At a Glance
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. government, was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Each year, over 2,000 Americans study or conduct research in over 140 nations and territories with the support of Fulbright. Two primary types of Fulbright awards are available:
- Study/Research Awards: Applicants for the Study/Research Award plan their own course of study or research. Projects may include university coursework (possibly toward a graduate degree), independent research, special projects in the creative or performing arts, or a combination.
- English Teaching Assistantship (ETA): Recipients of the Fulbright ETA are placed in schools or universities generally outside capital cities. They are assigned various activities designed to improve their students’ language abilities and knowledge of the United States.
Under the category of Study/Research Awards, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program can fund graduate degrees in over three dozen countries abroad. A table of opportunities is available on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website under “About,” then “Types of Awards,” then “Study/Research Awards.”
- U.S. citizen in good health. (Dual citizens may or may not be eligible for applying to a grant to their country of dual-citizenship; each country has different regulations.)
- At least a bachelor’s degree (but not PhD) by the beginning date of the grant.
- Language proficiency, in non-English-speaking countries, sufficient to communicate with the people of the host country and to carry out the proposed project.
Criteria for Selection
- 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 advance the Fulbright aim of promoting mutual understanding between nations through engagement in the host community, among other activities.
- Ability of the supervising agencies abroad to arrange or confirm supervision and facilitate research clearance, if necessary.
- Requirements of the program in individual countries. (See individual country and program pages on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website.)
- Desirability of achieving wide institutional and geographic distribution.
- Preference factors as established by the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board and the Fulbright Commissions and Foundations.
Candidates may apply to only one program type and one country (with rare exceptions) per application cycle:
- Current Princeton seniors apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program through the Office of International Programs.
- Princeton undergraduate alumni may also apply through the Office of International Programs, or they may apply as at-large candidates. (Princeton undergraduate alumni who are currently pursuing graduate studies in the United States [anywhere other than Princeton] should generally apply through their new home institution.)
- Current Princeton graduate students apply through the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Princeton University conducts separate endorsement processes for current undergraduates (or undergraduate alumni) and current graduate students. Please consult the detailed timelines available under “Additional Fulbright Resources” in the “Related Content” section of this page.
Fulbright grants are not deferrable, and the final decisions are not announced until the spring (generally March or April, sometimes later). Please contact your Fulbright adviser before making any decisions about other awards, graduate school offers, or job offers. Your adviser can help with discussions about possible deferrals from graduate schools and other academic or professional opportunities.