University of Iowa

Critical Language Scholarships for Undergraduates and Graduates

About the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS):

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The fully funded program held in country includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains equivalent to one year of college language instruction. Applicants to the CLS Program may apply for and receive both a CLS Program award and a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award in the same academic year. 


CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.


Eligibility: U.S. Citizens; Undergraduate or Graduate level. All disciplines.


Deadline: Mid-November


Duration: 8-10 Weeks (Summer Intensive Program)


Summer Language Institutes

Eligible Languages and Levels


No prior study required:

Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu


One year of prior study:

Arabic, Persian


Two years of prior study:

Chinese, Japanese, Russian


For more information about applying for a CLS, please make an appointment with Dr. Karen Wachsmuth by completing and returning the Preliminary Application Form to