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Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

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The Center for African Studies provides Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships through funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI program. FLAS Fellowships support students taking African languages (Amharic, Arabic, Somali, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba and Zulu) and area studies coursework. The fellowships support intensive for-credit study of an African language and to promote the development of competency in African Studies either in the United States or abroad.

Goals of the program

  • to assist in the development of knowledge, resources, and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area/international studies;
  • to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and
  • to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs.

Howard University graduate and undergraduate students who are US citizens, nationals and permanent residents are eligible for academic year and summer fellowships. Students from other US universities who are US citizens, nationals and permanent residents are eligible only for summer fellowships. Summer fellowships are tenable only at an approved NRC institution or study abroad project.

Academic year Graduate Fellowships provide $18,000 tuition and $15,000 fixed living stipend.

Academic year Undergraduate Fellowships provide $10,000 tuition and a $5,000 fixed living stipend.

Summer fellowships provide $5,000 tuition and $2,500 for living expenses for both graduate and undergraduate students.

All candidates must demonstrate a strong academic record based on GPA, strong motivation for language study and high potential for advanced proficiency. The NRC also considers financial need in making allocations.

Academic Year Program Eligibility

  • Be a full-time Howard University graduate or undergraduate student.
  • Be a US citizen, national or permanent resident.
  • Propose a course of study for the academic year that includes both an African language and an African area studies (non-language) course each semester (Fall & Spring). 
  • Priority is given to students in the intermediate or advance levels. An exception might be made for the beginning level of a less commonly taught language if a graduate student has achieved advanced proficiency in another language of the world area of specialization, and if learning a second language of that world area is required for the student’s overall training and expertise.

Summer Program Eligibility

  • A summer fellowship is awarded only for intensive language study
  • A summer fellowship may be used at a domestic program, an overseas program or both
  • A summer session qualifies (domestic or overseas) as intensive language program if-
  • It is at least six weeks in duration and  offers at least 120 contact hours of instruction for students at the advance level
  • it is at least six weeks in duration and offers at least 140 contact hours for students at the beginning or intermediate level of the language
  • Field trips and excursions cannot be used to fulfill the contact hour requirements
  • Students should receive grades and credits for the language courses.
  • A student may meet the required number of weeks and contact hours by attending one program, attending more than one program, or supplementing hours with private tutoring, as long as the required total number of weeks and contact hours is obtained. If a student’s plan of study includes private tutoring, the FLAS coordinator must submit a syllabus for the tutoring and the instructor’s CV.

Preferred Qualifications

Applicants will be favored who:

  • have clear promise of completing their academic program with concentration in African language and area studies,
  • plan to utilize their training for research in Africa,
  • have excellent academic records as evidenced by GPA, letters of recommendations and
  • demonstrate a financial need.​


Applications are currently closed. When applications open, apply by filling out the appropriate online application and submit the required materials below by the DEADLINE: January 31, 2018. For reference, you can view last year's application forms here: 

In addition to the online application, you need to submit the following materials.

*** On each document submitted, be sure to include: your full name, type of FLAS application (Summer or Academic Year), and Year which you are applying for.

  1. A statement of purpose (1 page). Your interest in Africa and/or African languages; how the FLAS award will influence and contribute to the work in your concentration, your research, and/or your future professional study/career aspirations; and specifically how you intend to use your knowledge of the language proposed for study. Provide a separate statement of purpose for each application.
  2. Current copies of transcripts from your academic institutions. Official copy not necessary.
  3. Copy of your registration showing registration for an African Language and African area study course. (Only required if applying for the Academic Year fellowship, not required for Summer fellowship.)
  4. Two letters of recommendation from people who can evaluate your academic credentials. Remind recommender to include: your full name, type of FLAS application (Summer or Academic Year), and Year which you are applying for. Email directly to wheeler.r.winstead@howard.edu.
  5. Current resume or CV- 2 pages maximum.
  6. Progress report written by your advisor noting updated status of your coursework /qualifying exams/research proposal.
  7. Copy of confirmation page for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - ONLY confirmation page, not the entire application.
  8. Proof of citizenship. For example: copy of passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, US permanent resident card (green card)

Fellowship Termination

An institution shall terminate a fellowship if:

  • The fellow is not making satisfactory progress, is no longer enrolled, or is no longer in good standing at the institution; or
  • The fellow fails to follow the course of study – including modern foreign language study – for which he or she applied, unless a revised course of study is otherwise approvable under the FLAS regulations. (Reference: 657.34 (a)(b))


    • Dr. Wheeler R. Winstead, Assistant Director
    • Howard University Center for African Studies
    • 2225 Georgia Avenue, NW, Suite 405
    • Washington, DC 20059
    • wheeler.r.winstead@howard.edu