Fulbright U.S. Student Program


Select award for detailed information

12 Fulbright/Swiss Government Open Study/Research Awards

Award Profile:

All US-based applicants for the Fulbright / Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships will first apply for the scholarship through the Fulbright Program. Once IIE has conducted the first phase of the selection process, the recommended applicants/semi-finalists will then be required to complete an additional application in paper form and submit this to the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships in December 2016, according to the instructions in the link provided below.  

Both Fulbright and Swiss Government/FCS grant rules apply.

Grant Period:

Maximum of 12 months of full time research or study. The grant is not renewable.

The academic year in Switzerland is divided into two semesters. Classes are held starting in the fall from the third week of September to the third week of December, and in the spring from the third week of February to the fourth week of May.

Candidate Profile:

Candidates at all degree levels will be considered.  Preference is given to candidates who will be under 35 years of age at the beginning of the grant.

Switzerland offers academic research scholarships to excellent students who have a clear research goal. Applications within the framework of a cooperative program between the candidate's home academic institution and an academic institution in Switzerland have some priority.

Applicants proposing to pursue Master's programs in Switzerland are ineligible for consideration, except in the Arts. 

Accepted Degree Levels:


Foreign Language Proficiency:

Recommended - Novice
1 year of college-level study, or the equivalent, prior to commencing the grant

Additional Information: German, French, or Italian language proficiency is recommended, though not required. However, depending on your research project, a fluent command of the national language may be required. At Swiss universities, a number of courses at the Master's level and higher are held in either English, or bilingually in English and the local national language: A working knowledge of the local Swiss national language is recommended to facilitate a well-rounded experience.

Fulbright Proposal Types:

Independent Study/Research: Yes

Graduate Degree Enrollment: Yes


Graduate degree enrollment will only be considered for applicants proposing to enroll in a PhD program.

Candidates are responsible for arranging their own affiliations with a host professor who is willing to supervise their research at one of the 12 public Swiss universities. Applicants should include a letter of affiliation with their application. 

In general, a Bachelor’s degree is sufficient for conducting research at Swiss universities, with two exceptions: research candidates applying to ETH Zurich or the University of Basel must have completed a Master’s degree by December 2016. Applicants can only apply to one Swiss public university in their grant application.  Additional information on Swiss public universities may be found at http://www.swissuniversities.ch/en/.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition:

The scholarship does not include tuition or any other study fees. At present, ETH Zurich and most universities  waive tuition fees for scholarship holders, but often require payment of tuition for postgraduate courses. If tuition is not waived, the grantee must arrange payment. Tuition at Swiss universities is low in comparison to the U.S.


Applicants currently living in Switzerland, or those who will be resident for more than one year preceding the beginning of their grant, are ineligible for consideration. 

Applicants proposing graduate degree programs (except in the Arts) are ineligible for consideration.

Arts candidates:

Two of the grants are reserved for candidates in the fine arts, music, and performing arts through a worldwide competition. Applications in the Arts may be accepted for a research project or Master's study at a recognized Swiss art or music school, which may include Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences.

Grantees may study at any cantonal university of applied sciences or recognized music academy, conservatory, or art school. Some music academies and conservatories may require an audition in Switzerland before admission is finalized. The applicant must receive written confirmation from a professor at the chosen educational institution that the project is feasible at that institution, or that admission for a specific Master’s program will be granted.


The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship program provides a monthly stipend, and grantees receive up to 1,000 Swiss Francs for airfare upon successful completion at the end of the grant period.


Dependent support is not available

I am a....

Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.  All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses.  Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student you would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts.  Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered. 



U.S. Professor

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award you will need to apply through CIES.

Non U.S. Professor

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and a professor interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United States you would need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country.  Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.