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.

  • Applicants must be able to travel overseas for 14 to 42 days (length varies depending on project).

  • 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

  • Applicants 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, applicants 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 family members (i.e. spouses and dependent children) of these individuals are also ineligible for the program.

  • Religious workers, lay or ordained, are not eligible for consideration if their projects involve engaging in pastoral, missionary, or other professional religious activities.

Eligibility Guidelines for Previous Fulbright Grantees

  • 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. If an individual completes a Fulbright Specialist grant after the end date of their Roster tenure, they must wait two years from the end date of their last project before applying to rejoin the Roster.

  • While applicants who have previously participated in another Fulbright exchange are eligible to participate in the Fulbright Specialist Program and may apply at any time, 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).

Eligible Disciplines

Specialists should demonstrate expertise in one of the following disciplines:

  • Agriculture
  • American (U.S.) Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Biology Education
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry Education
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering Education

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