About The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational and cultural exchange program, creating connections in a complex and changing world. Led by the U.S. government in partnership with 160 countries worldwide, Fulbright builds lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries—building mutual understanding between nations, advancing knowledge across communities, and improving lives around the world.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given hundreds of thousands of passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.

Fulbrighters live and learn together with people of different cultures and become part of a global network that fosters mutual understanding between nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the world. After they return home, they join thousands of alumni serving as leaders across the globe. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, and include 60 Nobel Prize recipients, 86 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 37 current or former heads of state or government.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Fulbright Program.

Program Structure

The Fulbright Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA’s mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges that assist in the development of peaceful relations. Each year, over 8,000 Fulbrighters foster ties between the United States and other countries through over a dozen unique programs within the Fulbright portfolio.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the United States Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

ECA administers the Fulbright Program under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB), with assistance from binational commissions and foundations in 49 countries, U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries, and cooperating agencies in the United States. The FFSB, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the Program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates, and selects candidates nominated for awards.

More Information

For more information about other Fulbright programs and initiatives, visit the Fulbright Program website.

If you are a prospective host institution and are interested in learning more about the Fulbright Specialist Program, please see Host Institution Eligibility.

If you are a prospective Fulbright Specialist interested in learning more about the Fulbright Specialist Program, please see Specialist Eligibility.