The Fulbright Scholarship Program is one of the United States Cultural Exchange Programs that aims to improve cultural diplomacy, intercultural relations, and intercultural competence between America and other countries.

The program offers grants to qualified graduate students from India to study in USA. The students can apply for post-doctoral research at the United States Institutions and are eligible for scholarships from the Fulbright program. They can also opt for a Master’s in USA or can study MBA in USA.

The program exchanges students and scholars with multiple countries through bilateral partnerships. The candidates who receive grants under the Fulbright program possess high academic achievement, leadership potential, adaptability, and flexibility to interact with the host country. 

Approximately 8,000 grants are sanctioned annually, out of which around 4,000 are for international students. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education that handles over 160 countries around the world.

The majority of the funding is sponsored by the United States Government through annual appropriation bills. The program also receives additional support, either direct or in-kind, from partner governments, organizations, and host institutions. The program has already been participated by more than 3,70,000 people, among whom 60 alumni have won Nobel Prizes, and 88 alumni have won Pulitzer prizes.

Fulbright Scholarship Eligibility

There are certain criteria that Indian citizens must follow:

  • The applicant must be a responsible Indian citizen who can put up a fair and complete picture of the civilization and culture of India. It is to help promote friendship and understanding between the people of the USA and India.
  • The applicant must hold a high level of academic and professional achievement. 
  • The applicant must not reside in the United States during the recruitment and placement cycle. 
  • The applicant must be adept in the English Language to undertake the program or project and adjust to the United States’ lifestyle.
  • The applicants who are shortlisted will go through an interview round.
  • The applicant, if employed, must be eligible for leave.
  • The applicant must be in good health.
  • The applicant must submit an undertaking to return to India upon completing the fellowship.
  • The applicant must not apply or hold permanent residence in the United States.


The applicants, in addition to following such criteria, must also follow:

  • The applicants must hold an equivalent degree of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized Indian University with a minimum of 55% marks. Applicants must also possess either a four-year bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. 
  • The applicants must hold a full-time postgraduate diploma from a recognized Indian University if the duration of a bachelor’s degree is less than four years.
  • The applicants must have a paid full-time professional work experience relevant to the applicant’s field of study by the deadline of application.
  • The applicants should possess experience in community service and leadership. 
  • The applicants must not hold another degree from any United States University or be enrolled in another United States degree program or studying in the U.S.A.
  • The applicant, if employed, must follow the employer’s endorsement instructions carefully. He/she should obtain the endorsement from the respective administrative authority on the FNMaster’s Employer’s Endorsement Form. The employer must specify that leave will be granted only for the fellowship period.
Fulbright Scholarship to Study in US


Date Application Process
June 1, 2024 Due Date of application for 2024-2025 awards.
End of June 2024 Applications are reviewed by field-specific experts.
Late July 2024 Applicants are informed by USIEF about the review outcome.
Late August 2024 Shortlisted candidates are interviewed.
Early September 2024 Principal and alternate nominees are notified by USIEF. They take tests such as GRE and TOEFL.
October 2024 Applications of recommended candidates are sent to the United States for J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approval and placement by USIEF.
March/April 2025 Finalists are notified by USIEF.
August/ September 2025 Degree programs begin.


The benefits that fellowship provides to the applicants are as follows:

  • The applicants receive J-1 visa support.
  • The applicants are provided funding for institution fees and tuition along with living costs.
  • The applicants also receive coverage for sickness and accidents as per United States Government guidelines.
  • The applicants are also provided expenses for round trip economy class travel from the applicant’s home to the host institution in the United States.


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