Update (Feb 22, 2022)
The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) has announced the Fulbright Scholarship Programme for 2023.
Eligible candidates who want to study at top US universities can download the application form from the official USEFP website. Moreover, please note that the last day to apply for this scholarship is May 11, 2022.
“Fulbrighters come from all over Pakistan, about half are women, some are working professionals and others are fresh graduates, and a number are differently-abled,” said USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar, encouraging students to consider applying for the prestigious programme.
Update (March 8, 2021)
The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) has announced the application deadline for Fulbright Student Programme 2022.
The last date to apply for the prestigious scholarship at a top US university is June 9, 2021. It is also important to mention that the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) will be required from all applicants this year.
Do you want to study in the United States but the lack of resources and funds is holding you back? If you are a qualified individual with an impressive academic record, want to pursue a successful career in your chosen field, and are open to new experiences, then you could be the perfect candidate for the prestigious ‘Fulbright Program’ – better known as the Fulbright Scholarship.
Since the deadline for Fulbright Scholarship 2021 is fast approaching, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide detailing all you need to know about the program – including its eligibility criteria, requirements, application process and much more.
The Fulbright scholarship deadline for the current cycle has been extended to July 22, 2020.
About the Fulbright Scholarship Program
The Fulbright Program is considered the largest US cultural programme that allows students and young professionals from all across the world to pursue higher studies, conduct advanced research, teach in foreign universities and enhance their talents. The goal of this program is to foster cultural diplomacy and intercultural ties between people living in the US and other nations.
The program was founded in 1946 by the United States Senator J. William Fulbright. Since its inception, more than 390,000 students, scholars, researchers and teachers have benefitted from this program. As of right now, the Fulbright Program operates in over 140 countries and grants approximately 8,000 awards every year.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funds the programme and allows talented individuals in Pakistan an opportunity to study for free in the US. The United States Education Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) works with USAID to promote this exchange programme in the country.
The Fulbright Program offers various study, fellowship, and teaching programmes. In this guide, we will be focusing on the ‘Fulbright Degree Program,’ which funds postgraduate and doctoral study in the United States.
What Does the Fulbright Scholarship Cover?
Studying and living in the United States is not exactly cheap. Apart from the tuition fee, you also need to worry about your accommodation, living expenses, textbooks, and much more.
Fortunately, Fulbright scholarships not only bear all the academic costs but also ensure that the award recipients enjoy the same living standard as most US graduate students.
Here is what the Fulbright scholarship for international students covers:
- Complete tuition fee
- Living stipend
- Settling-in allowance
- Health insurance
The USEFP also helps the Fulbright scholarship recipients in acquiring their visas.
Fulbright Scholarship Eligibility Criteria
Who can apply for the Fulbright Degree Program in Pakistan? Let’s find out.
- The applicant must be a citizen and permanent resident of Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir
- Those applying for the Fulbright Master’s and PhD scholarships must have strong academic records
- A minimum 3.5 CGPA (75% in the percentage and division system) is required for students in the proposed fields of Pure Sciences, Management, Public Policy, Engineering, Technology, Energy, Finance, Business, and Economics
- A minimum 3.0 CGPA (50% in the percentage and division system) is required for all other fields
- The candidates for Master’s degree programmes must have a 4-year Bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor’s and Master’s combination. They should have a total 16 years of formal education from an accredited university
- Those applying for MBA and Public Policy/Administration courses must have 2 years of work experience
- The applicants for the PhD degree program must have a Master’s or MPhil degree totalling a minimum of 18 years of formal education from an accredited university
- It is highly desirable for a PhD candidate to have work experience in the public sector, research, or teaching in Pakistan
- The applicant must have minimum scores of 138 in the verbal and 136 in the quantitative sections in their Graduate Record Examination (GRE General).
Note: GRE is not required to apply for Fulbright scholarship 2021. It can be submitted later.
Meanwhile, if you fall in any of the following categories, you might not be eligible to apply for the Fulbright Degree Program.
- Individuals with the dual US and Pakistani nationality
- Those having a spouse, parent, fiancé or child above the age of 18 who is either a US citizen or permanent resident
- Individuals already studying in the US or living on a work/residence visa in another foreign country
- Employees of the Fulbright organization and the US Department of State along with their family members
- Employees of USAID and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and along with their families
Students who have not previously received a Fulbright award are generally given more preference.
Moreover, there is no certain age limit for Fulbright scholarships for international students.
Eligible Fields of Study for the Fulbright Program
All academic disciplines are eligible for Fulbright Masters and PhD degree programs except clinical medicine.
Meanwhile, students and young professionals in the following fields are highly encouraged to apply:
- Social Sciences
- Environmental Sciences
- Data Science
- Journalism and Mass Communication
- Public Health
- Security and Peace Studies
- Arts and Culture Management
- Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies
- Urban and Regional Planning
Required Documents for the Fulbright Scholarship Application
Here is the list of documents required for a Fulbright scholarship application.
- Fulbright scholarship application form
- Educational transcripts and degrees
- Two essays
- Three recommendation letters
Selected candidates will also be required to submit their test score reports for the following:
- GRE General
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
To learn more about the Fulbright scholarship requirements, please visit the official website for the program.
Fulbright Scholarship Application Process
Here are the step-by-step instructions detailing the application process for the Fulbright Degree Program.
Step 1: Start Your Online Application
Visit the official website of USEFP and start your application for the Fulbright Degree Program. It is important to note that only online applications are accepted for this scholarship. Therefore, carefully read all the instructions before adding your details to the relevant fields.
Step 2: Upload Your Documents
You have to upload scanned copies of all transcripts and degrees from your 4-year Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent programmes, such as a combination of 2-year Bachelor’s and 2-year Master’s degrees, ACCA or international 3-year Bachelor’s programme. PhD applicants must also upload scanned copies of their MS or MPhil degree and transcripts.
The Fulbright scholarship programme does not require degrees and transcripts attested by the HEC at the time of application. You can simply upload copies of your educational documents signed and attested by the university registrar. If your documents have already been attested, you can send those as well.
However, once selected for the programme, you will be required to submit official copies of your degrees and transcripts attested by the HEC.
You can find out more about how to get documents attested from the HEC in our detailed guide on the topic.
Step 3: Pen Your Essays
The Fulbright scholarship application requires two essays, each of which must be approximately 800 words. They have to be written in the space provided in the Fulbright scholarship application form.
Step 4: Get Recommendation letters
You need a total of three recommendations to complete your Fulbright scholarship application. Depending on what’s more convenient for you, can either get the academic reference letters, one professional and two academic reference letters, or one academic and two professional reference letters. To put it simply, at least one academic letter is mandatory.
The applicants must name their referees in their online application, after which an auto-generated email will be sent to the referees asking for recommendation letters. The referees have the option to submit their letters online or send it through courier before the Fulbright scholarship deadline.
Step 5: Update Your Resume
You are also required to add your current and most up-to-date resume to your online application.
Step 6: Submit Your Application
Once you have uploaded all the required documents and added all the relevant details, submit your online application.
There is no fee for submitting a Fulbright Degree Program application.
Step 7: Interview
After your application is submitted and reviewed, you may be invited for an interview in Islamabad. You will be required to bring along your TOEFL results or registration slip with you. Moreover, since Fulbright has made GRE non-mandatory during the application submission stage, you will be required to take the test before or right after the interview.
While being invited to a panel interview is certainly a positive indicator, it does not guarantee you a spot in the programme.
Application Cycle for Fulbright Scholarship Program
The Fulbright application timeline for Master’s and PhD scholarship programs is as follows:
February to May: Applications are accepted
June to September: Applications are reviewed and interviews are conducted. In Pakistan, the Higher Education Commission may interview the shortlisted candidates
Mid-October: Results are announced
November to February: University submission and placement process takes place
March to June: Visa interviews are conducted
July onwards: The departure to the United States commences according to the universities’ reporting dates
However, the applications are being closed a little later than usual this year, which means the rest of the application cycle might be affected as well.
You can get in touch with USEFP by sending an email to email@example.com.
Meanwhile, make sure to take a look at our list of HEC Scholarships to find out more about national and international programmes that will allow you to pursue higher studies free of cost. On the other hand, if you are particularly interested in studying in the UK, our comprehensive guide on Commonwealth Scholarship will definitely help you out.
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Disclaimer: The information mentioned above has been extracted from the official website for USEFP.