The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The CLS Program Scholarship provides opportunities for undergraduates to pursue intensive overseas summer study in the critical need foreign languages, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.
- All applicants must be U.S. citizens.*
- Applicants must be currently enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
- Current undergraduate students must have completed at least one year of general college course-work by program start date (one year is defined as two semesters or three quarters).
- Applicants must be in acceptable mental and physical health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Information Form and Physician’s Statement.
- Applicants must be 18 years old by the beginning of the 2012 CLS Program.
- Please see 2012 CLS Institute Language Levels for more information on language prerequisites for individual institutes.
Students in all disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences, and humanities are encouraged to apply.
The U.S. Department of State and American Councils welcome all eligible applications and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
*Although the CLS Program will work with awarded students to secure a visa for the CLS institute host country, the program cannot be held responsible for other countries’ visa requirements and/or the denial of a student’s application for a visa. CLS awards are contingent upon the participant securing a host-country visa, and all awardees must meet deadlines and host country requirements set for obtaining a visa.
Award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:
- Academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting;
- Ability to adapt to a different cultural environment;
- Plan for continuation of study of the language; and
- Plan to use the language in future career.
All applications are initially read by two outside academic readers, and the top applications are reviewed by panels of academic and experts in the area and language. Applicants will be notified of the results of their application to the CLS Program by mid- to late February. After notification, selected participants will be required to complete a language evaluation. Selected applicants will be assigned to a CLS institute site by mid- to late March at the discretion of the CLS Program.
Your completed application to the CLS Program will consist of:
- The application forms. Apply for one language only, remembering that the application is for CLS language—not a specific country or site.
- A short essay, a personal essay, and a statement of grant purpose.
- Two reference letters — one will be a general letter of reference and the other will be a language reference.
- Uploaded copies of your unofficial transcript/s.
All CLS Program costs are covered for participants including: travel to and from the student’s U.S. home city and program location, a mandatory Washington, D.C. pre-departure orientation, applicable visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program-sponsored travel within country, and all entrance fees for CLS Program cultural enhancement activities. Please note that U.S. passport fees will not be paid by the scholarship, and you will be required to cover transportation to and from your U.S. home address and the airport for CLS Program travel. Selected applicants must have a U.S. passport valid through 2014 with at least two blank visa pages by early February 2013. Please plan in advance to avoid visa delays.
On Campus Contact Information
University Scholars & Office of Fellowships
411 Richards Hall
Fellowship Contact Information