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FLAS Eligibility Requirements


FLAS Fellowship applicants must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Be a full-time student as defined by MSU.
  • Pursue full time graduate or undergraduate study and propose a course of study that includes both language training and related area course work. (Students at dissertation stage may engage in full time research, if the previous criteria and other related requirements are met and if they have been given permission to do so by the program coordinator.) 
  • Be at the intermediate or advanced level of African language study.  
  • Submit syllabi and instructor's c.v. to the FLAS coordinator and to the US Department of Education for all independent study language and area studies courses that are intended to meet language and area studies requirements. 
  • Submit a FAFSA (Free application for federal aid) to the Office of Financial Aid. 
  • Provide reasonable assurance that upon the completion of training, they will teach in an institution of higher education, or in an elementary or secondary school in the United States, or be available for service of a public nature as an employee of a governmental agency, of an international organization in which the United Stated participates, or of a private (for profit or non-profit and non-sectarian) organization which contributes significantly to international understanding.

Courses of Study

Fellows’ course of study for the academic year must include both an African language and an African area studies (non-language) course each semester. The area studies courses must be selected from a list of courses from the African Studies core Curriculum . (On occasion, other courses may be substituted for those on the core curriculum in consultation with the FLAS program coordinator. The substituted course must also be taught by an Africanist faculty member and at least one-third of the course must concern Africa.)

Graduate Students

Graduate student FLAS Fellows must:

  • Have earned a baccalaureate or a comparable degree before the fellowship period begins and be admitted to or currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Michigan State University, and they must intend to complete an advanced graduate program at Michigan State University, normally to the Ph.D. level, with a concentration on Africa.
  • If not currently at Michigan State University, prospective Fellows must apply for admission to an academic department before the application can be evaluated for fellowship. One can obtain detailed application information by writing to the department one is interested in.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate FLAS Fellows must:

  • Be at the Intermediate or Advanced level of African language study program before becoming eligible for the fellowship.
  • Use the language of award in a substantial way for dissertation research. In due time, submit a description of proposed dissertation topic and research as outlined in the application instructions.

Preferred Qualifications

The U. S. Department of Education lists the following criteria for the selection of Nominees and Alternates:

  • A high level of academic ability as evidenced by such indices as grade point average or other measures.
  • Applicants are expected to meet the normal criteria for MSU fellowships, including:
    • a preferred GPA of 3.5 or better,
    • good GRE scores (where applicable), and
    • strong letters of recommendation.
  • No referrals owed on any federal or state grants, or is not in default on any Federal (national) or state educational loans.

Students who have clear promise of eventually completing a Ph.D. and the use of the African language studied in their dissertation research or field work will be given preference for FLAS fellowships.