Critical Language Scholarship Program

Description: The Critical Language Scholarship Program offers intensive summer language institutes overseas in various critical need foreign languages. All program-related expenses are paid, except for passport fees, and both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Many of the programs are available to students with no prior knowledge of the language they will be studying.
Dollar Value: 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 2013 with at least two blank visa pages by early February 2012. Please plan in advance to avoid visa delays.

Number of Fellowships: Varies by year, in 2011, 600 fellowships were awarded.


  • United States citizen
  • 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).
  • Be in acceptable mental and physical health.
  • Must be 18 by beginning of the CLS program.
  • Language pre-requisites vary by individual institution, so check the Web site above to find out what level you need to be at in order to apply.
  • Students must continue language study in remainder of academic program(s) and professional career.

Application Procedures: Applications can apply for only one language program, and are not able to specifically chose a country or site. Application materials include unofficial copy of transcripts, two letters of reference, two short answer-question responses, and two essay responses.

Application Deadline: TBA

Contact Information

Fellowships Coordinator at Missouri State University:

Scott Handley, Honors College, University Hall 212