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Critical Language Scholarship


Application period: October 7, 2022 to November 15, 2022 (5:00 p.m. PT)

Eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizens*
  • Enrollment in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Completion of at least one year of general college coursework by program start date
  • Good health 
  • 18 years of age by start of program

Award summary and conditions: The U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship program provides fully funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks in the host country. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.

Languages offered and levels available are as follows. (Please see CLS website for definition of language level.)

  • Arabic, Persian: advanced beginning, intermediate or advanced level
  • Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili: beginning, intermediate or advanced level
  • Chinese, Japanese, Russian: intermediate or advanced level

Countries may include: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, or others where the target languages are spoken. See CLS institute language levels for information on language prerequisites for individual institutes.

Off-Campus Study credit:

All students who are granted a CLS award and wish to receive transfer credit toward their Whitman degree for courses they plan to take abroad must complete the Whitman Summer Study Transfer Credit Application and submit it to Off-Campus Studies (Memorial 205) prior to departure. Transfer of credit is not guaranteed. OCS recommends submission of the Whitman form at least three weeks prior to a commitment to the CLS program. The OCS application form and details are found at:

Application process: online https://clscholarship.org/apply

Application requirements:

  • Online application 
  • Transcripts: official or unofficial (if you are a first-year and do not yet have fall term grades, you must still submit an unofficial transcript to show courses in progress)
  • Short essays
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letter of recommendation (1) from instructor

Announcement date: All applicants will be contacted by email in mid-January with results of the initial review process. Applicants who pass the initial review process will be notified of their status as a scholarship recipient, alternate or non-recipient in early March.

*Although CLS works with recipients to secure a visa for the host country, the program is not responsible for visa requirements and/or the denial of a student's application for a visa. CLS awards are contingent on the recipient securing a host-country visa. All awardees must meet deadlines and host country requirements for a visa.

Faculty representative: Director for Fellowships and Grants

Fellowships and Grants
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