Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

FLAS Application Process & Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements | Application Materials and Process | Summer Fellowship Details | Academic Year Fellowship Details | FLAS Program Priorities

Center Guidelines: Canadian Studies Center | East Asia Center | Center for Global Studies | Middle East Center | South Asia Center | Southeast Asia Center

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be a current or incoming student to a full-time program of study at the University of Washington.  Applicants to full-time UW programs may apply simultaneously for the FLAS fellowship.
  • Undergraduates are:
  • Graduates are:
    • Eligible for intermediate- or advanced-level study of the languages supported by the six UW Centers
    • Eligible for beginning-level language study in exceptional circumstances.   Special approval is required, and is considered on a case-by-case basis.  If you already have advanced proficiency in another language related to your studies, you are eligible to apply for a FLAS to support beginning-level study of another language related to your studies.
    • Ineligible for beginning-level language study of French

Application Materials and 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

Summer Fellowship Details

  • Summer FLAS Fellowships support intensive foreign language study (no area studies coursework is required)
  • Applicants must propose intensive summer language programs that are a minimum of six consecutive weeks and 140 classroom hours for beginning/intermediate level or 120 classroom hours for advanced level
  • Fellowship may be used at UW, another U.S. institution, or at an overseas institution
  • Students should apply to their summer programs as soon as possible.  Many programs have deadlines that are earlier than the FLAS application deadline.
  • To study abroad, students must be at the intermediate or advanced level unless an appropriate beginning-level language program is not available in the U.S.  Study abroad must be undertaken in an established program, institute or university.
    The UW Study Abroad Office is available to help applicants find summer programs abroad.  FLAS applicants seeking to transfer summer program credits from overseas institutions to UW must apply through the Study Abroad Office, and deadlines for application are between February 15 and March 15
  • All applicants should carefully read the guidelines specific to the Center to which they are applying (listed below)

Academic Year Fellowship Details

  • Awardees must be enrolled full-time for the duration of their fellowship (Graduate 10 credits per quarter, Undergraduate 12 credits per quarter, Professional 12 credits per quarter)
  • Applicants must propose a program of study that includes at least 3 credits per quarter in the language of their award and 3 credits per quarter in either area or international studies or the area or international aspects of professional or other fields of study.  The area studied must match the Center applied to–i.e. a student applying for French through the Canadian Studies Center must be studying Canada, not Europe.
  • PhD candidates may propose dissertation research abroad. See FAQs for more details.
  • All applicants should carefully read the guidelines specific to the Center to which they are applying (listed below)

NOTE: The application form and this page contain the most current information available at the date of publication. Applicants should be aware that changes in federal funding, language eligibility, or availability of languages at the University of Washington may occur in the future and affect their accuracy.

FLAS Priorities

  • Priority will be given to applicants with a high level of academic ability and with previous language training.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who are most likely to pursue government service or enter a professional field.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who show potential in meeting critical national security needs.
  • Priority will be given to those with financial need, as demonstrated by the Expected Family Contribution on the federal or UW financial aid forms
  • Low priority is given to applicants who have achieved language fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought.
  • Low priority is given to applicants proposing dissertation research or writing.

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


Center Guidelines

Canadian Studies Center

Languages

French, Inuktitut, other Indigenous languages spoken in Canada including First Nations and Métis languages

FLAS Information

The Canadian Studies Center is particularly interested in areas of study and research that have policy relevance for the Canada-U.S. relationship or that address Canada’s role in the world. These include environmental management, urban planning, issues emerging in the Arctic region, Indigenous self-determination in Canada, civil engineering, human security and capacity, public health, and the promotion of nations within a nation.

In addition to French, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for a FLAS in least-commonly taught Indigenous languages spoken in Canada, including First Nations languages, Métis, or Inuktitut (Inuit). Students studying a Salish language are required to study in-residence at the University of British Columbia (or other program upon approval). For more information on the current and past Center FLAS Fellows click here.

The Canadian Studies Center awards academic year FLAS Fellowships to graduate students only; it does not award to undergraduates during the academic year. The Canadian Studies Center does award summer FLAS Fellowships to undergraduates for the study of First Nations languages, Métis, or Inuktitut (Inuit) at the intermediate language level or above. Undergraduates are ineligible for FLAS Fellowships for beginning level language study or for French at any language level.  Undergraduate students interested in studying abroad in Canada can apply to the Corbett and/or Killam Fellowships.

East Asia Center

Languages

Chinese, Japanese, Korean

FLAS Information

East Asia Center academic-year FLAS fellowships are comprehensive awards that encompass both area studies training and language training, while summer FLAS fellowships are for intensive language training only. For this reason, the East Asia Center considers summer quarter the most appropriate time for study abroad, and in general ranks foreign study in the academic year a low priority.

Center for Global Studies

Languages

Arabic, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian/Malay, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Tagalog, Turkish, Uighur, Vietnamese

FLAS Information

The Center for Global Studies considers applicants whose work is understood to be transregional, transnational, global, or comparative in nature. Preference will be given to proposals that address one of these four themes broadly construed: 1) global literacy; 2) global health; 3) security; and/or 4) the environment. There is no restriction in terms of historical period, discipline, world area, subject, or issue.

Middle East Center

Languages

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish

FLAS Information

Applicants proposing independent study to satisfy the area and/or language coursework requirements of the FLAS fellowship must describe the content of the proposed course(s). If a student anticipates that independent study will be necessary to meet coursework requirements, it is strongly advised that relevant UW faculty commitment be secured when preparing the FLAS application. Receipt of a FLAS fellowship does not obligate faculty to offer independent study.

Applicants should note carefully that academic-year fellowships are comprehensive awards that encompass both area and language training, while summer awards are for intensive language study only. For that reason, the Middle East Center considers summer term the most appropriate time for studying abroad, and in general ranks study abroad in the academic year a lower priority.

Applicants whose area of interest is Central Asia (i.e., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) should direct their applications to the Center for Global Studies.

A student may not receive more than two academic-year fellowships from the Middle East Center. There are no restrictions on the number of summer fellowships a student may receive.

South Asia Center

Languages

Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Persian

FLAS Information

IMPORTANT: You may use a summer FLAS to study at the UW or at another U.S. or overseas institution. If you plan on using the FLAS at another U.S. or overseas institution, please make sure to apply to the language program early. Many of these have early deadlines, including deadlines which may be earlier than the FLAS application deadline. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
American Institute of Indian Studies
South Asia Summer Language Institute

The Center for Global Studies also awards FLAS fellowships for the study of some South Asian languages, but students must submit separate applications to be considered for Global Studies FLAS fellowships.

Click here for information about other scholarships for South Asia studies, including the Frank F. Conlon Fellowship, the India Association of Western Washington fellowship and others.

If you have questions, please contact Nick Gottschall, Managing Director, South Asia Center, ntjg@uw.edu.

Southeast Asia Center

Languages

Burmese, Filipino/Tagalog, Indonesian, Khmer, Thai, Vietnamese

FLAS Information

Academic Year Awards: Applicants should carefully note that academic-year fellowships are comprehensive awards that encompass both area and language training.  The Southeast Asia Center requires that two of students’ three area studies courses be taken with a Southeast Asia Center faculty member (see list at http://jsis.washington.edu/seac/faculty.shtml).  You must also fulfill the coursework requirements by taking regular courses at UW if they are available at your level, rather than independent study.  Exceptions will rarely be granted.

Summer Awards: Summer FLAS fellowships are for intensive language study and may be used at the University of Wisconsin Southeast Asian Studies Institute (SEASSI) or at an overseas institution. Whether you plan to study domestically or abroad, please note that many host institutions have early registration deadlines.  You must apply to the language program in addition to applying for the FLAS.  For SEASSI details and deadlines see http://seassi.wisc.edu/

For information about the Gething and Keyes awards for graduate student travel, see the Southeast Asia Center’s funding page: https://jsis.washington.edu/seac/programs/funding/ or contact Shannon Bush, Managing Director, sdbush@uw.edu