Fellowships & Scholarships
Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)
  • Northeastern: 11/15/2022
  • Fellowship: 11/15/2022

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for this fellowship, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. You may contact the office with any questions.

Award Details

Award Website

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, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.

Abroad Award
US Citizenship Required

  • 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.
  • Be at least 18 years old by May 15, 2023.
  • Applicants must meet the language prerequisites for their desired language of study.

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;
  • Diversity;
  • 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.

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 valid U.S. passport.

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.
  • Three short essays, and a statement of grant purpose.
  • Uploaded copies of your unofficial transcript/s.

Interested? Have Questions?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in a fellowship or opportunity, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. Contact the office with any questions: