Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

The Center for Global Studies is pleased to announce the competition for FLAS Fellowships for the Pennsylvania State University. FLAS Fellowships are authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. They assist undergraduate and graduate students in achieving competency in selected foreign languages and conducting research in related international and area studies.

FLAS Fellowships are awarded annually. We are now waiting for a new grant competition to open for Academic year 2018-19 and beyond, and have some limited funding for Summer 2018. Fellowships consist of an institutional payment and a subsistence allowance. All FLAS awards are contingent upon the university receiving annual fellowship funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students in all fields of study are welcome to apply. Languages eligible for Penn State's FLAS Fellowships are ArabicChineseHindiJapaneseKoreanPortuguese, and Russian

Fellowship amounts are as follows:

Academic Year Undergraduate FellowshipsAcademic Year Graduate Fellowships
Institutional Payment (Tuition and fees): $10,000 Institutional Payment (Tuition and fees): $18,000
Subsistence Allowance (Stipend): $5,000 Subsistence Allowance (Stipend): $15,000
 
Summer Undergraduate Fellowships Summer Graduate Fellowships
Institutional Payment (Tuition and fees): $5,000 Institutional Payment (Tuition and fees): $5,000
Subsistence Allowance (Stipend): $2,500 Subsistence Allowance (Stipend): $2,500

Evaluation of applications will begin on February 1, 2018, but all applications will be considered until funds are fully allocated.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Recipients of the FLAS fellowships are required to complete and submit final reports online to the U.S Department of Education and will be surveyed every two years following their award for a period of up to eight years.
  • Recipients will take pre- and post-award language proficiency assessments.
  • Academic year recipients of the award must:
    • enroll in 1 language course per semester.
    • enroll in 1 area-studies (international content) course per semester

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for FLAS Fellowships, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled in a FLAS-granting institution and in a program combining modern foreign language training with area/international studies or research and training in the international aspects of professional and other fields of study
  • Be enrolled in a program of modern foreign language training in a language for which the institution has developed or is developing performance-based instruction
  • Show potential for high academic achievement (based on GPA, class ranking, or similar measures determined by the institution)
  • Additionally, the selection committee will give priority when awarding fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need as indicated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  To be considered under the priority category of demonstrated financial need, students are required to complete and submit the FAFSA form to the Student Aid Office by the FLAS deadline.

For more information on the application process and required documents, please check the relevant application forms below. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

FLAS Academic Year Applications

FLAS Summer Applications

For more information on the summer 2018 awards, please contact Elena Galinova, flas@psu.edu814-867-1665

Frequently Asked Questions about FLAS Fellowships

Questions about eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements for undergraduate FLAS recipients?

  • U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents;
  • Enrolled in an institution receiving an allocation of fellowships;
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in a program that supports modern foreign language training and international or area studies, or research and training in the international aspects of professional or other fields of study;
  • Studying a less commonly taught language and studying their language at the intermediate or advanced level.

What are the eligibility requirements for graduate FLAS recipients?

  • U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents;
  • Enrolled in an institution receiving an allocation of fellowships;
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in a program that supports modern foreign language training and international or area studies, or research and training in the international aspects of professional or other fields of study.

Ph.D. candidates who would like to use the FLAS fellowship for dissertation writing at home or dissertation research abroad must have already advanced to candidacy.

What if an Undergraduate student wants to take the beginning level of a language? 

  • An Undergraduate student at the beginning level of a language is not eligible to receive a FLAS fellowship.  An Undergraduate student must be at the Intermediate or Advanced study of a less commonly taught language. 

What if a Graduate student wants to take the beginning level of a language? 

  • FLAS fellowships as a rule are not given for a beginning level of language study. For graduate students, however, an exception might be made for the beginning level of a less commonly taught language if the graduate student has achieved advanced proficiency in another language of the world area of specialization, and if learning a second language of that world area is required for the student’s overall training and expertise.

Questions about Academic Year Fellowships

What does an Academic Year FLAS fellow receive?

  • Undergraduate students receive an institutional (tuition and fees) payment of up to $10,000 and a subsistence allowance of $5,000.
  • Graduate students receive an institutional (tuition and fees) payment of up to $18,000 and a subsistence allowance of $15,000.

How can the Academic Year FLAS fellowship be used?

  • Formal, full-time modern language and area studies coursework at Penn State, including the international aspects of professional or other fields of study.
  • Formal, full-time modern language and area studies coursework, including the international aspects of professional or other fields of study, as part of an approved official undergraduate overseas program.
  • Full-time dissertation research abroad. The use of the foreign language in the dissertation research must be sufficiently extensive that the language improvement facilitated by the research equal to the improvement that would be obtained from a full academic year’s worth of formal classroom instruction.

Are there any required courses?

  • Academic Year fellows must be taking at least one area studies or international studies course and at least one language course per academic reporting period.

Do I have to be enrolled at Penn State to use the Academic Year FLAS fellowship abroad?

  • Academic Year fellows using the FLAS award abroad must remain enrolled (or receive credit) at his or her home institution. All programs abroad must be approved by US/ED prior to departure.

Can a FLAS recipient begin an academic year award in the spring and continue using the same award to study through the summer and fall?

No, for two reasons:

  • There are two discrete FLAS award periods per year: the academic year and summer.
  • The budget period for FLAS fellowships ends August 14.

Can an Academic Year FLAS recipient take a semester or quarter off and finish work for the award period during the summer or following academic year?

  • No. Students who do not complete their FLAS requirements during the original award period forfeit the remaining portion of their awards. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances prevent a student from accepting/using a FLAS AY award during the academic year, the fellowship is forfeited and subsequently awarded to a deserving alternate on the FLAS list.

Is a student allowed to use an Academic Year fellowship to enroll in courses at the home institution and to take courses at an overseas institution during the academic year?

  • Yes. An AY fellowship recipient is allowed to divide his/her academic year between the home institution and an overseas institution, as long as the student is enrolled full-time and take at least one related area studies course, international studies course, and at least one language course.

If FLAS fellowships are awarded annually, are the eligible languages always Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian or do they change from year-to-year?

  • The languages listed above are likely to continue, though there is a chance additional languages could become eligible if they fit federal criteria for FLAS support. Eligible languages are selected from a U.S. Department of Education list, which could change in the future. One time requests for a particular language not on the above list are accepted, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Questions about Summer Fellowships

What does a Summer FLAS fellow receive?

  • Both Undergraduate and Graduate students receive an institutional payment of $5,000 (this amount provides funds for the recipient’s tuition and fees) and a subsistence allowance of $2,500.

How can the Summer FLAS fellowship be used?

  • Formal domestic programs of intensive language study at the beginning (graduate students only), intermediate or advanced level
  • Formal overseas programs of intensive language study at the intermediate or advanced level; or
  • Formal overseas programs of intensive study at the beginning level of languages for which appropriate equivalent instruction is not available in the United States (graduate students only).
  • Summer awards do not require enrollment in area studies courses.

*To be considered "intensive," a language program must offer a minimum of 140 contact (class-time) hours (120 for advanced level) and must last a minimum of 6 weeks.

Can I receive a Summer FLAS if I will graduate in the previous spring?

  • No. Only currently enrolled students can receive a Summer FLAS.

Is it okay for a student to use a Summer FLAS Fellowship to attend a domestic program and an overseas program during the same summer award period?

  • Yes. A summer fellowship may be used to attend a domestic language program, an overseas language program, or both. The fellow may divide the required program weeks and contact hours between a domestic program and an overseas program.

Is a student allowed to conduct research as part of a FLAS summer language training program?

  • No. The student must meet the program duration and contact hours of instruction with intensive language training coursework only. A summer fellowship must offer the student the equivalent of a full-year of classroom language training. It is therefore unallowable to detract from this requirement to conduct research.

Are non-Penn State students eligible for summer FLAS fellowships?

  • Yes. FLAS granting institutions may consider fellowship applications from students from other FLAS granting institutions.

General Questions about Work, Credits and Grading

Is a FLAS fellow allowed to work during the fellowship award period?

  • FLAS fellows are allowed to work during the award period but cannot be required to work in exchange for the FLAS fellowship. Regardless of work status, all FLAS fellows are required to be engaged in full-time foreign language and area/international studies course work or dissertation research or writing during the academic year, and in an intensive language study during the summer award period.

Do FLAS recipients receive credit(s) for all studies conducted during their FLAS award?

  • Yes. The International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office expects FLAS fellowship recipients to receive full credit from the programs they attend.

Is “Pass/Fail” an allowable grade option for FLAS-supported courses?

  • Foreign language and area studies courses should be taken for a letter grade rather than pass/fail. Electives outside the program of foreign language and area studies may be taken on a pass/fail basis if allowed by the institution.

Questions about the Awarding Process

Can individual student FLAS fellowships be awarded for multiple academic year or summer award periods on the basis of a single FLAS competition and selection process?

  • No. Institutions are expected to conduct open, merit-based competitions to select fellows for each fellowship type and each award period (i.e., academic year and summer).

Is there a limit to the number of FLAS fellowships the same student may receive?

  • The program law and regulations do not restrict the cumulative number of academic year or summer fellowships that may be awarded to the same student. However, the same student cannot be given more than one academic year fellowship or more than one summer fellowship during a single budget period. Additionally, FLAS selection committees are not permitted to make fellowship promises to students on a non-competitive basis.

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