- Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible. Please review the Ineligibility section below in relation to the eligibility of dual citizens.
- Applicants must have a conferred bachelor's degree or equivalent before the start of the grant.
- In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
- Applicants must meet the language requirements of the award to which they are applying and demonstrate sufficient competency to complete their project and adjust to life in the host country.
- Applicants may hold a J.D. at the time of application.
- Doctors of Medicine may receive grants for advanced academic study, but not for internships or residencies. Scholars with an M.D. degree who have completed their formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for the purpose of independent or collaborative research should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Grants shall not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required. The Fulbright Program cannot authorize proposals for medical research that involves clinical training, patient care or patient contact.
- Strong preference for those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant. For the 2023-2024 competition, 2022-2023, 2021-2022, and 2020-2021 grantees will be at a competitive disadvantage, but are still eligible to apply, provided they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.
- Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States. Undergraduate study abroad experiences, either in the chosen host country or elsewhere, will not be considered a disadvantage.
- Candidates who have not resided or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months, not counting undergraduate study abroad, are preferred. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.
- Candidates who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States will be given preference, provided their qualifications are approximately equivalent to those of other candidates.
- For most programs, applicants who have had extensive, recent previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage but are still eligible to apply.
The following are not eligible for consideration:
- For a period ending one year following the termination of such employment, association, or service:
- For purposes of this section, the one-year period of ineligibility is calculated from the date of termination of employment, service, or association until the due date for submission of applications for program.
- Employees of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, externs, fellows and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns.
- Employees of private and public agencies (excluding educational institutions) under contract to the U.S. Department of State to perform administrative or screening services on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s exchange programs.
- Officers of an organization, in the United States or abroad, including members of boards of trustees or similar governing bodies, or individuals otherwise associated with the organization, wherein the organization and the individuals are responsible for nominating or selecting individuals for participation in any exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
- Board members or staff of a Fulbright Commission.
- Members of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
- Immediate families (i.e., spouses and dependent children) of individuals described in the points above. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting children who live apart from their parents.
- Applicants who currently hold or will hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) by the national application deadline.
- Applicants seeking enrollment in a medical degree program abroad.
- Anyone who has resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the national application deadline. For the purpose of this section, a candidate who has lived outside the United States for nine months or more during a calendar year is deemed to have resided abroad for that year.
- In some cases, it may not be feasible for a dual national to participate in a Fulbright program in the country of their other nationality due to host country law or policy. Therefore, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain whether they have, or are eligible to have, their host country’s nationality and to address any potential consequences thereof before they accept an award. Please refer to the country’s award description to determine the eligibility of dual nationals.
- For most grants, applicants who have had extensive previous foreign experience are at a disadvantage but are not necessarily disqualified for that reason. However, following the policy of the relevant binational Fulbright Commission or the U.S. Embassy in the host country, some countries will not consider applicants who are currently residing in or will be residing in that country during the year preceding the grant. Please refer to the country’s award description to determine if residency in the host country in the year prior to the grant is allowed.
Other Factors Affecting Eligibility
- Candidates may not apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Fulbright Scholar Program in the same competition cycle.
- Candidates may not apply for more than one Fulbright U.S. Student grant in a given competition cycle.
- The Fulbright Grants described on this website are subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which provide that no citizen of the United States may, on the grounds of race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
- Fulbright Diversity Statement: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. The Bureau seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs, and other activities and in its workforce and workplace. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Bureau is committed to fairness, equity, and inclusion.
For further details, visit our Diversity & Inclusion page.
Read the official policies of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.