The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides study opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
U.C. Berkeley applicants are encouraged to meet with Alicia Hayes the CLS Advisor for the campus designated to assist students with the CLS application process.
Enrolled in a U.S. degree granting program: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, or a professional degree;
In a degree granting program physically located in the United States, however, currently enrolled students who are currently on study abroad programs are eligible
Undergraduate students must have completed one year of study and be 18 years of age at the start of the program
In acceptable mental and physical health
Able to get a visa to the host country.
* Please note that you are eligible to apply for one language only. If you submit more than one application, you will not be considered for a scholarship in any language.
CLS applications are reviewed by language faculty, area specialists, study abroad professionals and fellowship advisors as part of the selection process.
Award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:
Academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting;
Ability to adapt to a different cultural environment;
Plan for continuation of study of the language; and