McNeil Scholarship

McNeil Scholarship

McNeil Scholarship: A Chance for Students From Scotland to Spend a Year at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA

The McNeil scholarship application is now open for academic year 2024/2025.  


What is the McNeil Scholarship?

The McNeil Scholarship has been created by the McNeil family in honour of the late Robert L. McNeil Jr. and their Scottish heritage. The scholarship will cover a good proportion of a student’s cost of living (e.g., housing, meal plan, etc.) in Philadelphia for the academic year. As tuition fees are already waived for Aberdeen students going to Drexel University as part of the international exchange programme, the generosity of the McNeil family will make the prospect of spending a year abroad a reality for a greater number of University of Aberdeen students.

What are the expectations of the scholarship?

If you are awarded the scholarship, you are required to spend the academic year as an exchange student at Drexel University. As part of the scholarship, you will be expected to share Scottish culture with the individuals you encounter over the course of your exchange. As part of this, the St Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia will invite you to several events during the year, and your attendance will be required. Additionally, it is expected that you will serve as an ambassador for the University of Aberdeen, and will represent the University of Aberdeen at Drexel University’s Go Abroad Fair and related promotional events.

Am I eligible to apply?

If you are from Scotland, then you are eligible to apply. This means that you should have been born, and/or normally reside, in Scotland. If you are an EU, Rest of UK or international student but were born in Scotland, then you are eligible to apply. If you were not born in Scotland but resided in Scotland prior to coming to the University of Aberdeen (e.g., you went to secondary school in Scotland), you are eligible to apply.  If you are an EU, Rest of UK or international student and you did not reside in Scotland prior to coming to the University of Aberdeen, and were not born in Scotland, then you cannot apply.

Applicants should also currently be in their first year of study. If awarded the scholarship, students are expected to spend the entire academic year 2024/25 as an exchange student at Drexel. As such, only students in their first year of undergraduate study in 2023/24 are eligible to apply.*

* Please note that second year Law students (i.e. Law students who will be in their third year of study in 2024/25) are eligible to apply for the McNeil scholarship. However, you will need to spend a year abroad in order to meet the conditions of the scholarship, please email to discuss the implications of spending your third year abroad.

What are the criteria?

Eligible applicants will be judged on two criteria: academic excellence, and their ability to serve as an ambassador for both the University of Aberdeen and Scotland.

In order to receive the scholarship, you must be able to meet the requirements of your degree calendar while on exchange at Drexel. Please review Drexel’s course catalogue carefully and confirm that they teach your degree subject(s), and that they offer courses similar to those which you would have studied in Aberdeen if you were not going abroad.

How do I apply?

The study exchange application and McNeil Scholarship applications are two separate documents. In order to apply for the McNeil Scholarship, you must complete both applications.

Please apply to the study exchange application process first. The online study exchange application is open from Monday 22nd January until Friday 2nd February 2024. When completing the application, please list Drexel University as your first choice university. Drexel doesn’t have to be your only choice, but it should be your first.

After applying to the international exchange programme, you will need to complete the online McNeil Scholarship application. As part of the application, you will need to upload a video of no more than two minutes explaining why you would be an excellent ambassador for both the University of Aberdeen and Scotland while at Drexel.

The online Drexel McNeil Scholarship application f0r 2024/25 closed on Friday 23rd February 2024.


When will I know if I've been successful?

All applicants will be notified in late February/early March as to whether or not they have been successful.