Critical Language Scholarship Program


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program provides overseas foreign language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences in 13 critical need languages for U.S. students in higher education.

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. Undergraduate, master's and doctoral-level students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply for the 8-to-10-week-long programs. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Program Length

8-10 weeks

Eligibility and Application Overview

Public applications are accepted.

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).
  • 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 by the beginning of the CLS Program.
  • Please see CLS Institute Language Levels for more information on language pre-requisites for individual institutes.


The Summer 2016 CLS application will open in Fall 2015. Check back soon! 

Critical Language Scholarship Program
American Councils for International Education
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: 202-833-7522

See the American Councils website for language-specific emails.


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