Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Website: Fulbright Program


A U.S. Student Fulbright Grant

  • Allows for individually designed study/research projects or an English Teaching Assistantship You can propose a project and/or study plan that will take place during one academic year in a country outside the U.S.
  • Provides support for study/research/teaching in a single country (For exceptions, see World Region Summaries) You can meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.
  • Facilitates cultural exchange Through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in daily tasks, you can gain an appreciation of others? viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think.
  • Promotes mutual understanding Through engagement in the community, you can interact with your hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom.

Who can apply for a U.S. Student Fulbright Grant?

  • Recent BA/BS graduates Graduating seniors and recent Bachelor's-degree recipients usually propose projects for which they have had some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience.
  • Master's and doctoral candidates Will demonstrate capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.
  • Young professionals, including writers, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields May have up to 5 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying. Those with more than 5 years of experience should apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars in the Fulbright Scholar Program.
  • Artists and musicians Applicants without a Bachelor's degree may substitute at least four years of professional training or experience.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has a preference for candidates who have not had recent extensive experience abroad (excluding recent undergraduate study abroad), especially in the country of application. Grants shall not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required.


When, and for how long, is the grant awarded?

Grant lengths and dates vary by country. Please consult the Country Summaries for specifics.

In general, grants are:

  • Are one academic year in length--between 9 and 12 months.
  • Begin no sooner than the July the year after the deadline and no later than March the following year
  • Correspond to the academic calendars abroad.

Requirements for attendance at orientation programs, in the U.S. and/or overseas, are also contained in the World Region or Country Summaries.



  • Be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible.
  • Hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.
    • Applicants who have not earned a bachelor's degree or the equivalent, but who have extensive professional study and/or experience in fields in which they wish to pursue a project, may be considered.
    • In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional study and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
    • Applicants may hold a J.D. degree at the time of application, but not a doctorate.
    • M.D. or medical students or the equivalent (e.g., D.D.S, O.D.) who wish to continue medical or hospital training or to obtain practical clinical experience should apply to IIE. However, M.D.s who have completed formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for independent or collaborative research should apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Grants shall not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required.
  • Be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate of Health from a physician.
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study. This is especially important for projects in the social sciences and the humanities.


  • Have undertaken their higher education primarily at educational institutions in the U.S. Foreign study during the junior year or other periods of undergraduate study that are integral parts of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered a disadvantage.
  • Have not resided or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.

For most grants, applicants who have had extensive previous foreign experience in the country of application are at a disadvantage, but are not necessarily disqualified for that reason.

Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen

Two methods of application:

  • If you will be enrolled in the fall quarter, you must go through the campus application process.
  • If you have recently earned a Bachelor's degree from the UW and will not be enrolled in the fall, you have the option to go through the campus application process or to apply "at-large". We encourage you to take advantage of the campus application process so you can have a campus interview, receive valuable feedback, and work with people familiar with the national Fulbright competition. If you choose to apply at-large, you will not participate in the campus interviews and you will send your application materials directly to the Fulbright national office.

Register for Global Fellowships Prep, even if you aren't sure about applying just yet.

  • GFP is all about exploring and expanding your options!
  • Being on our GFP list will also ensure you get reminders about key events and resources.

Seek information, advice and feedback from the relevant office, based on your student status (contact information is below):

  • The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards staff offers assistance to undergraduates and Bachelor's alumni preparing for the Fulbright competition.
  • The Fellowships and Assistantships Office of the Graduate School offers assistance to graduate and professional students and alumni of those programs. 
  • UW Bothell's Office of Merit Scholarships offers assistance to all UW Bothell students and alumni.
  • UW Tacoma's Student Fellowships & Awards office offers assistance to all UW Tacoma students and alumni.
  • In 1945, Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in the United States Congress that called for the use of surplus war property to fund the "promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science."
  • On August 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program.
  • From its inception, the Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which other countries and governments work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the Program to meet shared needs. The world has been transformed in ensuing decades, but the fundamental principle of international partnership remains at the core of the Fulbright mission.
  • The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) was created by Congress to supervise the Fulbright Program. This 12-member Board, appointed by the President of the United States, works in cooperation with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, binational Fulbright Commissions and Foundations, and Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies abroad, to administer the Program. The FSB sets policies and procedures for administration of the Fulbright Program, has final authority for selection of all grantees, and supervises the conduct of the program both in the United States and abroad. Click here for a complete list of current FSB members.
  • The Fulbright Program has provided more than 307,000 participants, chosen for their leadership potential, with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is now the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. The U.S. Student Program currently awards approximately 1,700 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
  • Fulbright Student alumni populate an entire range of professions and include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, Members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalist, artists, professors, and teachers. Actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.



  • Is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State
  • Is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide
  • Was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to "enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries"
  • Awarded approximately six thousand grants in 2010, at a cost of more than $322.3 million, to U.S. students, teachers, professionals, and scholars to study, teach, lecture, and conduct research in more than 155 countries, and to their foreign counterparts to engage in similar activities in the United States
  • Supports approximately 1,700 U.S. citizens to engage in study, research, or teaching assistantships abroads via the U.S. Student Program
  • Receives its primary source of funding through an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions in foreign countries, and in the United States, also contribute financially through cost-sharing and indirect support, e.g., through salary supplements, tuition waivers, and university housing

The U.S. Student Program grant numbers are subject to the availability of federally appropriated funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, numbers of awards, terms of agreement, and allowances.

Contact Information

UW Seattle undergraduate students and alums:

Chetana Acharya & Robin Chang - if you are a currently enrolled UW Seattle undergraduate student or bachelor's alum applying

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall
Phone: 206-543-4282


UW Seattle graduate students and alums:

Michelle Sutton

Fellowships and Assistantships Division of the Graduate School
G-1 Communications
Phone: 206-543-7152
E-mail: mdrapek@uw.edu

UW Bothell students of all levels:

Natalia Dyba
UW Bothell Student Success Center
Phone: 425.352.3261
E-mail: nataliak@uw.edu


UW Tacoma students of all levels:

Cindy Schaarschmidt
UW Tacoma Student Fellowships & Awards
1900 Commerce Street
Phone: 253-692-4358
E-mail: cs65@uw.edu