The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

Apply through Independent Application Process

» Scholarship's official website
» List of previous winners


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides study opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

  • Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu: Beginning, advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;
  • Arabic and Persian: Advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;
  • Chinese, Japanese, and Russian: Intermediate and advanced levels.


The CLS Program is a nationally competed award open to all eligible U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students in every field.

Selection Criteria

  • 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; and
  • Plan to use the language in future career.

Application Procedure

Apply online through the CLS website.

Hear from a Reedie Awardee

Check out this interview between CLS awardee Isabelle Sinclair '22 and CLBR advisor Shania Siron: