Critical Language Scholarship Program

Offers fully-funded summer language institutes for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers fully-funded summer language institutes for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes in fourteen critical foreign languages for during summer months. The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Please visit the CLS Institutes page for more information.

  • Languages offered at all skill levels:
    • Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu
  • Languages requiring at least one academic year of study (Advanced Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced):
    • Arabic and Persian
  • Languages requiring at least two academic years of study (Intermediate and Advanced only)
    • Chinese, Japanese, and Russian

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. Please plan in advance to avoid any delays with visa or passport issuance/renewal.

Deadline Information

Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Eligibility Requirements

CLS Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • 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 CLS Program.
  • Please see 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.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Nicholas Morris
7738340794