FLAS Fellowships support graduate and undergraduate study in modern foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies, or international or area aspects of professional studies. Funding for these fellowships is provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Program.

Award Amounts

Academic Year FLAS

  • Graduate students: may receive up to $18,000 to cover tuition and fees, and a stipend of $20,000 payable over the academic year. Eligibility for tuition waiver varies by home department and school.
  • Undergraduate students: may receive $10,000 towards tuition and fees to study at the University of Illinois and a stipend of $5,000.

Summer FLAS

  • Graduate and undergraduate students: The awards carry a stipend of $3,500 plus tuition and fees of $5,000 to study a language.

Academic Year

What is an Academic Year FLAS?

Academic Year FLAS awards are for graduate, undergraduate, and professional school students to study modern foreign languages and related area or international studies. FLAS recipients receive a tuition and fee allotment and a stipend during the academic year fall and spring terms. FLAS awards cannot be deferred.

Can I use an Academic Year FLAS to fund my dissertation research abroad?

Under certain circumstances, FLAS Awards can fund dissertation research and foreign language study abroad. Some centers may not accept applications for this purpose. Before a FLAS can be awarded for this purpose, the Center’s FLAS Program officer must approve the applicant’s program of study.

I am an undergraduate student, can I apply for beginning language study?

No, undergraduate students can only be funded at the intermediate level and above.


What is a Summer FLAS?

Summer FLAS awards are designed to support summer modern language study. These awards are given only for intensive language classes that teach the equivalent of an academic year language class. Authorization must be obtained in order to take a course not offered in an approved US-based institution. Summer FLAS awards are to be used during summer and cannot be deferred.

Do I need to identify a language program on my Summer FLAS application?

Yes. For courses taught at Illinois, please indicate the course title and number. For programs at other schools, please describe the summer program in detail. If awarded, you will need to provide evidence that the language program meets the following requirements:
• Beginning or intermediate levels: 140 contact hours of instruction; minimum of six (6) weeks.
• Advance level: 120 contact hours of instruction, minimum of six (6) weeks.
• Tuition costs that do not exceed the tuition allowance ($5,000), including Illinois fees.

Can I study at the elementary level outside the United States?

Only if the course is not offered by an approved program in the United States.


Is there travel money available for summer FLAS?

In some cases, IF funds are available, plane fare up to $1000 may be awarded; however, travel must be on a U.S. Carrier. Your FLAS coordinator will discuss the possibility of providing funds to cover plane fare after an awardees program has been approved.

I am enrolling in a program abroad. Why do you need information about my travel plans at least six weeks before my departure?

If your travel is supported with Title VI funds, we are required by the U.S. Department of Education to request travel approval before purchase of travel with FLAS funds. Requests submitted after this deadline might not be approved, in which case they can not be supported with FLAS funds. Travelers are advised not to make irrevocable travel arrangements prior to receiving the official approval.

What specific information do you need in order to process my travel approval request?

We will need the date of departure, city, and country of departure, date of arrival, city, and country of arrival, air carrier(s), and flight numbers. We need detailed travel information about all legs of your trip (including connecting flights and cities).


I am an undergraduate. Can I apply?

Yes, please see the eligibility page.

Can I take my language courses ‘pass/fail’ while on a FLAS?

No. The Department of Education requires that these courses be taken for a letter grade and the student must remain in “good standing.”

Is someone with a green card eligible for a FLAS, or are FLAS awards only for U.S. citizens?

Permanent residents with green cards are eligible for a FLAS.

If I accept a FLAS, can I still have a Graduate Appointment or campus employment?

Yes, FLAS Fellows may have an additional University appointment concurrent with their fellowships (this includes hourly and assistantship appointments). Some Centers restrict the percentage of appointments that a fellow may hold. Fellows may also work outside the University.


Can I apply for both an Academic Year and Summer FLAS through the same Center? If so, do I need two separate applications, statements, etc.?

Yes, you may apply for both. If you are applying for both an Academic Year and Summer FLAS through the same Center, you do not need separate academic materials. You should clearly describe in your statement why you plan to study a language during the academic year and summer and how this fits in with your overall education and/or career plans. Please note that some Centers require separate statements of purpose for Summer and Academic Year. Please check with the Center’s website for guidelines. If you wish to study one language during the Academic Year and a different language during the Summer, we highly recommend submitting letters of recommendation and statements of purpose for each proposed language of study.

I am applying for FLAS awards from two different Centers. Must I submit a separate application to each?

No, your application ensures that the centers designated will see all uploaded and submitted materials.  

How many recommendations do I need?

Two (2) letters of recommendation: one must be from your academic advisor or academic instructor with whom you have worked closely with. The other letter must be from your current language instructor and address your language ability. If you are proposing multiple languages of study, we highly recommend submitting letters of recommendation from all language instructors. Check with each Center’s website for specific recommendation letter requirements.

How and when will FLAS nominees and alternates be notified?

Award announcements must be made by 15 April but are usually made in late March. Emails and written letters are sent to award recipients as soon as possible after the Fellowships Committees make their decisions.

What if I am awarded a FLAS Fellowship, but have questions about money management?

The Student Money Management Center offered through the University Bursar office has resources available to students regarding money management. 

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact the appropriate Area Study Center to which you are applying.