Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

The Center for Global Studies (CGS), administers academic year and summer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships under a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education, National Resource Centers.  Brief bios of current FLAS Fellows can be found on the FLAS Fellows page.

The objective of the CGS FLAS program is to provide graduate and undergraduate students of exceptional promise with the critical language and cultural skills they need to enter the global workforce upon graduation. Students in all disciplines are eligible to apply for CGS FLAS awards.

Students in professional fields, such as engineering, business, economics, health, agriculture, library and information science, social work, planning, education, media and communications, and those interested in working for government, non-governmental associations, and intergovernmental organizations are especially encouraged to apply.
Preference is given to students concentrating in an international area within their discipline. What is unique about the CGS FLAS program is that undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can learn a language and culture relevant to their projected professional work, yet not necessarily be expected to teach the language or be engaged in area studies. 
CGS typically awards twelve academic year fellowships and six summer awards. FLAS recipients are required to enroll in language study in both Fall and Spring semesters. In addition, CGS FLAS fellows are required to enroll in an approved Global Studies course each semester.  CGS graduate fellows are required to take GLBL 500 as their Global Studies course in the Spring semester of their fellowship year.
Information sessions for students and departmental advisors will cover the requirements and deadlines, provide tips on writing a successful application, review of required supporting documents and guidelines on recommendations. Sessions will cover the same topics. For more information, visit the FLAS fellowship website.

Information Sessions for Students
Wed. Dec 4, 2013 and Thur. Dec. 5
12:00 p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Room 126 GSLIS, 501 E. Daniel, Champaign

Information Sessions for Departmental Advisors
Mon. Nov. 18, 2013 and Fri. Nov. 22, 2013
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m
910 S. Fifth St., Champaign

All application materials must be submitted electronically.

Access the online application here:

Grant Amount

  • Graduate students receive full tuition, mandatory fees, and a stipend of $15,000 during the academic year;
  • Undergraduates receive $10,000 towards tuition and fees and a stipend of $5,000 during the academic year.
  • Summer awards cover full tuition for a summer language program as well as required Illinois fees and a $2,500 stipend.  Combined tuition and Illinois fees can't exceed $5,000. In some cases, a travel award may also be made.


At the first-year level and above:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Lingala, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian/Croatian, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, UkranianWolof, and Zulu
At the third-year level and above:
Chinese and Japanese
Choosing a Language Program
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wide variety of LCTL courses. If the language you wish to study is not offered on this campus, we suggest looking at the University of Minnesota’s North American LCTL Course Listings. Overseas language programs must meet FLAS requirements and be approved in advance by the Department of Education. Online language courses are not eligible.


Undergraduate Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, must have already completed the Illinois language requirements, and must have been enrolled in their chosen language of study during the previous academic year.  Fellowships are only available for intermediate and advanced language study at the undergraduate level.
Graduate FLAS fellowship applicants must be degree-seeking students in good academic standing enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Illinois.
Incoming students are eligible to receive a FLAS fellowship if they are accepted for enrollment or already enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students applying from non-FLAS institutions may apply through UIUC; however, if you are selected to receive a fellowship, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at UIUC in order to accept the fellowship. Please also note that preference will be given to qualified UIUC students who are already enrolled or accepted for enrollment.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents (green card).


CGS seeks candidates who give promise of becoming leaders in their field of study and professional work. Applicable measures include the applicant's academic record, extra-disciplinary and professional activities, and supportive materials, including letters of recommendation from close observers of the applicant's achievements. The statement of purpose should clearly indicate how the FLAS fellowship will advance both the professional career and potential for leadership within the candidate's field of specialization or in the performance of public service.
Applicants will be evaluated based upon the following:
  • Evidence that language training is needed to further the applicant's study of global issues and problems;
  • Extent to which the applicant's current planned academic program is focused on global issues and problems;
  • Applicant's academic performance to date;
  • Persuasiveness of the applicant's letters of recommendations. 
In evaluating an application:
  • 20 points are assigned to academic achievement;
  • 10 points to the relation of the FLAS Fellowship to the academic degree pursued by the student;
  • 10 points to the projected leadership prospects of applicants with respect to their disciplinary or professional fields and to their contribution to public service.
U.S. Department of Education guidelines used to rank candidates with similar credentials as evaluated with the above criteria
  • Priority will be given to advanced levels of language training in less commonly taught languages; Ancient languages are usually NOT approved;
  • Priority will be given to applicants who intend to pursue careers in a professional field or public service.
The following U.S. Department of Education guidelines also apply:
  • Overseas awards are for advanced and intermediate levels only, beginning level training can be funded only if courses are unavailable in the US;
  • Academic year FLAS awards for dissertation research abroad are subject to the prior approval by U.S. Department of Education Program officers, as is all travel abroad (FLAS fellows are responsible for initiating this approval process at least 60 days prior to departure). FLAS fellows must also remain enrolled at UIUC during their fellowship;
  • Academic year FLAS fellows approved for on-campus language study must also be enrolled in appropriate area studies courses;
  • Students may receive fellowships for multiple award periods if they compete successfully in each discrete competition;
  • Undergraduate students must study a Less Commonly Taught Language at the intermediate or advanced level;
  • CGS can set its own FLAS rules and requirements beyond the legislation and regulations, including limiting the number of FLAS awards a student may receive, as long as the rules do not conflict with the statute, federal regulations, the selection procedures outlined in the application narrative or the institution's guidelines and policies.
Summer FLAS Awards:
  • Limited to intensive language training (120-180 contact hours) and cannot be used for research abroad;
  • Language programs abroad must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education and are typically only approved for intermediate and advanced language study (FLAS fellows are responsible for initiating this approval process at least 60 days prior to departure).
  • Language programs abroad must also be coordinated with the University of Illinois Study Abroad Office.
Prior approval required from the Department of Education:
  • For ALL FLAS awards to be used abroad;
  • For ALL domestic dissertation research/writing awards;
  • For a ruling on a specific request for study in Latin, Sanskrit, Greek, Classical Chinese, or language not on the CGS approved FLAS language list.
Illinois Fellowship Policy and Guidelines:
  • Campus Policy: no student on limited status can hold a fellowship;
  • Students with EXs and Fs on their records are not assigned equal status in the competition with students who have completed their course and program requirements. EXs and Fs should be explained as part of the application.


1. Application Cover Sheet
2. Completed Online Application Form (Incoming non-UIUC graduate students must fill out a slightly modified version of the FLAS on-line application. Please contact the department to which you have applied to get the weblink for the Incoming Graduate Student on-line Application.)
3. Three letters of recommendation: one must be from your academic
     advisor and, except for students applying for beginning language
     instruction, one must be from your most recent language instructor
4. Graduate and undergraduate transcripts (copies from your departmental file are acceptable); unofficial transcripts are acceptable
5. Statement of Purpose: Please submit your responses for each of the following questions in the form of three short essay answers. Questions must be answered in the following order (limit your total response to two pages):
  1. How does the language and global / area studies coursework relate to your academic program at the University of Illinois?
  2. How does the language and global / area studies coursework relate to your long term professional goals?
  3. How will the FLAS Fellowship assist you to become a leader in your profession and to become informed and actively engaged in public affairs?
  4. Address any F or No-Credit grades on your transcript.

Please note that applicants applying for both academic year and summer programs only submit one online application and one statement of purpose.  In your statement of purpose you should clearly describe why you plan to study a language during both the academic year and summer, and how this fits in with your overall education and/or career goals.

For complete application instructions and online forms for the CGS and other campus FLAS programs, please visit the Campus' FLAS Site at:


If you have questions about the CGS FLAS program, please e-mail: .

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