Eligibility criteria for the Fulbright Specialist Program are determined by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. A full list of eligibility requirements from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board can be found here.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • All applicants for the Fulbright Specialist Roster must be U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens who have legal permanent residency status in the United States are not eligible for Fulbright grants.
  • Applicants must have significant experience in their respective field, as demonstrated by professional, academic, or artistic achievements.
  • Applicant must be able to travel overseas for 14 to 42 days (length varies depending on project). 
  • While applicants who have previously participated in a Fulbright exchange are eligible to participate in the Fulbright Specialist Program, preference will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright grant or had significant overseas experience (See FFSB Policies Section 624.1 and 624.2).
  • Applicants are required to disclose any prior convictions of a felony or a misdemeanor, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), but excluding minor traffic violations.

Ineligibility Factors

  • Applicant must not have resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the last six years at time of application.  For the purposes of this program, a period of nine months or more during a calendar year is considered to constitute a full year abroad.                                       
  • During the past 12 months, applicant must not have been an employee of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or a public or private organization (excluding educational institutions) under contract to the U.S. Department of State to administer the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ exchange programs. Immediate families (i.e. spouses and dependent children) of these individuals are also ineligible for the program.                                                                                                             
  • Previous Fulbright Specialist Roster candidates whose tenure on the Roster has expired must wait two years from the date of their tenure expiration before they are eligible to apply to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster for another tenure.                                                      
  • Religious workers, lay or ordained, are not eligible for consideration if their projects involve engaging in pastoral, missionary, or other professional religious activities.

Eligible Disciplines

Specialists should demonstrate expertise in one of the following disciplines: 

  • Agriculture
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Biology Education
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry Education
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Law
  • Library Science
  • Math Education
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies
  • Physics Education
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Public/Global Health
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Urban Planning

If you are a prospective applicant looking for information about the English Language Specialist program, please visit https://elprograms.org/specialist/.