About the Fulbright scholarship

Fulbright is the largest and most prestigious government scholarship program in the US. It provides funding for both international students studying in the United States and American students studying abroad.

Below you will find the information on application procedure and requirements for Russian applicants. If you are a citizen of another eligible country, please proceed to the official Fulbright website for the details.


Please note that at the beginning of 2022, the Fulbright scholarship representatives announced a suspension of applications from Russian citizens for the upcoming academic year. According to the information available on the scholarship's official website, Russians can participate in the scholarship competition for the 2024/2025 academic year. However, the application window closed on May 15, 2023[1].

For more detailed information, we recommend contacting the scholarship representatives directly.

For the participants from other eligible countries, the procedure and the requirements remain unchanged.

Fulbright in the history of Russian-American relations

The Fulbright Scholarship, established in 1946, has played a significant role in fostering educational, academic, and cultural exchange between the United States and other countries, including Russia.

On April 11, 1972, the United States and the USSR signed an agreement titled "Cooperation in Science, Technology, Education, Culture, and other Fields." In 1973, as part of this agreement, six Soviet and six American scientists became the pioneers of the exchange program between the two countries. These fellows received grants for research and lecturing.

This event marked the beginning of bilateral academic cooperation and played a significant role in shaping the relationship between the two nations during the Cold War.

Fulbright programs for Russians

There are 5 programs available for Russian citizens:

To learn more about each program, please visit the official websites of the scholarships and the US embassies in Russia. For programs available for participants from other countries, please visit the official website.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the Fulbright Visiting Graduate Student Program, which specifically targets master’s students.

What does the scholarship cover?

Additionally, scholarship recipients receive monthly payments ranging from 1600 to 2,500 USD, depending on the state and city where the university is located.

Scholarship requirements

The program is open to students from 160 countries. To participate, applicants must provide proof of citizenship and have resided in their respective countries for at least 6 months at the time of application.

The Fulbright scholarship is available to master’s students, requiring a bachelor's or specialist degree as a prerequisite. Students in their final years of a bachelor's program are also eligible to apply. In such cases, a certificate confirming their student status and expected graduation date must be submitted.

The scholarship is available for specific fields of study. Applicants can choose up to three programs to apply for.

Fulbright scholarships are not available for MBA programs.
List of covered specializations

To be eligible for a Fulbright scholarship, you must enroll in one of the following majors[2]:

  • Americanism
  • American literature
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Astronomy
  • Librarianship
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Urban planning
  • Journalism
  • Computer science
  • Art
  • Art history
  • US history
  • Regional studies
  • Film studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Literary arts
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Education
  • Public health
  • Political science
  • Human rights
  • Applied informatics
  • Psychology
  • Religious studies
  • Agriculture
  • Social work
  • Sociology
  • Theatrical art
  • Communication theory
  • Engineering and design
  • Business management
  • Public administration
  • Physics and astronomy
  • Philosophy
  • Chemistry
  • Choreography
  • Environmental science
  • Economics

Another requirement is a strong command of the English language. There is no need to submit TOEFL scores in advance, as the finalists of the competition will have the exam expenses covered by Fulbright. More details on this will be discussed below.

Required documents
  • Bachelor's degree / university statement indicating that you are completing a bachelor's degree
  • University statement confirming your enrollment in a graduate program
  • TOEFL iBT 80 / IELTS 6.5
  • Online application

Upon completion of their studies, Fulbright scholars are obliged to return to their home country for a minimum of two years. This requirement is enforced through the J-1 visa, which grants them entry into the US and regulates their stay in the country[1].

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Scholarship application

The Fulbright application includes the following components:

The CV should include details about work experience, publications, and participation in scientific conferences. The selection committee will also consider GPA scores from the previous level of study.

The essay holds significant weight in the application process. The final decision depends on how effectively the applicant presents their experiences through these essays.

First essay — a personal statement or motivation letter. It should reveal aspects of the applicant that cannot be conveyed through the application form. The goal is to connect personal background, work experience, and academic achievements with plans for studying in the United States. To effectively structure their narrative, applicants should answer three key questions:

  1. Why me? — Highlight relevant study and/or work experiences related to your chosen master's program. It is important to showcase what has been learned from these experiences, the skills and knowledge gained, and how they have influenced personal growth.
  2. Why here? — Explain the reasons for choosing the US and specific universities. What unique opportunities do these institutions offer? Why are these opportunities unavailable elsewhere? Is there a particular supervisor or faculty that interests you?
  3. Why now? — Outline your short and long-term plans. What will you do with the acquired knowledge and opportunities?

In the personal statement, avoid repeating information already provided in the questionnaire and resume. Instead, focus on sharing new and unique details.

Second essay — a study objective. It requires a more specific description of academic goals, focusing on the curriculum and future graduation project. It is important to demonstrate highly specialized knowledge and not only emphasize the scientific novelty of your work, but also its potential benefits for your home country. It is advisable to share the research plan with a supervisor to receive feedback on any weaknesses.

Stages of the Fulbright application

  1. Application submission

    • Register on the scholarship website and follow the detailed instructions.
    • Create an online application in your personal account and attach all the required documents.
    • Documents should be translated or initially prepared in English.

  2. First selection stage

    • The commission evaluates applications and screens out up to 90% of the candidates.
    • Those who pass the selection are invited to the next stage.

  3. Exams

    • Candidates take the TOEFL exam, with the expenses covered by Fulbright.
    • Based on the exam results, the commission selects a university for each candidate, taking their preferences into account.
    • Candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements set by universities based on their exam scores are eliminated from the process.

  4. English interview

    • The finalists are required to undergo an interview with the scholarship commission conducted in English.
    • The interview lasts for 20 minutes and includes questions about the candidate's personality, academic background, learning goals, and motivation.

  5. Final decision

    • The commission publishes the final lists of scholarship winners based on TOEFL scores and interview performance.

The start and end dates of each stage may be subject to change. For accurate and up-to-date information, refer to the official scholarship website.

Scholarship application with UniPage

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