Financial Assistance & Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

General Information

Financial assistance is available to both undergraduate and graduate students through the African Studies Center. The 2018 application deadline for FLAS Fellowships is Friday, February 9, 2018. 

Strong candidates will have good academic standing, GPA, and test scores as well as the goal of advanced proficiency in their language of study. Financial need is also considered.

All applicants must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), with Boston University selected as your school on the form (this will ensure that the information is sent electronically to BU).

Qualifying African languages during the academic year: Akan Twi, Amharic, Arabic, Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, Wolof, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Before beginning your application, please collect two letters of recommendation, and complete one essay (600 words or less) describing how language study will help you achieve future career goals.

Please read through the details of your eligibility below before you begin the new Online FLAS Application.

Academic Year Undergraduate FLAS scholarships are available to students who are currently or will be at the intermediate (2nd year) or advanced level (3rd year or beyond) of study of an African language. First-year language students are NOT eligible, BUT should apply in February of their first-year of study to be funded for their second year. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible. Recipients are required to enroll in one African language course and one area studies course each semester of the award period. The undergraduate fellowship is equal to a $10,000 tuition scholarship and a $5,000 living stipend for the award year. Students must apply for the FLAS Fellowship annually, even if you have been a previous awardee.

Graduate Academic Year FLAS

Graduate FLAS Fellowships are available to students who are currently or will be at the intermediate (2nd year) level of African language study or beyond. These awards are available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. Graduate FLAS awardees receive $15,000 stipends along with an $18,000 tuition scholarship from the African Studies Center. For PhD students (only) in BU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS), GRS additionally supplements the FLAS award, making it a full tuition scholarship, increasing the living stipend for the academic year and two months of the following summer term, and extending the awardee’s eligibility for funding after admission from five to six years. Students must apply for the FLAS Fellowship annually, even if they have been a previous awardee.

African Studies Continuing Graduate Student Funding

The African Studies Center has a limited amount of funding available for continuing graduate students who are previous FLAS awardees. All continuing graduate students who have previously been funded with FLAS Fellowships and who have completed their coursework should submit the Continuing Graduate Student Financial Aid Application. Applications are due February 15 for funding the following year.

Continuing graduate student financial aid awards require 12 hours of service weekly per semester of the award period. For PhD students who have completed all of their departmental requirements, one semester’s funding may be used for overseas travel and research with approval of the African Studies Center Financial Aid Committee. Approval will depend upon an assessment of the applicant’s demonstrated attempt to acquire outside funding for research purposes and the committee’s assessment of applicant’s dissertation proposal. Please explain desired travel and research plans in the application.

Summer FLAS fellowships are available for undergraduate and graduate students to study African languages through domestic or overseas programs (minimum contact hours and duration are required). The Summer FLAS covers up to $5000 in tuition and provides a $2500 stipend for living expenses. For students studying overseas, the African Studies Center may be able to fund travel costs up to $1000, although this is not guaranteed as part of the award. The same eligibility requirements exist as for the academic year FLAS, namely all undergraduate and graduate students must apply to study at the intermediate (2nd year), advanced (3rd) or superior (4th) levels.

Frequently Asked Questions