Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions, contact the FLAS coordinator.


Graduate and undergraduate students who are US citizens or permanent residents and who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a University of Minnesota degree program that combines modern foreign language training with international and/or African area studies, or with international aspects of professional or other field of study.
NOTE: Undergraduates are only eligible for study of a language at the intermediate (2nd year) level or beyond; they are NOT eligible for beginning (1st year) courses.

Yes, if you are in the process of applying to a UMN Twin Cities degree program. Incoming undergraduate and graduate students will have to be fully matriculated and in residence at the start of the award, typically the beginning of fall semester.

No, students at other UMN campuses or other universities are not eligible to apply for UMN FLAS fellowships.

While you may hold only one FLAS fellowship at a time, there is no limit on the number of sequential FLAS awards one person may receive.

Application Process

Make sure to fill in all the categories in the application form. In addition to the completed application form, you will have to submit:

- an up-to-date transcript (unofficial is OK)
- a statement of purpose
- a letter of recommendation by a faculty member who can comment meaningfully on your academic potential and promise

If you are applying for an intermediate or advanced level of language instruction, you also will need certification by an appropriate language instructor that you are qualified for that level of instruction. Graduate students applying as a beginner do not need to submit a language certification.

No. You will have to select the African studies or the International studies competition. Your selection should be based on the language you propose to study and your academic area of study. 

Yes, simply mark the appropriate boxes on the application form. Summer and Academic Year FLAS fellowships are separate and distinct awards and the selection for each will be a distinct and separate process. We will simply enter you in two competitions with one application form.

Recipients, alternates, and non-recipients will receive notification approximately six weeks after the application deadline. Award letters will contain more information about payment processes, registration, reports, etc.

Each area will have a Selection Committee comprised of faculty members from the social sciences, the languages, and professional schools who are adept at reading across the disciplines. This means that your specific academic field of study might not be represented on the Selection Committee. Keep that in mind as you write your Statement of Purpose. Do not use obscure or hyper-specialized vocabulary or references. The best statements are clear and written in plain English, show seriousness and purpose, and are true to the challenges in your field and to your current state of schooling. Selection Committee members understand that beginning graduate students may have less specific plans, while more advanced graduate students should have more concrete and detailed research projects. Similarly, they understand that statements from professional school students will read quite differently from graduate students pursuing MAs or PhDs. Write to your specific situation; don’t try to be someone you are not.
Additionally, there are separate and distinct competitions for undergraduate and graduate students.

Candidates are ranked on the basis of the following criteria:

- Evidence that language training is needed to further the applicant’s study of African or International studies

- The extent to which the applicant’s current or planned academic program is focused on African or International issues and problems

- The applicant’s academic performance to date

- The persuasiveness of the applicant’s letter of recommendation

Applicants who are pursuing master’s degrees and who may be more likely to pursue government service receive competitive priority. In addition, proposed language study at the advanced level and study of a critical less-commonly-taught language (LCTL) receives competitive priority. Applicants with documented financial need also receive competitive priority.

The following languages offered at the University of Minnesota are designated by the US Department of Education as critical to the national interest of the United States: Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, and Swahili.

In addition to the languages listed above, a variety of modern languages received through CourseShare are available for funding with approval. Please email the Language Center at to discuss options before submitting an application for a language not offered locally. 

FLAS Usage

Yes as long as it does not interfere with the fellow's fulfillment of the FLAS requirements. FLAS awards require recipients to be engaged in full-time foreign language and area or international studies coursework during the academic year and, in the summer, in intensive language study. 

FLAS regulations prohibit double-dipping on fellowships for language study and those funded by the federal government. In limited cases, it might be possible to have more than one award, for example if the second or third award is complementary and covers expenses that FLAS does not cover. Contact the FLAS Coordinator to ask about the specifics of your situation.


No. All language and area studies classes have to be taken for credit and A/F grade.

No. FLAS requires language training in all four modalities: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Academic year: No, the academic year award cannot be used to study abroad. It must be used only for the study of less-commonly-taught-languages at the University of Minnesota or through CourseShare.

Summer: Yes, summer awards may be used for intensive language study abroad if 1) the level of language study is intermediate or advanced and 2), for graduate students, beginning level instruction in the target language is not available in the US. All summer study abroad must also be approved by the US Department of Education prior to departure. Contact the FLAS coordinator for specific requirements.

All FLAS fellows who go abroad must adhere to UMN regulations for student travel. For more information, please refer to the GPS Alliance website.

Beginning this award cycle, FLAS fellows may use their awards to study Dakota, Ojibwe, and other indigenous languages that may be offered via Courseshare*. For academic year awards, the required area studies course must include significant content about non-U.S. indigenous peoples and/or issues (e.g. Canada).

* Languages offered via Courseshare must be approved on a case-by-case basis. Indigenous languages spoken exclusively within the U.S. are not eligible for FLAS.

All fellows are required to fill out pre- and post-award reports for the US Department of Education and will be surveyed periodically in the years following their award. Fellows may be required to take pre- and post-award proficiency assessments.

If you are having problems, either personally or academically, that affect your coursework and find yourself unable to meet the full fellowship requirements, you are responsible for notifying us. We will work with you to determine the best course of action given the circumstances.

Academic Year Awards

Award benefits include a living stipend and a tuition/fee allocation. Graduate students receive a living stipend of $20,000 and a tuition/fee allowance of up to $18,000. Undergraduate student recipients receive a living stipend of $5,000 and a tuition/fee allowance of up to $10,000.

Recipients are responsible for any tuition and fee expenses that are not covered by the tuition/fee allocation.

If needed, yes. If you are not covered by another source (parents, spouses, etc.), the health insurance fee is a mandatory UMN fee and will be covered by FLAS as long as the total tuition and fee payment is less than the maximum allowance.

NOTE: The academic year FLAS fellowship covers fall and spring semester. It does NOT cover health insurance during the summer term.

FLAS recipients must take at least one language class and one area or international study class each semester.

FLAS recipients must engage in full-time study during the award period. Keep in mind that recipients must be enrolled in one language class and one area or international studies class each semester.

Summer Awards

Award benefits include a living stipend and a tuition/fee allocation. Graduate and undergraduate students receive a living stipend of $2,500 and a tuition/fee allowance of up to $5,000. Recipients are responsible for any tuition and fee expenses that are not covered by the tuition/fee allocation.

Summer FLAS fellows who plan to travel to a domestic or foreign intensive language program are eligible for an additional travel award of up to $1,000 or the actual travel, whichever is less. Travel awards will be made by the Selection Committee if funding allows. You do not need to apply for the additional travel award. If you plan to study off site, you will be automatically entered in the travel award competition.

If you were granted a travel award, you will have to abide by the Fly America Act which stipulates that all travel funded by the American government has to be with an American carrier, even if that is more expensive.

Summer FLAS recipients are required to enroll in an intensive language program that offers them the equivalent of a year’s worth of college-level language study. An “intensive” language program is defined as a program that offers a minimum of 140 contact (in class) hours at the beginning and intermediate level and 120 contact (in class) hours at the advanced level and is at least six weeks in length.Summer FLAS fellows may enroll in a formal domestic intensive program at the beginning (graduate students only!), intermediate or advanced level;a formal overseas intensive program at the intermediate or advanced level; OR for graduate students, a formal overseas intensive program at the beginning level if such a program is not available in the US.

Yes, if the program originally proposed is not available, does not offer the proposed level of instruction or isn’t deemed intensive. Contact the FLAS coordinator if this is the case, as you will need special approval for this. Applicants as part of their preparation must thoroughly research available programs.