Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

2023 Application

The 2023 CLS Program application is now available. Applications are due Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 8:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time.

About the CLS Program

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion group-based program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 14 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

CLS Spark, an initiative of the CLS Program, provides opportunities for American undergraduate college and university students to study Arabic, Chinese and Russian virtually at the beginning level. Designed to leverage best practices in online language learning, CLS Spark provides American undergraduate students the opportunity to study critical languages virtually when they may not have access to studying these languages on their campuses.

The CLS Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. The program is supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education.

For more information about the CLS Program, please visit:

Application PDFs

You may down a PDF version of the application form to review before starting an application online. All applications should be complete and submitted using the online form, unless otherwise not possible:

PDF of the CLS Program application for overseas institute
PDF of the CLS Program application for CLS Spark virtual institutes

Contact Us

Contact CLS Program staff during normal business hours Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, at:

Telephone: USA 877.257.9922 (toll free) / Outside USA (+1) 202.833.7522

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