Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)

The 2023 CLS information session will be held on Sept. 27 at 2:30 pm in 122 Townsend. Click here to register!

Application deadline: mid-November

The Critical Language Scholarships Program offers intensive overseas study in critical-need foreign languages. The program condenses a year of academic study into an eight- to 10-week summer program. Languages supported are Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. The program is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Scholarship recipients receive funding to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers and affiliated partners. Recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.


Must be a U.S. citizen. Open to undergraduate and graduate students in any disciplines. Students must be enrolled at the time of application but do not have to be at the time of the award.

Award Benefits

All program costs are covered for participants. This includes travel between the student’s home city and program location, pre-departure orientation costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, travel within country and all entrance fees for program activities. Note: U.S. passport fees will not be paid by the scholarship.