Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

FLAS FAQ

Application Process

What materials do I need to apply for a FLAS fellowship?

  1. A written proposal, in essay format, of approximately two single-spaced pages detailing your academic plan and how the FLAS fits in with your education and/or career plans.  The proposal should answer the following questions: (1) How will receipt of the fellowship contribute to your academic and career goals? ; (2) What is your planned course of study pertaining to the region for which you are applying? ; (3) What is your proposed language training? ; (4) How will your proposed language and area studies training contribute to your academic and career goals?
  2. Official or unofficial transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (in electronic format; no hard copies accepted)
  3. Relevant test scores (GRE, LSAT, GMAT or other, as relevant to your student status). Students who weren’t required to submit test scores for their programs are exempt and should note that on their application. Undergraduates do not need to report any test scores and should enter ‘exempt’ on their applications.
  4. Letters of recommendation; applicants for graduate FLAS fellowships must submit 2 general and 1 language recommendation. Applicants for undergraduate FLAS fellowships must submit 1 general and 1 language recommendation. Each recommendation must be from a different person (one person cannot complete both your general and your language recommendation).  Note that each recommendation submitted will be attached to each application submitted. Additional recommendations can be added if you feel it will strengthen your application, including additional language recommendations if applicable.  The application system will ask if you want to waive your right to see the letters of recommendation.  While it is not required, note that most applicants choose to waive the right to view the letter of recommendation because confidentiality strengthens letters of recommendation.
  5. Federal student aid report (SAR) or UW Office of Financial Aid award letter

How do I file the FAFSA?

The U.S. Department of Education has a helpful guide to filing the FAFSA here.  The FAFSA also has a useful FAQ section here.

I will not receive my tax documents in time to file the FAFSA and receive my Student Aid Report (SAR) by the FLAS application deadline.  What should I do?

For the 2019-20 Academic Year, you can use your 2017 tax information to file your FAFSA.

From the FAFSA “Filling Out the FAFSA” page: “The 2019–20 FAFSA form, which will be available Oct. 1, 2018, will ask for 2017 tax information.”

How do I know what courses to list on my Academic Year application when the courses for next year have not been set? Will I be required to take the courses I list?

Since the course schedule for next academic year has not been set, refer to this year’s time schedule to get an idea of what courses will be offered next year. The courses you list in your application are meant to demonstrate your interests and to ensure you understand the requirements. You will not be required to take the courses you propose in your application.

Can I fulfill the language or area studies requirement with an independent course of study?

The intent of the FLAS Fellowship is to fund regular academic coursework conducted in-person and with a group of students.  If there are regular language and area studies courses appropriate to your level, you must take those courses to fulfill the FLAS coursework requirements.  Independent courses of study require special approval and are only considered in exceptional circumstances.

What qualifies as an area studies course?

A qualifying area studies course is one in which one-quarter or more of the content is focused on the world region represented by the Center which awarded the FLAS Fellowship.  For example, if you are awarded a FLAS Fellowship by the East Asia Center, qualifying area studies courses would include: (1) ‘History of Modern China’; (2) ‘Demographic Asia; and (3) ‘Qualitative Research Methods,’ with a final paper, worth 40% of the course grade, on a topic related to Korea.

Do I need to identify a language program on my Summer FLAS application?

Yes. For courses taught at the University of Washington please indicate the course title and number. For programs at other schools, please indicate the program/school name and describe the summer program in your proposal.  Also note that if you plan to attend a summer language course at an institution other than the University of Washington, you need to apply for both the FLAS fellowship and admission to the summer program.

Can I apply for both an Academic Year and Summer FLAS through the same Center? And, if so, do I need two separate applications, statements etc?

Yes, you can apply for both. The online application system will prompt you to submit a separate application for each fellowship, but you only need to submit one set of transcripts, test scores, and recommendations (they will be attached to each of your FLAS applications). You should write a separate proposal for academic year and summer, although there can be overlapping content in the two proposals.

I am applying for FLAS fellowships from two different Centers. Must I submit a separate application to each?

Yes, you will need to submit a separate application for each Center to which you are applying. If you do apply to more than one Center, please ensure that your letters and statement conform with each Center’s FLAS priorities and program. You only need to submit one set of transcripts, test scores, and recommendations.

I am applying for FLAS fellowships in more than one language. Must I submit a separate application for each?

Yes, you will need to submit a separate application for each language. Note that all references will be attached to all applications. Language recommendations for each language are not required but are beneficial.

I am applying for a FLAS for beginning level language study; what should I do about the language recommendation?

If you have any background in the language, have someone who can assess your language ability fill out a language recommendation for you (i.e. instructor, supervisor, tutor). If you have no background in the language, submit a reference for a different language you’ve studied.

I haven’t had any formal instruction in the language to which I’m applying; what should I do about the language recommendation?

First, try to get a recommendation from someone who can assess your language ability (i.e. an employer, supervisor, tutor or instructor). If you can’t get a language recommendation in the language to which you’re applying, submit a recommendation for another language you’ve studied.

Do all recommendations have to be from academics?

No. If there are other people more qualified to address your studies and/or related work and language skills, you should use them as referees.  Each recommendation must be from a different person (one person cannot complete both your general and your language recommendation).

When are recommendations and transcripts due?

Recommendations and transcripts are due on January 31, 2019 by 5 pm PST.

Can I submit my application before my recommendations are in?

Yes. However, your application will not be considered complete until the required number of recommendations are submitted (undergraduates: one general academic recommendation and one language recommendation; graduates: two general academic recommendations and one language recommendation).

How and when will FLAS awardees and alternates be notified?

Award announcements must be made by April 15th but are usually made in March. Notification letters are sent to fellowship recipients as soon as possible after the Fellowships Committees make their decisions.

Eligibility

Is someone with a green card eligible for a FLAS, or are FLAS fellowships only for U.S. citizens?

U.S. permanent residents are eligible for FLAS fellowships.

Academic Year

What costs does the FLAS cover?

Graduate FLAS fellowships for the academic year include tuition and graduate appointee health insurance costs up to $18,000 and a living stipend of $15,000. Undergraduate FLAS fellowships for the academic year include tuition costs up to $10,000 and a living stipend of $5,000.

What qualifies as an area studies course?

A qualifying area studies course is one in which one-quarter or more of the content is focused on the world region represented by the Center which awarded the FLAS Fellowship.  For example, if you are awarded a FLAS Fellowship by the East Asia Center, qualifying area studies courses would include: (1) ‘History of Modern China’; (2) ‘Demographic Asia; and (3) ‘Qualitative Research Methods,’ with a final paper, worth 40% of the course grade, on a topic related to Korea.

Can I fulfill the language or area studies requirement with an independent course of study?

The intent of the FLAS Fellowship is to fund regular academic coursework conducted in-person and with a group of students.  If there are regular language and area studies courses appropriate to your level, you must take those courses to fulfill the FLAS coursework requirements.  Independent courses of study require special approval and are only considered in exceptional circumstances.

Can I be a TA/RA while receiving a FLAS Fellowship?

Approval to hold a TA or RA position simultaneous to a FLAS Fellowship is rarely granted and is at the discretion of the Center and the department offering the TA or RA position. Notify the FLAS Fellowship Coordinator immediately if you receive a TA/RA offer so that Center approval can be requested.

Can I work while receiving a FLAS Fellowship?

Yes, but you must remain enrolled full-time in your program of study.

Can I use an Academic Year FLAS Fellowship to study abroad?

Academic Year FLAS fellowships are comprehensive awards that encompass both area studies and language training, and are primarily for use at the University of Washington.  Academic year FLAS fellowships are occasionally granted for study abroad.  Some Centers include information on their study abroad policies in their Center-specific guidelines (see the FLAS Guidelines).  Academic Year FLAS fellowships for study abroad are subject to the approval of the Center that awarded the fellowship and the U.S. Department of Education.  This approval is requested through the University’s FLAS Fellowship Coordinator after an award has been made. Students must be concurrently enrolled full-time at the University of Washington through the UW Study Abroad Office, and must be at the intermediate or advanced language level (unless an appropriate beginning language program is not available in the U.S.).

Can I use an Academic Year FLAS Fellowship to fund my dissertation research or dissertation writing?

Under certain circumstances FLAS awards can fund dissertation research or writing. Research must be conducted abroad and applicants must be at the advanced level of language proficiency. Writing can be done at the home institution. Applicants must have already advanced to PhD candidacy. The use of language in the research must be equal to one academic year of classroom instruction. PhD candidates should note that the U.S. Department of Education assigns lowest priority for FLAS fellowships to dissertation research, and should consider applying to the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Program. Prior approval of the U.S. Department of Education is required for all FLAS fellowships to be used abroad. This approval is requested through the University’s FLAS Fellowship Coordinator after an award has been made.

Can I take my language and area/international studies courses ‘Credit/No Credit’ or ‘Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory’ while on a FLAS?

No. The U.S. Department of Education requires that these courses be taken for a decimal or letter grade and the student must remain in “good standing.”

Can I defer a FLAS fellowship?

No. All FLAS fellowships must be used during the time frame for which they are offered.

Summer

Can I be awarded a summer 2019 FLAS Fellowship if I will graduate in spring 2019?

No. Fellows must have student status at the University of Washington throughout the duration of the FLAS-funded program. Students who will graduate in August 2019 or December 2019 are eligible for a summer 2019 award.

Can I choose any summer language program I want?

All language programs are subject to the approval of the Center granting the fellowship, and all overseas language programs are subject to the approval of the U.S. Department of Education. This approval is requested through the FLAS Fellowship Coordinator after a fellowship is awarded. Courses at the beginning level must be taken in the United States unless no approved program is available in the U.S.  Courses must be a minimum of 6 weeks long and 140 hours of instruction at the beginning/intermediate levels and 120 hours of instruction at the advanced level.

Can I undertake an independent course of study?

The intent of the FLAS Fellowship is to fund regular academic coursework conducted in-person and with a group of students.  If there is a regular language course appropriate to your level, you must take that course to fulfill the FLAS coursework requirement.  Independent courses of study require special approval and are only considered in exceptional circumstances.

Travel

Is travel money available for summer FLAS?

Travel funds up to $1,000 are sometimes available but are not guaranteed. All foreign travel must abide by the Fly America Act and satisfy Washington State regulations in order to qualify for travel funding. Travel awards are made as reimbursements to awardees in late summer. Applicants should plan to have sufficient funds to pay for travel costs in case travel funds are not available.

If you have more questions, contact flas@uw.edu.