Important Updates

  • The 2024-25 FAFSA and CADAA are now open. The priority filing date for both applications has been extended to April 2, 2024. Visit Apply for Financial Aid for details.
  • The Department of Education has announced they will send information from the 2024-25 FAFSA to schools in mid-March. This may result in a delay in financial aid packaging and offers for the 2024-25 academic year.

Critical Language Scholarship


Application Status: Open

Application Deadline: November 14, 2023


Recipients participate in an 8-10 week summer intensive language program overseas for U.S. academic credit, with all costs provided by the U.S. Department of State. Program expenses include language courses, room and board (often with a host family), cultural programs, host community language partners, U.S. academic credit, domestic and international airfare, and a small stipend. 


  1. U.S. citizen
  2. Be at least 18 years old
  3. Be in acceptable mental and physical health


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) seeks to broaden the base of Americans studying languages that are critical to the U.S. Department of State. The program aims for participants to gain the equivalent of one year of language acquisition through the scholarship. The following languages are offered and require the equivalent amount of study to be eligible:

  • No previous study:  Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu
  • One year previous study:  Arabic, Korean, Russian
  • Two years previous study:  Chinese, Japanese

Program sites and dates vary by language. Interested applicants should review the program information as some dates may conflict with the UC Davis academic schedule.

Candidate Profile

The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of professional, regional, cultural, and academic backgrounds in the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plan to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits. 

Applicants need to meet the required language levels, though many languages do not require previous study. Strong applicants will also show interest in the host culture through previous activities outside of the classroom (cultural clubs, conversation partners, etc.).

Award recipients are selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:

  • Academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting
  • Ability to adapt to a different cultural environment
  • Plan for continuation of study of the language
  • Plan to use the language in future career

Scholarship Website

Campus Procedure

Applicants may apply directly to the CLS program through their website. Applicants seeking advising should contact Scott Palmer to set up a meeting. If you wish to have your application reviewed, send it to Scott Palmer at least one month prior to the deadline.