Fulbright Grant Information Guide

General Information


The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict.


Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's premier scholarship program. It enables U.S. students and artists to benefit from unique resources in every corner of the world and allows U.S. citizens to gain international competence in an increasingly interdependent world.

Each year the program allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 140 nations. The Institute of International Education (IIE) coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. graduate student program and conducts an annual competition for the scholarships, most of which are for one academic year of study or research.

Program Design

The U.S. student program is designed to give recent B.S./B.A. graduates, master's and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists, opportunities for personal development and international experience. Grantees plan their own programs. Projects may include university course work, independent library or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, special projects in the social or life sciences, or a combination.

Along with opportunities for intellectual, professional, and artistic growth, the Fulbright Program offers invaluable opportunities to meet and work with people of the host country, sharing daily life as well as professional and creative insights. The program promotes cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding on a person-to-person basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom.

Types of Grants Available

IIE also conducts, simultaneously with the competition under the Fulbright Program, the competitions for various programs supported by foreign governments and private donors. Most grants are awarded for one academic year, although you may submit a proposal for 6 – 9 months in certain circumstances. In general, you may apply to only one country; candidates may, under exceptional circumstances, submit projects involving research in more than one country (please refer to the official IIE Fulbright website for details). You will be considered for all awards to your country of application that are appropriate to your qualifications and objectives, and for which you are eligible. There is a single application for all grants described below:

  • Fulbright Study/Research Grants: These grants generally provide round-trip transportation; language or orientation courses, where appropriate; tuition, in some cases; book and research allowances; maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country; and supplemental health and accident insurance
  • Teaching Assistantships: Opportunities are available in over 40 countries to serve as assistants to English language teachers at the elementary, secondary and, in some cases, university level.
  • Fulbright-MTVu Awards: MTVu Awards are available in any country with an active Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and are geared towards research and documentation of international muscial culture.  There are four Fulbright-MTVu Awards per year.
  • Fulbright Travel Grants: Travel grants are available only to Germany, Hungary, or Italy. Travel grants provide round-trip transportation and limited health benefits, and are available to supplement an award from a non-IIE source that does not provide funds for travel or to supplement a student's own funds for study.
  • Foreign and Private Grants: Specific benefits and requirements of grants offered by foreign governments, universities, and private donors are listed in the individual country descriptions on the IIE Fulbright website.


General Eligibility


  • U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • Normally, no upper age limit. However, some German grants do have age restrictions as do teaching assistantships for Korea.
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was received primarily at educational institutions in the United States. Foreign study during the junior year or other periods of undergraduate study that are integral parts of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered disqualifying.
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent professional experience before the beginning date of the grant. Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree at the time of application, unless otherwise noted.
  • Sufficient proficiency in written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed project. Reviewers at all levels place great emphasis on the project's feasibility.
  • Good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Certificate of Health from a physician.
  • In addition to these general eligibility requirements and those in the Fulbright booklet, there are many specifications made for individual countries and by grant sponsors. Please read the country descriptions on the IIE Fulbright website carefully.