First-year Students, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors; US Citizens


Official CLS Deadline:  Mid-November


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State that offers fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion programs 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 critical languages supported currently include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.

Application Process

CLS has great resources available to help you understand the program and application process and write strong essays. Be sure to consult them!

Prospective applicants seeking guidance should consult with Marynel Ryan Van Zee as early as possible, although no Carleton endorsement process is required.

Campus Representative

Marynel Ryan Van Zee, Director of Student Fellowships, 131 Laird, x4300, mryanvanzee

Official Website

The Critical Language Scholarship Program

Carleton Recipients:

2024: Parker Johnson ’26

2023: Eric Cheng ’23 and Susanna Kisker ’24

2022: Max Gjertson ’22, Marianne Gunnarsson ’22, and Lila Stolkiner ’23

2021: Will Bausch ’22 and McKenna Wirth ’22

2019:  Oliver Wolyniec ’19 

2018:  Lauren Chow ’14

2017:  Max Esslinger ’17
           Nick Lorenz ’17
           Dan Brodkin ’18