Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Provides up to $8,000 to students of limited financial means to study abroad.

Gilman Scholarship: At a Glance


  • Citizens or nationals of the United States
  • First, second, third, and fourth-year students
  • Recipients of a Federal Pell Grant
  • Applicants to a UChicago Study Abroad credit-bearing program

Selection Criteria: 

  • Impact of program and destination on student’s academic/career goals
  • Community impact, abroad and in a follow-up service project
  • Academic preparedness
  • Diversity of background, experience and perspectives

Candidates for the Gilman Scholarship can affirm the following: 

  • I can explain my motivation and preparedness for the proposed study abroad experience.
  • I can explain how I will serve as an effective citizen diplomat abroad.
  • I can propose a feasible follow-up project to increase awareness of study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship.

Extensive Description

What is Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship? The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. Scholarships are up to $5,000, and up to $8,000 for applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad. An additional $1000 is available for students who plan  to conduct STEM-related research as part of their study abroad experience.

The program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation. Veterans of military service are encouraged to apply, and preference is given to veterans when other factors are equivalent.

Selection and Benefits. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, international airfare, passport and visa fees. See a full list of eligible expenses here.

Gilman scholars are eligible for 12 months of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status within the federal government, with the possibility of extensions.

Deadline Information

Deadline: Thursday, October 10, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, an applicant must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • An undergraduate student in good standing
  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant
  • Applying for a study abroad eligible for credit at UChicago.
  • Please see all eligibility criteria here.

Application Process

Deadline: The October 2024 Deadline application will open in mid-August 2024 for in-person programs or internships starting between December 1, 2024 to October 31, 2025. This cycle encompasses Winter or January term 2025, Spring 2025, Maymester 2025, Summer 2025, Fall 2025, and academic year 2025-2026 programs. The application deadline is Thursday, October 10, 2024, at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Application Overview: Please submit your transcript, Statement of Purpose (7,000 characters) and two Community Impact essays (each 3,000 characters). If you are applying for a Critical Need Language Award, submit an additional essay (2,000 characters). If you are applying for the STEM Supplemental Award, submit an additional essay (1,000 characters). Also, please see FAQs here.

UChicago Resource for Essay Writing: To help you produce competitive essays, please utilize an online resource, Gilman Scholarship: Overview and Essays. Because the selection panel closely examines your essays to assess the competitiveness of the application, you are strongly encouraged to spend considerable amount of time on writing your essays. Please note that CCRF does not offer individual advising or writing support for the Gilman Scholarship. 

Language Study Resources: Students are advised to utilize additional language study resources in preparation for (and/or in addition to) their application for the Gilman Scholarship.

Gilman Application Portal: