Fulbright U.S. Student Program

About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Basic Eligibility & Selection Criteria
Campus Evaluation & Feedback Process
Application Components
Application Timeline
Applicant Resources
USC Recipients
AHF Advising


University Endorsement Required

About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for an academic year for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant programs outside of the United States.  The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards over 2,200 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries. From its inception, the Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which citizens and governments of other countries work towards mutual understanding.

Basic Eligibility

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 regarding dual citizenship status.
  • have a conferred bachelor’s degree or equivalent before the start of the grant.
  • have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country sufficient to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study/research.

Learn more about eligibility

Selection Criteria

USC juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent alumni who demonstrate the following traits are invited to apply by the campus deadline to receive evaluation and feedbackSelection is made on the basis of:

  • Quality and feasibility of the proposal as described in the Statement of Grant Purpose.
  • Academic or professional record.
  • Personal qualifications.
  • Language preparation.
  • Extent to which the candidate and the project will help to advance the Fulbright aim of promoting mutual understanding among nations through engagement in the host community, among other activities.
  • Requirements of the program in individual countries. In some countries, advanced-degree candidates are preferred, and in some countries, certain fields of study are not recommended.

Learn more about selection criteria

Campus Evaluation & Feedback Process

Applicants will apply either through USC, an alma mater or at-large.  If you are currently enrolled in a USC undergraduate or graduate program, you are strongly encouraged to apply through USC and must meet campus deadlines. Only candidates who apply by the campus deadline will receive feedback and evaluation with a faculty committee. Alumni can apply for Fulbright through USC up to three years after graduating. All other candidates will apply as at-large applicants.

Late August 2020: Deadline to submit Fulbright application online and participate in a Campus Evaluation & Feedback session

The campus evaluation and feedback process is required for USC applicants and is meant to enhance the overall application, not weed anyone out of the process.  The campus committee evaluation and feedback meeting serves two purposes:

  1. It is a chance for faculty from a variety of fields (many are Fulbrighters themselves) to provide suggestions for the candidate to incorporate into the application.  This mimics the Fulbright National Screening Committee model.
  2. The campus committee will complete an Evaluation Form of the project’s feasibility and ambassadorial potential of the applicant. The evaluation is sent to the Fulbright National Screening Committee with the application.

Application Components

  • Biographical Data 
  • Statement of Grant Purpose (2 pages for study/research; 1 page for ETA)
  • Affiliation Letter (study/research only)
  • Personal Statement (1 page for all grant types)
  • Foreign Language Forms (check country-specific requirements)
  • Recommendations (3) 
  • Transcripts 
  • Critical Language Enhancement Award Statement (for select countries)
  • Supplementary Materials (Creative & Performing Arts only)

Learn more about application components

Application Timeline

Campus Deadlines 

  • July 17, 2020: Deadline to Register Application to Apply Through USC
  • The steps below are sufficient to register through USC.  The online application saves as you go.
    1. Create an application for 2021-2022 grant year
    2. Preliminary Questions  > Answer all questions in this section
    3. Award Information > What type of applicant are you? > Select “University of Southern California, CA
    4. Contact Information > Enter Primary and Alternate Email addresses
  • August 23, 2020: Campus Deadline to Submit Application Online (including letters of recommendation, affiliation and supplemental materials)
  • September 14-18, 2020: Study/Research & ETA Campus Evaluation and Feedback Meetings
  • October 4, 2020: Campus Evaluation and Feedback participants submit FINAL application

Campus Advisement 

  • April 3 and April 24, 2020: Fulbright Writing Workshop Series
  • Late May 2020: AHF Fulbright Friday Newsletters begin
  • Late May – Early August 2020: One-on-one Fulbright Statement Advisement Days

National Competition Timeline

  • March 31, 2020: Fulbright U.S. Student Program Application Opens
  • October 13, 2020: National Fulbright U.S. Student Program Deadline
  • January 2020: Semi-finalists Notified
  • March-May 2020: Finalists Notified

General Applicant Resources

Interested students will complete an extensive review of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website with special attention to their country description of interest.  The following Fulbright pages are also particularly for those starting out on their Fulbright exploration journey:

  • Fulbright Tutorials:  Offer a “Fulbright 101” in five 12-15 minute videos covering program overview, applicant qualifications and application components.
  • Getting Started:  Four steps to begin to explore Fulbright.
  • Types of Awards:  Descriptions of each award type.  You can only apply to one type in an application cycle.
  • Application Components:  Description of what is expected in each area of the application.
  • Upcoming Events:  Helpful tool to search for upcoming webinars.
  • Recorded Webinars:  Revisit webinars you missed for additional information on the application process.
  • Grantee and Applicant Statistics:  View the number of applicants versus recipients for the past three years.
  • Grantee Directory:  Search for Fulbright recipients in your target country, field, or from your home institution.

USC Resources:

USC Recipients

Why follow the campus process? USC has been a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright U.S. Students for eight years running!


View more USC Fulbright recipients

AHF Advising

Summer Fulbright Statement Advisement Days (May – August)
The purpose of  Fulbright Statement Advisement Days are to provide feedback your application materials.  Participation is not required, but strongly encouraged.  A Fulbright Program Advisor in AHF or a Writing Program faculty member will meet with you for 30 minutes during a pre-assigned meeting.

Please note:

  • All appointments will take place via Zoom.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet had an AHF advisement appointment.
  • Study/research applicants are strongly encouraged to secure an in-country affiliate before requesting an advisement appointment.

Upcoming Advisement Days:

What you need to prepare to submit a Fulbright Appointment Request Form:

In order to confirm your appointment request, you must submit an up-to-date resume, short answers, and a draft of your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. While the drafts do not need to be finished products, we do expect your ideas to be fleshed out in paragraph form that meet the page requirements. The short answers are chronologically the first thing reviewers see, so they should be approached thoughtfully in conjunction with the Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. Outlines and brainstorm maps will not be accepted.

Short Answer Prompts:

STUDY/RESEARCH ONLY Abstract/Summary of Proposal: Prepare an executive summary detailing the what, where, and why of your proposed project․ If you are proposing the pursuit of a graduate degree program, summarize the program and relevance to your career/education plans․ (1750 character limit.)

ETA ONLY Abstract/Summary of Proposal: Why do you wish to be a Fulbright grantee and undertake an English Teaching Assistant opportunity? Why are you applying to this specific country? (1750 character limit)

Host Country Engagement: A key purpose of the Fulbright program is to be a cultural ambassador while living abroad. How will you engage outside of the workplace to fulfill this mission? In what ways do you plan to share your culture and values in your host community? Provide specific ideas. (1750 character limit)

Plans Upon Return to the U.S.: Describe your career and/or educational plans after completing a Fulbright grant. (850 character limit)

Prompts for the statements can be found on Fulbright’s Application Components page.

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