Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) 2022


Read about a former Penn FLAS Fellow's experience studying Tamil in India in Penn News! 



What is the FLAS Fellowship?

The US Department of Education created the FLAS Fellowship to encourage the study of less commonly taught languages. The South Asia Center’s Academic Year FLAS Fellowship recipients (Undergraduate and Graduate) receive a stipend and funding for tuition to take a one South Asian Language and one Area Studies course per semester for a full year, or a dissertation. Summer FLAS recipients will complete an intensive domestic or international program for 6 weeks for 120 – 140 hours at a reputable program of the recipient’s choice. 

Funding Quick Facts:

  • Graduate Academic Year: $18,000 Tuition and $15,000 Stipend
  • Undergrad Academic Year: $10,000 towards Tuition and $5,000 Stipend
  • Summer Term: $5,000 Tuition and $2,500 Stipend

Languages Offered:

Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Pashto, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, & Urdu

About the FLAS Fellowship:

Administered by the Title VI National Resource Centers at the University of Pennsylvania, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program funding to Graduate and Undergraduate Students studying modern foreign languages and related area studies. 

Fellowship Details and Requirements:

  • Students receiving Academic Year Fellowships must be enrolled in full-time study for the duration of the FLAS award and must take one language course and one related area or international studies course each semester.

  • Undergraduates must be at the intermediate or advance level of their chosen language
  • Graduate applicants at the beginner-level of a language may apply for a FLAS fellowship if they have reached a higher level of proficency in a similar language to the one applied for with the fellowship.
  • Fellows must be US Citizens or permanent residents.

  • Academic Year Fellows must be admitted to or enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or professional programs at the University of Pennsylvania. FLAS awards may be used in some cases for students participating in official overseas language programs and in very limited cases for dissertators.

  • Academic Year and Summer FLAS awards are two separate competitions requiring two complete and separate applications. Summer Fellowships are for intensive language programs either domestically or abroad.

    To learn more about FLAS, visit the FLAS Frequently Asked Questions page


FLAS Application Instructions:

You will need to create a free online Interfolio account and complete the application in that system. In addition to entering information into the account, you will need to upload:

1.  A personal statement regarding your planned use of the FLAS fellowship. This is a one-page, single-spaced, essay describing why this language study is essential to realizing your study and career goals.

2.  Your curriculum vitae.

3.  Unofficial higher education transcript(s) of your most recent academic work, whether at the University of Pennsylvania or another university or college, in digital format.  Transcripts may be verified during the review process.

4.  Two letters of recommendation (you will request them through the system). When you ask the faculty members for a recommendation, tell them that all letters of recommendation must specifically address how a FLAS would contribute to your current program of study or would be integrated with it.

*If you are applying for both summer and academic-year FLAS awards, you need to submit two separate applications, including separate letters of recommendation and a one-page essay for each competition. *

Once you have your application materials gathered, click on the appropriate link below to start your Interfolio FLAS application:

Apply for a summer 2022 FLAS

Apply for an academic year 2022-23 FLAS


(COVID -19 Notice: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in constantly evolving travel restrictions and guidance. FLAS recipients who are interested in travel will need to remain flexible in their plans. The possibility of attending programs abroad next summer and/or academic year will depend on developments in the coming months. IFLE takes into consideration the official guidance from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when determining the allowability of travel for FLAS students. )



SPECIAL NOTICE: According to guidelines set in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education, Centers 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 Penn's Office of Student Financial Services by the FLAS deadline in order to determine their level of need.

We are prioritizing those with need, not excluding those without need.  In other words, all applicants will be considered for FLAS, but if you have financial need and wish to be considered under this priority category, you MUST complete the FAFSA by the same FLAS deadline and submit it to Penn's Office of Student Financial Aid.

GRADUATE STUDENTS: Although graduate students don't normally complete the FAFSA as part of the Penn admissions process, the University requires them to do so in order to be considered under the category of financial need for FLAS fellowships.  This is to ensure that all candidates are assessed for need with uniform and fair consideration by the Office of Student Financial Services.