DEADLINE Extended until February 27 for all African Studies Financial Assistance Applications

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 application deadline for all types of assistance (Academic Year and Summer) is February 15, annually. If you are applying for both a summer and an academic year FLAS you need only submit one set of supporting documents. All application materials can be submitted to Joanne Hart at the African Studies Center, 232 Bay State Road Rm 514, or by email at

All candidates must demonstrate strong academic records based on GPA and test scores, strong motivation for language study and high potential for advanced proficiency. The African Studies Center also considers financial need in making their allocations.

Undergraduate Academic Year Financial Aid

Academic Year Undergraduate FLAS scholarships are available to students who are currently or will be at the intermediate or advanced level 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 Student Academic Year Financial Aid

African Studies Graduate Student Funding

The African Studies Center has a limited amount of GRS funding available for graduate students. A number of factors will be considered in assessing the financial aid application, but foremost will be student’s level of engagement with African and African-language studies as a part of their graduate coursework. To be considered you must submit the following applications before February 15 for funding the following year. If you are a continuing student and have already submitted a previous Graduate Student Financial Aid Application to the African Studies Center, you need only submit an updated 250-word statement outlining your academic plans and any changes since the previous year, a current transcript and a progress report from your advisor. Check the application form for an accurate list of requirements.

Non-FLAS financial aid awards require 12 hours of service weekly per semester of the award period. For PhD students who have completed all 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.

Graduate Academic Year FLAS

The African Studies Center annually awards up to six Graduate FLAS Fellowships. 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. Additionally, BU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences supplements the FLAS award making it a full tuition scholarship for all graduate awardees. For GRS PhD students, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences increases the living stipend to $25,000 for the academic year and two months of the following summer term and extends the awardee’s eligibility for funding after admission to six from five years. Students must apply for the FLAS Fellowship annually, even if you have been a previous awardee.

Summer FLAS (Graduate & Undergraduate)

Seven 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 Undergraduate FLAS, namely undergraduates must apply to study at the intermediate or advanced level. The same restriction does not apply to graduate student applicants.

The African Studies Center in conjunction with BU Summer Term offers the opportunity to study the equivalent of one year of African languages during the summer. Find out more here.

Frequently Asked Questions