Fulbright Student Program

What is Fulbright Student Program?

The Fulbright Student Program is a full-time master’s degree scholarship program. It is aimed at promoting mutual understanding and cultural awareness between the U.S. and other nations of the world through educational exchange. It is administered in over 160 countries throughout the world and is the flagship academic scholarship program by the U.S. Government.

The U.S. Department of State funded Fulbright Student Program started in Mongolia in 1994 and the program has been funding 4-5 individuals every year. In 2011, the Government of Mongolia and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State initiated a bi-national Fulbright Student Program and the number of grantees increased by 9-10.

The program application and selection process takes place throughout one year and selected grantees start their programs in the fall of the next year. Most master’s programs in the U.S. are one to two years.

Please note that the Fulbright scholarship does not provide any funding for dependents. All costs listed below are only for the grantee. The Fulbright scholarship covers the following costs:

  • All Transportation Costs: International airfare and domestic travel (including in-country visa-related travels if the candidate resides outside Ulaanbaatar);
  • Living and Meals Accommodations: Participants are provided with a monthly stipend to cover their lodging and meals and other living costs;
  • Tuition: Fulbright scholarship covers all tuition costs;
  • U.S. Orientation: All orientation costs including lodging, meals, health insurance and training costs are covered by Fulbright;
  • Health Insurance: Participants are provided with accident and sickness benefit for the duration of their program;
  • Visa Costs: Visa payment is waived for all U.S. Government sponsored scholarship participants;
  • Travel Allowance: Participants are provided with small allowance for luggage and other travel-related expenses;
  • Arrival Allowance: In addition to their first month stipend, the grantees also receive a one-time arrival allowance for settlement costs such as purchasing a laptop and books etc.

The Fulbright program supports study in most fields of social sciences and humanities, sciences and engineering, economic and business studies, public and civil service studies, etc. Fulbright program does not support studies in medicine. The only health-related area that is supported by Fulbright is public health studies. Similarly, in law only LLM degree study is supported.

To qualify for the Fulbright Student Program, applicants must meet following requirements:

  1. Be a Mongolian citizen, currently living in Mongolia;
  2. Have a minimum of 1.5 years of full-time work experience;
  3. Hold a first university degree (B.A. or equivalent);
  4. Be highly proficient in English, with a minimum TOEFL IBT 80-90, TOEFL ITP/PBT 550-575, or IELTS 6.5-7.0 depending on the field of study (please see below);
  5. Preference will be given to candidates with limited prior experience in the U.S. Note that Mongolians holding U.S. green card are not eligible to apply.

Candidates who are applying to pursue studies in the following fields are required to have a
minimum of TOEFL IBT 90, TOEFL PBT/ITP 575, or IELTS 7.00:

  • Arts Administration/Management/History
  • Biology
  • Business/Entrepreneurship
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English/TESOL
  • Finance
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • History
  • International Relations/Development
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Management
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy/Administration
  • Political Science
  • Theater/Drama/Creative Writing
  • Urban/Regional Planning
  • Veterinary Medicine

Candidates pursuing studies in fields other than named above should have a minimum of
TOEFL IBT 80, TOEFL PBT/ITP 550, or IELTS 6.5.

In order to apply for the Fulbright Student Program, the applicant will follow the steps below:

  1. Application form: The application form becomes available for download when the program is announced. The announcement and the applications will be available on our website;
  2. References:  Attach two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your academic and professional abilities. The letters must be in English, if however the reference is in Mongolian please provide an official translation to English along with the original letter in Mongolian;
  3. Essay: Please attach a concise (no more than two pages long) essay, in English, which explains why you wish to study in the United States, and what you would like to do after completing that study;
  4. Education: Please attach a certified copy of your university diploma along with certified English translation (Note that submitted application packages will not be returned. Do not submit any original document.).
  5. Submit the completed application package to the U.S. Embassy within the set deadline.

Things to remember when filling out an application:

  • Application must be completed in English in electronic format;
  • Applicants must answer all questions in the application form. Incomplete applications will be deemed technically ineligible. No questions can be left blank. Put N/A if not applicable;
  • Application must be typed. Hand-written applications will be disqualified;
  • Essays must be your own work reflecting your original thought. Other people’s works/ideas used anywhere in the application must be properly noted;
  • Please note any word or character limit for essay portions of the application and give your answers within the limit.

All U.S. Government scholarship programs are merit-based. Although we take in to account special circumstances of candidates such as disability, disadvantaged background, or any other notable characteristics, final decision is made based on the candidate’s overall strength as represented by the application quality and interview. We also consider one’s ability to be a cultural ambassador and his/her ability and motivation to give back to the community. Following are the main steps for selection for the Fulbright program:

Technical Screening: This is the initial review to verify the completeness of the applications. During technical screening, we check to see two main things:

  • If applications and any required supplemental documents are complete
  • If applicants meet all the eligibility requirements

Application Review: After technical screening, all complete applications are then reviewed by an application review committee. During this process, each application gets to be reviewed by a minimum of three people.

Short List: Based on the recommendations of the application review committee, an interview short list is created. Candidates who are included in the short list are then invited for an in-person interview.

Interview: An interview panel consisting of representatives of the U.S. Embassy and program alumni (plus representatives of Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in the case of Government of Mongolia funded Fulbright program) interview all short listed candidates and select finalists to be nominated to final review and approval.

Final Selection: Finalists approved by the Foreign Fulbright Scholarship Board (FFSB) are then officially declared as Fulbright nominees. FFSB is a group of individuals appointed by the President of U.S. and they hold the authority to approve or disapprove all Fulbright nominations from around the world.

Note: The Fulbright scholarship is contingent upon grantee’s successful admission to a U.S. university. If the grantee fails to secure an admission to a U.S. institute, he/she cannot further the grant.

January-March: Program is announced and applications are received;

March-April: Technical screening, application review, and interview;

April-June: All applicants will be notified of their application results via email;

July-October: Finalists prepare application for submission to U.S. universities;

November-December: Submission of Application to U.S. Universities;

January-April: Wait for admission results;

May-June: University placements are announced;

June-July: Embassy Pre-departure orientation;

July-August: Departure to the U.S.

March-May: Program is announced and applications are received;

May-June: Technical screening, application review, and interview;

June-July: All applicants will be notified of their application results via email;

July-October: Finalists prepare application for submission to U.S. universities;

November-December: Submission of Application to U.S. Universities;

January-April: Wait for admission results;

May-June: University placements are announced;

June-July: Embassy Pre-departure orientation;

July-August: Departure to the U.S.