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Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS)

A Unique Opportunity to Learn a Critical Language and Increase Your Cultural Competency in an Immersive, Challenging Environment!


Online application availability

September; Check for details

Campus deadline

Early October; candidates may submit directly

National deadline



Applicant education level

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Open to applicants who have

completed an undergraduate degree?


Open to applicants not currently

enrolled in college/university classes?


Open to (non-U.S.) international students?


Age limit


Are applicants limited to specific fields of study?


Are students required to demonstrate financial need?


Minimum G.P.A.

None, but a strong academic record is a must


UAA Institutional Endorsement

Not Required

Advising Appointment

Schedule an advising appointment with the Critical Language Scholarship Program Campus Advisor, Dr. Francisco Miranda, at or at 907.786.4035 to discuss intent to apply


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program provides fully-funded short-term intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences overseas each summer

The CLS Program languages include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu

The CLS Program seeks applicants from a variety of fields, backgrounds, and career paths with the goal of building a cadre of Americans who can speak critical languages at high levels in government, business, art and culture, science and engineering, health and medicine, education, research, and other fields


  • Intensive overseas group based language program (+20 hours per week)
  • Room and board, often with a host family
  • Full cultural program
  • Host community language partners
  • Academic credit
  • Domestic and international airfare


Final monetary award depends on country, program, and length of study

Can the award be deferred?


Can the award be renewed?


Specific notes and/or exceptions

All majors are encouraged to apply


Applicants should have the potential to gain the equivalent of one year of study in a U.S. classroom over a single summer


Key characteristics sought by Review Committee:

  • Strong academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting
  • Commitment to language learning
  • Ability to adapt to a different cultural environment
  • Plan for continuation of study of the language beyond the scholarship period, through continued course work (if available), private tutoring, study abroad, conversation hours or through other creative means
  • Plan to use the language in a future professional career
  • Diversity of background and perspective in representing the U.S. abroad


For a complete list of different language levels and prerequisites, visit

  • Find a faculty member willing to serve as your mentor throughout the application process
  • Notify the Critical Language Scholarship (CSL) Program Campus Advisor, Dr. Francisco Miranda, at or at 907.786.4035 of your intent to apply the semester before you plan to apply for the award
  • Schedule an advising appointment with the CLS Program Campus Advisor to discuss internal and external application processes and timelines
  • Register at  and start completing the application
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation are required
    • Select faculty members who can comment on your intellectual achievements, your potential to learn a new language, your adaptability to new environments, your extracurricular activities, your professional plans, and your suitability for the program
  • Submit a complete PDF copy of your application to the CLS Program Campus advisor by the CAMPUS DEADLINE
  • Only complete applications will be considered
  • During the selection process, your application will be evaluated by language faculty, area specialists, study abroad professionals, and fellowship advisors
  • During the first round of review, all applications are read by two outside reviewers
  • During the second round, top applications are submitted to selection panels
  • You will be notified of the status of your application in January
  • Finalists will be announced in late February


Number of applications received nationwide


Number of awards granted


Is an interview required?

Campus interview: No; but it is strongly recommended

National interview: No

When are qualifying candidates notified?


When are winning candidates notified?

Late February


Critical Language Scholarship Program Campus Advisor

Dr. Francisco Miranda





Email address


Webinars for candidates are available at

Schedule an advising appointment at or at 907.786.4035