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Critical Language Scholarship Program

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

Annually, the U.S. Department of State announces scholarship competition for Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in critical need foreign languages. The CLS Program provides fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students.

Applications are due generally in November but students should begin reviewing deadlines and discuss opportunities with the Fellowships and Scholarship Program, Center for Career Development early in the fall. Prior to preparing their application, interested students should review the full eligibility and application information on the CLS Program website.

Students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences, and humanities are encouraged to apply. While there is no service requirement attached to CLS Program awards, participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.

For more information, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program, Center for Career Development at or schedule an appointment through Handshake.

Davidson Award Winners

2017 - Arielle Korman (Arabic)

2016 - Sarah Aziz (Persian), Abby Ordillas (Chinese)

2015 - Jessica Gumucio (Russian), Mohammed El (Jake) Sarhan (Arabic)

2013 - Suncica Dragas

2011 - Vitaly Radsky (Russian), Caroline Emch (Arabic)

2010 - Brittany Ell (Chinese)