U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Home » Blog » All USA Scholarships » U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Do you love to learn different languages? U.S. Department of State is pleasingly inviting applications for its amazing Critical Language Scholarship. If you are keen on learning new languages, then this program is exclusively for you. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. You get the opportunity to learn any of 15 languages and represent your nation at the global level. Only the United States Citizen students are eligible for this program.

CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness. The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, to represent the United States’ full diversity. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plan to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries’ people to promote friendly and peaceful relations. They accomplish this mission through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges that engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries. The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans dramatically studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Brief Description

Organization U.S. Department of State
Educational Level N/A
Subjects Language
Amount Varies
Access Mode Online
Number of Awards Undefined
City Washington
Nationality Domestic
Country United States
Application Deadline November 17, 2020
Application Fees Nil
Requirement Application, Letter of Recommendation

Who May Be Eligible?

Here are the eligibility requirements set by the government you need strictly follow:

  • Candidate should be a U.S. citizen or national at the time of your application.
  • Permanent Residents are not eligible, even if they anticipate naturalization by the beginning of the program.
  • Applicants should be enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate (associate’s, bachelor’s) or graduate (master’s, doctoral, professional degree) level at your application time.
  • Your program must result in a degree. Applicants who are taking stand-alone or continuing education classes are not eligible.
  • Your institution must be an accredited U.S. institution. Students earning degrees at foreign institutions that are not based in the U.S. or its territories are not eligible, even if a recognized U.S. accrediting agency accredits those institutions.
  • Candidate must be enrolled at this institution in the fall term of 2020. There are limited exceptions to the enrollment requirement; please read the following information carefully:
  • If you are not taking classes at your home institution in the fall term, please confirm that you are enrolled. Institutions have different requirements to maintain enrollment status, and you will be required to provide a signed letter from your registrar stating that you were enrolled during the fall term.
  • If you are taking a leave of absence to participate in an organized term- or year-long study abroad program or participating in a substantive internship program, you may request an exception to the enrollment requirement. Exceptions may only be granted in these two cases, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Any applicant recognized as a semifinalist for the summer 2020 CLS Korean Program, or as a finalist or alternate for the summer 2020 CLS Program in any language before its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic is exempt from the fall 2020 enrollment requirement. Applicants with this status are eligible to apply regardless of their enrollment status for the fall term of 2020.
  • You must complete academic requirements for the fall term to remain eligible for the CLS Program. Students who withdraw or fail to maintain a passing grade average are not eligible to participate in the program.
  • The fellow should be at least 18 years old by May 15, 2021.
  • If in an undergraduate program (associate’s or bachelor’s), complete at least one full year of study (two semesters or three quarters) by the beginning of the CLS Program in summer 2021.

How to Apply

Please follow the eligibility as mentioned above requirements. If you are eligible, then you can apply through an online application form. You first need to download the application PDF. Please complete the application with all the news information. Late or incomplete data will lead to disqualification. One candidate should submit only one application. Please submit your application using the online application system only. All the supporting documents needed should be submitted with concern.


This program is tremendously beneficial; few benefits are given below:

  • International and domestic travel between the student’s U.S. home city, Washington, D.C., and the CLS Program site.
  • Visa application fees.
  • Costs associated with the mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C.
  • Language instruction, room, board, program-sponsored travel within the host country.
  • All entrance fees for program activities.
  • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) language assessments.
  • U.S. academic credit issued through Bryn Mawr College.

Application Deadline

Applications are due on November 17, 2020.

Apply Now

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.