The US Department of Education has designated the Center for the Study of the Middle East (CSME) as a Foreign Language and Area Studies Center. As a FLAS Center CSME offers FLAS fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students for students taking Arabic, Modern Hebrew, Kurdish, Persian and Turkish. FLAS fellowships support the study of modern foreign languages and related area and international studies in preparation for careers in teaching, research, government service, and international organizations.
FLAS Application Tips
Students are eligible to apply for FLAS if she/he is:
If awarded a FLAS fellowship, the student must undertake an approved program of foreign language and area studies relevant to his/her academic and career goals.
Academic year FLAS fellowships include:
FLAS Summer Fellowships award
(SWSEEL attendees see SWSEEL section of FAQ):
$7,500, consisting of:
- $5,000 institutional payment
- $2,500 stipend
For more information please contact the CSME office.
Center for the Study of the Middle East
1105 East Atwater Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47401
Phone: (812) 855-4221
Fax: (812) 855-4600
What is CSME’s application deadline for the academic year FLAS?
The application deadline for the academic year FLAS Fellowship (both undergraduate and graduate) is February 1.
What is CSME’s application deadline for the summer FLAS?
The application deadline for the summer FLAS Fellowship (both undergraduate and graduate) is February 1.
Can I submit FLAS applications to CSME and to other FLAS centers?
Yes, students can always submit a separate FLAS application to CSME in addition to other FLAS centers, but they are encouraged to keep in mind the focus of the various centers.
Please take the time to redirect the written portion of your application to emphasize how your research agenda, program of study, and/or career goals are relevant to the areas within CSME's scope. Encourage those who are writing letters of recommendation to do so as well.
CSME also reminds applicants that it is their responsibility to get copies of all documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation, to CSME from other centers where they may be applying. These documents may be sent electronically or through campus mail.
Can I use FLAS recommendations and transcripts from another FLAS center for my CSME FLAS application?
Yes, but it is your responsibility to get copies of all documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation, to CSME from other centers where you may be applying. These documents may be sent electronically or through campus mail.
If I am applying to more than one FLAS center, can my online recommendations submitted through the FLAS system be accessed by the two centers, or do those writing my letters of recommendation need to submit them for each application?
You will need to ask those who are writing letters of recommendation for you to submit separate letters to each FLAS center.
Ideally, when you apply for a FLAS fellowship through CSME, your letters of recommendation will reflect a Middle East focus; a letter submitted in support of your application to another center will almost certainly not do this. If possible, you might discuss this with those who are writing your letters, suggesting that in the letter for CSME they emphasize your work appropriately.
Can you get a FLAS fellowship with any undergraduate or graduate degree?
Yes, FLAS fellowships are open to all majors and degree programs.
Can recent IU graduates apply for FLAS fellowships?
No, only students who are currently enrolled are eligible for FLAS fellowships.
Do I need to be accepted into a degree program before applying for a FLAS fellowship?
No, you do not have to be already accepted into a degree program to apply, but you do need to be accepted into a degree program to receive a FLAS fellowship.
Can I submit an application for a language not listed on the website?
Is it possible to submit FLAS applications for more than one language?
Yes, but FLAS applications are highly competitive, so the case you make for learning any language has to be very strong, and you must clearly articulate the reasons for learning each language.
May I apply for different languages in the Summer and Academic Year?
Yes, if knowledge of more than one language is essential to your program of study. Be sure to demonstrate in your personal statement why you need the second language. Your case for a second language will be stronger if you have already reached an advanced level in one language, or if the second (Summer) language you need is not offered at IU during the academic year.
Is formal language study required prior to applying for a FLAS fellowship?
Graduate students do not need any formal language study prior to applying for a FLAS fellowship, though intermediate and advanced language training is preferred.
Undergraduate students do need prior formal language study and can only apply at the intermediate and advanced levels.
Can I apply for both an academic year and a summer FLAS? If I do apply for both, do I have to fill out separate applications?
You are encouraged to apply for both academic year and summer FLAS fellowships. Each FLAS fellowship requires a separate application.
How does FLAS work with SWSEEL?
You are encouraged to apply for a FLAS Fellowship in conjunction with your plans to attend SWSEEL. Your Summer FLAS application to support your study during SWSEEL is due February 1st. This date is well before the SWSEEL application deadline! You must also fill out a separate application per SWSEEL's own application process. If you have a different question relating to SWSEEL and the use of FLAS, do not hesitate to contact SWSEEL directly.
Do I need to print and scan a copy of my application or do you access it electronically?
You do not need to print a copy of your application. We are able to access it electronically.
Do I need to submit a separate Personal Statement or is the statement in my online FLAS application enough?
You do not need to send a separate Personal Statement. The essay you complete within the online FLAS application serves as your Personal Statement.
How does one prove or test language proficiency for the FLAS application?
You can estimate your ability on the application itself, then test into the appropriate level course when you arrive on campus.
The online application only allows for the choice of “IU” or “abroad” as locations of study. I am studying at a location in the United States that is not IU. Which do I choose?
You should select “abroad” if that is the only option other than “IU.”
Do Indiana University students need to send official IU transcripts?
No. In the case of Indiana University transcripts only, CSME accepts a printout generated by OneStart.
Are you able to access my academic transcripts online or do I need to submit them?
It is your responsibility to get copies of transcripts to CSME.
Do I need to submit a copy of my GRE scores with my FLAS application?
No, students enter their GRE scores as part of their online FLAS application.
I listed several schools I attended on my application, but I have no formal transcripts for those schools (for whatever reason). How should I handle this?
If you have listed schools attended on your FLAS application but have no transcripts for those schools, please send an email to email@example.com explaining the reason for the missing transcripts. This email will be placed in your FLAS file, offering an explanation of what appear to be “missing” transcripts to the review committee.
Can I send in more than three letters of recommendation?
Yes. In fact, including a fourth letter is good insurance in case one of your referees does not submit a letter for any reason.
Can materials from my Academic Year application be copied into my Summer file?
Yes, upon request. If you are applying for both Academic Year and Summer awards this year, you may ask the FLAS coordinator to copy your transcripts and letters of recommendation submitted in support of your Academic Year application into the Summer file. We encourage you to request a second set of recommendations if the language you wish to study in the summer is different from the one you are seeking to study during the academic year.
I previously received a FLAS from CSME. Is it possible to have copies of my transcripts transferred from last year’s file into my file for this year?
Yes, you can contact CSME at firstname.lastname@example.org to make that arrangement.
Is it okay if my letters of recommendation, transcripts, or other supporting materials are received after the fellowship deadline?
No, we expect all applications and supporting materials to be received by the deadline (February 1st). It is your responsibility to inform CSME if any supporting materials will be arriving after the deadline.
The FLAS guidelines state that fellowship recipients “must undertake full-time study during the tenure of the award.” Does that mean full-time language and content area studies?
Specifically, FLAS recipients are absolutely required to be full-time students. During each semester of FLAS enrollment, the student is required to include at least one 3-credit language course and one 3-credit area studies course. In the case of CSME, these courses will likely be in Near Eastern Languages & Cultures (NELC) or Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS).
Beyond classwork, is anything required of FLAS Fellows?
Yes. All fellows fill out pre- and post-award reports for the US Department of Education. In addition, recipients are surveyed periodically in the years following their award. All fellows must take pre- and post-award proficiency assessments. It is also requested the fellows participate in at least one CSME outreach event per award semester, as requested by CSME staff with ample preparation. This volunteer effort will likely consist of less than 2 hours.
How will I know if my application has been received?
The CSME Program Assistant will send a confirmation e-mail upon receipt of your FLAS application. You may e-mail CSME at email@example.com should you wish to check on the status of a specific part of your application. The processing of fellowship applications is very time consuming. We will respond to your request as soon as possible.
Will you contact me if I do/don’t get a FLAS award? When will I be contacted?
Yes. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they are chosen to receive a FLAS fellowship, will be contacted after the awards have been finalized.
Is there a limit on the number of FLAS fellowships I can receive?
There is no limit on the number of sequential FLAS awards one person may receive, but no more than one concurrent award can be accepted.