OURS National Scholarships

Critical Language Scholarship

Next deadline: November 2024

UCB recipients!

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering 14 foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. It is a fully-funded 8–10-week overseas language and cultural immersion program for a diverse range of American undergraduate and graduate students at every level of language learning. 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 future professional careers.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to make an individual advising appointment with Alicia Hayes in the OURS National Scholarships and Experiential Fellowships Office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or national
  • be enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program (AA, BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD, or professional) physically located in the United States; currently enrolled students who are currently on study abroad programs are eligible.
  • be 18 years of age by May 15, 2025
  • have completed one year of undergraduate study by the start of the program
  • meet the language requirements of the program to which they apply
  • be in acceptable mental and physical health
  • be able to get a visa to the host country and enter on U.S. passport

Selection Criteria

CLS applications are reviewed by language faculty, area specialists, study abroad professionals, and fellowship advisors. Recipients will be selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:

  • commitment to language learning
  • connection between language and goals
  • preparation for the CLS Program
  • adaptability, sensitivity, and resilience
  • contribution to the CLS Program and program goals

Application Requirements

  • Online application (personal/academic information)
  • Three short answer essays (250-350 words), and a statement of purpose (500 words)
  • Unofficial transcript from UC Berkeley (and other colleges/universities if classes not transferred and shown on UCB transcript)

Note: Applicants are eligible to apply for one language only. If you submit more than one application, you will not be considered for a scholarship in any language. Recipients may reapply another year for a second award.

For more information about this opportunity, visit the Critical Language Scholarship website (opens external site).