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Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

FLAS fellowships help graduate and undergaduate students acquire high levels of competence in languages that are deemed critical to the national needs of the United States, and to gain a fuller understanding of the areas, regions, or countries in which those languages are commonly used.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Cornell's South Asia Program (SAP) and Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) highly competitive four-year grants, designating them both National Resource Centers (NRC). NRCs may offer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships.

Application deadline

The deadline for all materials is 4:30 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. For students admitted to graduate programs with rolling deadlines, there may be a limited second-round competition with a deadline of May 1, 2020.

SAP and SEAP offer FLAS fellowships for the following languages:

South Asia Program (SAP)

Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Sinhala, Tamil, Modern Tibetan, Urdu

Southeast Asia Program (SEAP)

Burmese, Khmer (Cambodian), Indonesian/Malay, Filipino (Tagalog), Thai, Vietnamese


According to current program regulations, each applicant must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  • Show potential for high academic achievement based on indicators such as grade point average, class ranking, or similar measure that the institution may determine;
  • Agree to pursue full-time study in accordance with the university’s requirements during the entire award period, and agree to study language during the tenure of the award; and
  • Demonstrate the extent to which the necessary language training requirements have been met. Note: Lowest priority will be given to a candidate who is a native speaker of the language for which an award is sought.
  • The fellowship may be used overseas only if the candidate has received prior approval from the U.S. Department of Education Program Officer to enroll in an advanced program overseas established by a U.S. institution.

Graduate student applicants must

  • Be accepted for (or enrolled in) graduate level training in an approved program that combines modern foreign language training with:
    • Area or international studies or,
    • Research and training in the international aspects of professional and other fields of study
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Complete a FAFSA prior to the FLAS deadline.

Undergraduate student applicants must

  • Be in the process of earning a baccalaureate
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at an intermediate or advance language level
  • Complete a FAFSA prior to the FLAS deadline
  • Academic Year Fellowships for Undergraduates for SAP languages only

To apply

Click here

Each applicant may submit multiple applications for different languages or periods of study. 

FLAS handout