FLAS Fellowship (Summer)


The Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship competition is open to undergraduates and graduate students who are US citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program (either domestic—at Columbia University or at another US institution—or overseas) that combines modern foreign-language training with international or area studies.

FLAS summer awards are for language study and are contingent upon funding from the US Department of Education. Fellowship award selection includes consideration of merit and financial need; all awardees should submit their 2024-25 FAFSA along with their FLAS application.

Summer FLAS fellowship awardees receive:

  • A grant to cover tuition and fees of up to $5,000
  • A $3,500 stipend

The Summer FLAS tuition grant will not exceed $5,000. FLAS Fellows are responsible for the timely payment of any remaining balance.

The summer language course studied under the Summer FLAS fellowship must be the equivalent of an academic-year course: at least 140 credit or contact hours (120 at the advanced level), and a minimum of six (6) weeks in length. All overseas programs of study must be at the intermediate or advanced level of language proficiency or at the beginning level if an appropriate beginning level is not available in the United States. Additionally, all overseas programs of study must be approved by the United States Department of Education at least thirty (30) days prior to the start of the program. Please provide any relevant program brochures, websites and/or other documentation with your application. Summer FLAS is not available for dissertation research.

All Summer FLAS awards are for Summer 2024.

Eligible FLAS Languages are listed below, along with the world area of concentration for which the language was approved and eligible levels of study.

Please note: Columbia University houses FLAS fellowships for the following world areas: Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. Approved modern languages in these world areas are eligible to be studied under one of the Columbia-housed FLAS fellowships. Languages for other world areas (e.g. East Asia, Africa, and Europe) are not eligible for Columbia-housed FLAS fellowships.

Language Levels: Undergraduate and graduate students may apply to study only Intermediate or Advanced level of language proficiency. There is one exception for study at the Beginning level: Students who have achieved fluency or high advanced proficiency in one language may apply for study at the Beginning level to learn a second language in the same world area of concentration. If you are applying for this exception, please indicate this in your statement of purpose and describe how you obtained proficiency.

Eligible Latin American Languages

Eligible Middle Eastern Languages

Eligible South Asian Languages

Application deadline: February 1, 2024 at 1:00 pm ET for all world areas

Only completed applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. Please read the directions and information carefully for the online application. You must upload all items electronically with the exception of the letters of recommendation, which recommenders must upload directly to the application or email to [email protected]. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to accept any application materials in hardcopy or by mail.

If you are applying to more than one fellowship through this application portal, you will need to upload all items for each fellowship application, and recommenders will have to submit a separate letter for each fellowship application.

Applications must include the following items:

  • Completed GSAS online application form
  • Statement of purpose: The one- or two-page statement of purpose (double-spaced, 12 point font) should describe your academic purpose, the role the proposed language plays within that academic purpose, and how you intend to use the language. Describe how the language and area study will relate to your educational and career goals. Also, indicate previous language experience, both formal and informal.
  • Two letters of recommendation: GSAS prefers that recommenders submit their letters of recommendation electronically to expedite processing. When you enter the names and email addresses of recommenders, the recommenders will automatically receive an email with upload information and instructions. You can resend a request by clicking the "Send Reminder" button. Two Letters of Recommendation, preferably from instructors, who can comment on your work in the target language and appropriate world area, are required. It is your responsibility to make sure that recommenders are given ample time to submit recommendations by the deadline, and to notify recommenders if you are applying for more than one fellowship.
  • FAFSA: Applicants must also separately submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the FLAS deadline of Thursday, February 1, 2024 in order to be considered for a FLAS Fellowship.

    The FAFSA opens on October 1 of each year, and students should apply as early as possible. Your Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) should list Columbia's federal school code (002707); if the code has been listed on your FAFSA, then it is very likely that your application has been sent to Columbia University.
  • Academic transcripts: You must upload scanned copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.

Below are some suggestions on how to upload a transcript:

  • Scan at the lowest DPI that results in a legible document (we recommend using 200 DPI or less whenever possible).
  • Ensure that the institution name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process and that your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter-size paper (8 ½" x 11").
  • Include the transcript legend (found on the final page, in many cases).
  • Save your document as a PDF file.
  • Make certain that its size is less than 1 MB. Scanning in “grayscale” or black and white may produce the best results.
  • If the scanned file is too large, make a photocopy first (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size), then scan the photocopy.
  • You may upload an institutional web-based transcript/academic record.
  • The GSAS Fellowship application does not accept encrypted files for upload. If you receive an error message noting that your file is encrypted, please print your transcript, scan it, and then upload the scanned copy. Note: Official Columbia transcript PDFs are encrypted; you may order a paper copy through SSOL or print the official transcript PDF you receive from Parchment, then scan and upload it.

Recommended but not required:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Program Brochure
  • Letter of language evaluation: For applicants who are at the intermediate or advanced level of proficiency, but not enrolled in a language department, a letter of evaluation from a language instructor attesting to proficiency in the language of application is recommended but not required. Evaluators must submit their letters electronically in the manner described above for letters of recommendation.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please check the FLAS FAQs on the GSAS website. If you require further information, please email the contact below for the world area to which you are applying:

  • Institute of Latin American Studies: Eliza Kwon-Ahn: Senior Manager of Business & Student Affairs – [email protected]
  • Middle East Institute: Astrid Benedek, Assistant Director – [email protected]
  • South Asian Institute: William Carrick, Assistant Director – [email protected]; Additional information on South Asia FLAS can be found here.

If you have technical issues or questions regarding the application, please email [email protected].

Note: Columbia students traveling abroad to conduct research, enroll in foreign language or other courses, or attend conferences must register with International SOS, an emergency services program that helps with unexpected medical or security issues, prior to departure.