Global Education & Initiatives

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, introduced in 1945 by Senator J. William Fulbright is a grant sponsored by the Department of State with the mission of promoting goodwill via student exchange. Today, it offers over 1,900 grants annually in 140+ countries and is one of the most recognized of the prestigious scholarly awards.

The primary student award categories are the: Study/Research Grant; English Teaching Assistantship Grant; and Travel Grant. Special programs introduced in the past 5 years include the: Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships for Public Policy; Fulbright mtvU Award; and Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Thomas Jefferson University began competing for Fulbright US Student Awards in 2009. Fulbright welcomes strong applicants from all majors and has expressed a particular interest in cultivating a relationship with institutions like ours that offer degrees fields that work to diversify the body of Fulbrighters!

As a federal grant, the guidelines are strict. A good deal of work goes into preparing a competitive application. The Fulbright Program Advisor (FPA) serves as a liaison with Fulbright to promote the US Student Program, provide information and guidance to applicants, administer the campus application and interview processes through to electronic submission of the application. Fulbright offers training in its regional offices, webinars, and workshops to facilitate competency and support of FPAs working to support student applications.

Thomas Jefferson University US Student Program Fulbrighters

  • Elizabeth Nichols ’14 Pre-Med - Germany / Study Research Grant
  • Tyler Fleming ’12 Science & Business - Vietnam / English Teaching Assistantship
  • Malcolm Ingram ’10 International Business - Argentina / Study/ Research Grant


A: It looks just like what is described on the website. We follow the rules closely because we like to win! The site is FULL of resources, so read through it carefully and follow the recommendations for the specific country and award that interests you.

A: Contact the campus FPA as soon as you develop a curiosity about Fulbright. You can drop in at her office (Gutman 102), send an email (, call (x5367), or attend the annual information session in late January/ early February.

A: There is no formula or “correct” things to say in your application. The key is to allow your personality, preparation, and genuine interest in engaging the people of the selected county to come through in your materials.

A. Fulbright welcomes applicants from all degree programs.

A: While no required GPA is listed, it has been my experience serving on selection committees that GPA will come into play when it comes down to weeding out applicants. I suggest a GPA near 3.50 to place you in the clear. A lower GPA is okay if your application is otherwise stellar and you’ve been devoting yourself to something extraordinary in addition to your classes.

A: Thanks for asking! This is left to the discretion of the institution to support alumni applicants. We welcome students and recent alumni who are dedicated applicants! Again, we like to win.

A: Once your country (and project, if applicable) is selected, the FPA will help you determine which faculty and staff you should consult to better understand cultural nuances, culturally relevant issues related to your proposal.

A. In addition to the FPA, you will be assigned an essay editor to assist you personally with developing competitive essays. Also, a Campus Evaluation Committee will be convened to review your materials, interview you, and rank your application based on the Fulbright criteria. Their evaluation is attached to and submitted with your application.

A. It depends on the country you select. If a language is required, a proficiency evaluation might be required to assess your language capacity as part of the application.

A: Great question. The competition opens May 1 and closes mid-October.