What is the Critical Language Scholarship?

National Deadline:

November 14, 2023 at 8:00 PM 

Contact the Office of Fellowships for support at least one month before this deadline.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS) is a U.S. Department of State sponsored program that enables students to have an intensive language and cultural immersion experience abroad during eight to ten weeks in the summer.

Participants study one of 13 State Department-identified critical languages: Azerbaijani, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Portuguese. Many of these languages require no previous experience, but information on the language competency levels and language study prerequisites is available on the CLS programmatic page. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.

Award Details


How do I apply?

While institutional endorsement is not required, we enthusiastically encourage all current Amherst College students to apply with support from the Office of Fellowships! We'll advise you on choosing a language and give you essay feedback. 

Have questions? Please contact us.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall


Physical address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002