japan, covering tuition fees, a monthly living stipend, air travel expenses, and health insurance for the duration of the graduate program (up to two years).

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Nationality: You must be a national of a World Bank member developing country. Click here for the list of eligible countries.
  2. Education: You must hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) earned at least three years before the application deadline date.
  3. Work Experience: You must have at least three years of recent, paid, development-related employment experience after earning your bachelor’s degree. The only exception to this criterion is for nationals from countries on the World Bank’s list of fragile and conflict-affected situations.
  4. Admission: You must be admitted unconditionally (except for funding) to one of the JJ/WBGSP participating master’s programs for the upcoming academic year. See the list of participating programs here.
  5. Age: There is no age limit for JJ/WBGSP applicants.
  6. Language Proficiency: You must have a good command of the language of instruction for your chosen program.
  7. Other Criteria: You must not be a current or former executive director, staff member, or consultant of the World Bank Group or any of its affiliates. You also cannot be a close relative of such individuals.

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Benefits of the JJ/WBGSP Scholarship

Successful applicants of the JJ/WBGSP scholarship will receive the following benefits:

  • Full tuition coverage for the duration of the graduate program (up to two years)
  • A monthly living stipend to cover accommodation, food, and other living expenses
  • Economy-class air travel between your home country and the host university at the start and end of your studies
  • A travel allowance of $500 for each air trip
  • The cost of basic medical insurance obtained through the host university

Please note that the scholarship does not cover expenses related to dependents, additional travel during the program, educational equipment like computers, or any other costs not explicitly mentioned above.

Participating Universities and Programs

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship is available for select master’s programs at 27 universities across the United States, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Japan. These programs cover various development-related fields, including economics, public policy, environmental studies, and infrastructure management.

Some of the participating universities include:

  • Harvard University (USA)
  • University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Sciences Po (France)
  • University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • University of Cape Town (South Africa)

Click here for the complete list of participating universities and programs.

Application Process

The application process for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship is divided into two windows to accommodate the academic calendars of participating programs. The application windows for the 2024-2025 academic year are:

  • Window 1: January 15, 2024, to February 29, 2024
  • Window 2: March 25, 2024, to May 24, 2024

Here are the steps to apply for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship:

  1. Apply for Admission: First, you must apply for and gain unconditional admission (except for funding) to one of the JJ/WBGSP participating master’s programs for the upcoming academic year. Check the program’s website for specific admission requirements and deadlines.
  • Prepare Required Documents: Once you have received an unconditional admission offer, you will need to prepare the following documents for your JJ/WBGSP scholarship application: Completed JJ/WBGSP application form
  • Certified copies of your bachelor’s degree and academic transcripts
  • Three recommendation letters (at least two from your current or former employers)
  • Statement of purpose explaining your reasons for applying and how the program relates to your career goals
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • Proof of admission to the participating program
  • Proof of citizenship (e.g., birth certificate, national ID card, or passport)
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if required)
  1. Submit Your Application: Once you have all the required documents, you can submit your JJ/WBGSP scholarship application online during the appropriate application window. The application link will be provided on the program’s website.
  2. Wait for the Selection Process: The JJ/WBGSP selection committee will review all eligible applications and score them based on criteria such as academic qualifications, professional experience, commitment to development, and recommendations. Shortlisted candidates may be invited for an interview.
  3. Receive the Decision: Successful applicants will be notified of their selection for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship towards the end of June (for Window 2 applications) or earlier (for Window 1 applications).

It’s important to note that the JJ/WBGSP scholarship is highly competitive, with a limited number of awards available each year. Therefore, it’s crucial to submit a strong and well-prepared application to increase your chances of being selected.

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Tips for a Successful Application

Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of being selected for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship:

  1. Start Early: The application process can be time-consuming, so start preparing your documents and gathering the required information well in advance.
  2. Tailor Your Application: Carefully review the eligibility criteria and application requirements for your chosen program, and tailor your application accordingly. Highlight how your background and experience align with the program’s objectives.
  3. Seek Recommendations: Choose your recommenders wisely and provide them with ample time to write strong and detailed letters of recommendation that highlight your strengths and potential.
  4. Write a Compelling Statement of Purpose: Your statement of purpose is your opportunity to showcase your motivation, goals, and commitment to development. Craft a well-written and persuasive statement that demonstrates your passion and qualifications.
  5. Proofread and Review: Carefully review your application for any errors or inconsistencies before submitting it. Consider having someone else proofread your materials to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
  6. Follow Instructions: Ensure that you follow all instructions provided by the JJ/WBGSP program and your chosen university to the letter. Failure to do so may result in your application being disqualified.
  7. Stay Informed: Regularly check the JJ/WBGSP website and your chosen university’s website for any updates or changes to the application process or requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the JJ/WBGSP scholarship:

Can I apply for the scholarship if I’m already enrolled in a master’s program?

No, the JJ/WBGSP scholarship is only available for individuals who have been newly admitted to one of the participating master’s programs for the upcoming academic year.

Can I apply for the scholarship if I already have a master’s degree?

Yes, you can apply for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship to pursue another master’s degree, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria.

Can I defer my JJ/WBGSP scholarship to the following academic year?

In general, the JJ/WBGSP scholarship cannot be deferred. However, if you receive a one-time, one-year deferral of your admission from the university, you may be able to defer your scholarship as well. Check with the JJ/WBGSP program for specific guidelines.

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Can I transfer my JJ/WBGSP scholarship to another participating program?

No, the JJ/WBGSP scholarship is awarded for a specific participating program, and it cannot be transferred to another program.

Do I need to return to my home country after completing my studies?

While there is no strict requirement to return to your home country, the JJ/WBGSP scholarship aims to develop human resources and contribute to the development of participating countries. Therefore, it is expected that scholars will return to their home countries and use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to contribute to their countries’ social and economic development.


The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) offers an exceptional opportunity for individuals from developing countries to pursue a fully funded master’s degree at top universities around the world.

By following the eligibility criteria, preparing a strong application, and demonstrating your commitment to development, you can increase your chances of being selected for this prestigious scholarship.

Remember to start the application process early, carefully review the requirements for your chosen program, and seek guidance if needed. With dedication and perseverance, you can take advantage of this incredible opportunity to further your education and contribute to the development of your home country.

Click here to apply for the JJ/WBGSP scholarship. Good luck!

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