Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Funds one academic year of study, research, or teaching assistantship experience in a participating country outside the U.S.

Fulbright Program: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens and nationals
  • Fourth-year students (fellowships process starts in third year) and recent alumni

Selection Criteria: 

Extensive Description

Fulbright is considered the flagship program of the U.S. State Department with a diplomatic mission of cultural exchange through research, teaching, and postgraduate study. It is among the oldest and most prestigious of the major national fellowships available to college students, recent graduates, and alumni.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is also the largest and most competitive exchange program for U.S. citizens and sponsors 9- to 11-month experiences abroad including teaching, research, and study. It also funds international post-graduate students to study for advanced degrees in the United States. Grants may cover tuition, fees, travel, and a stipend. Applicants in all fields are welcome. Fulbright awards approximately 2,200 grants to U.S. students annually and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

The Fulbright Student Program is proud of its tradition of excellence, and its alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, and athletics (380,000 alumni since 1946):

The Fulbright Student Program IS NOT:

  • A "gap" year experience (before medical school, law school, etc.). Note: nothing after college should be referred to simply as a "gap" year, most especially a national fellowship of this caliber;
  • Study abroad (you are responsible for creating your Fulbright experience);
  • A way to become politically active in another country;
  • Something to do if you don't know what else to do post-graduation; this is a serious, nationally prestigious fellowship that must fit into your post-graduate and vocational plans; 
  • For students who have no connection or bona fide interest in the host country and just want to travel after college (competitive candidates must demonstrate language proficiency if required, provide evidence of previous study or research in/on/about the host country or topics relevant to the host country, as well as a sound case for being in the host country);
  • For students who do not speak the language of the chosen host country (if it is required);
  • For students who show no meaningful awareness of their proposed host country's history, culture, and language, or who lack evidence of cultural competency.

Deadline Information

UChicago Campus Deadline -- All final application materials submitted to SLATE: Monday, September 20, 2021

Fulbright National Deadline: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must have completed a bachelor's degree by the start of the grant period; therefore, applications for Fulbright grants may only be submitted by fourth-year students (who will graduate before the start of the grant period) or recent graduates. Third-year students begin the application process for the 2022-2023 award year in Winter Quarter 2021.
  • Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application. 
  • Please consult the Eligibility page on the Fulbright website for more information.


Application Process

CCRF has stopped accepting late additions to the 2021 Fulbright Cohort and Campus Process as of Tuesday, February 9, 2021. 

Students in the College and College alumni who are interested in applying for the 2022-2023 Fulbright award, but who are not part of the 2021 Fulbright Cohort, may choose to apply on their own. Information about the application can be found on the Fulbright websiteHowever, CCRF staff are not able to provide Fulbright draft review, application support, advising, campus interview, or campus endorsement for Fulbright applicants who apply outside the campus process.

(2020 Fulbright Cohort members should refer to the FAQ about signing up for the 2021 Fulbright Cohort for additional information.)


2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process

Please see the 2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process page for details, eligibility, and an overview timeline.  The Fulbright FAQs page provides additional information, as well.

The 2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process:

  • Provides opportunities for students to reflect on how their interests, experiences, and future goals connect with Fulbright’s mission;
  • Helps students articulate their best case for a Fulbright fellowship in their application materials;
  • Simplifies the application process by providing a structured timeline, clear applicant requirements and deadlines, and defined expectations about staff support;
  • Facilitates substantive advising, draft review, and writing support for current members of the 2021 Fulbright Cohort; and
  • Creates a community of College student scholars, who encourage each other and provide thoughtful feedback.

Additionally, students who remain members of the 2021 UChicago Fulbright Cohort after May 4, 2021, will be eligible for a campus interview, campus endorsement, and periodic draft review appointments over the summer.

CCRF staff are committed to supporting and advising College students who continue to fulfill all the requirements detailed on the 2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course* syllabus.  Throughout the application cycle (January – October 2021), we will provide group workshops, periodic individual advising and draft review, and application support for members of the Fulbright Cohort.

* The 2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process course is not for credit. The course is free and open to any current College student or recent College alumni who is eligible for 2021 UChicago Fulbright Campus Process and committed to fulfilling the requirements on the syllabus

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Johanna Best