Fulbright Graduate Study Awards



Graduate Study Awards are offered to mature and academically superior students whose future career objectives in Korea would be enhanced by pursuing either degree or non-degree study of the USA at an American university. Awards for degree study are for students seeking enrollment in a Master's or Ph.D. program with the intention of obtaining an advanced degree from an American university. Awards for non-degree study are for students seeking to pursue advanced studies in the U.S. to supplement studies being undertaken in a Ph.D. program in a Korean university. Persons who hold a graduate degree or are enrolled in a program where they would normally receive one by the beginning of the grant period cannot apply for a grant to pursue the same level of graduate degree, regardless of whether there is a subject area change.

Whether applying for Ph.D., M.A. or non-degree study, applicants for graduate study awards must meet all qualifications for admission to graduate study at an American university. Although the basic qualifications required by KAEC are the same for all categories, applicants may apply in only one category depending on their prior educational background, degree objective and future career plans.

While maintaining its overall emphasis on "excellence," KAEC will give strong preference to those applicants whose proposed study in any appropriate discipline is most clearly related to the study of United States.

For PY2020-2021, 30 awards for Humanities/Arts/Social Sciences fields and 5 awards for the Science and Engineering fields are available.

Degree Study

Applicants for degree study must indicate whether they are seeking admission to a Master's or a Ph.D. program.

Initially an award for degree study is made for one year, but the award may be renewed for one additional year subject to the availability of funding and evidence of satisfactory academic progress. As a renewal award is intended solely to facilitate progress toward an approved degree program, grantees approved for a Master's program or a Ph.D. program are eligible for one renewal. Any additional support provided under the terms of a renewal award will be adjusted to reflect the financial assistance available to the grantee from other sources. Ph.D. grantees are encouraged to immediately begin seeking alternate financial support sources from 3rd year.

The new award was made for North Korean Defectors in 2017. This award provides an opportunity to acquire a degree for North Korean Defectors who is academically competitive. The purpose of this award is to educate North Korean defectors to be qualified as an expert in each discipline in the future.

Non-Degree Study

Applicants for non-degree study must be doctoral candidates enrolled in good standing at an approved Korean university. They also must demonstrate a firm intention to complete their doctoral program in Korea. The purpose of proposed non-degree study at an American university should be solely to supplement their study in Korea, or preferably, to conduct doctoral dissertation research for which primary sources are unavailable or inadequate in Korea.

This award is for ten months only. Unlike an award for degree study, an award for non-degree study will not be extended or renewed under any circumstances. Once an applicant accepts an award for non-degree study, transfer to a degree program IS NOT allowed.


The benefits of an award for graduate study include roundtrip travel, a monthly maintenance stipend ranging from approximately $1,280 to $2,160 depending on the geographic location of the U.S. institution attended, full or partial tuition, medical insurance coverage and various incidental allowances. In general, Fulbright Graduate Study award will provide up to $40,000 for the first year and up to $30,000 for the second year, however, if the grantee’s total academic costs including tuition and living expenses are less than the above maximum level of Fulbright grant, then the actual costs of tuition and living costs will be provided.

For non-degree study, the above benefits are the same, except that tuition payments are not authorized. In principle, these benefits should be adequate to cover most of the essential costs incurred by an unmarried international student in the U.S. When tuition or living costs are unusually high, however, some personal funds will be needed to supplement the award.

Student grantees who are married will receive a dependent's monthly allowance of $200 for one accompanying dependent and $350 for two or more accompanying dependents who will stay in the U.S. at least 80% of the grant period as J-2 Visa holders. As expenses incurred for family members are not covered by the award, a married student must have sufficient personal funds to cover the expenses of any accompanying family members.

In arranging placements for successful candidates, at KAEC's request, IIE routinely seeks financial support from U.S. host institutions. When available, this support is considered cost-sharing and KAEC award benefits may be reduced as appropriate although the benefits (including the cost-sharing) will remain at least the same as those provided under a full award.


The information on the Application forms are available from the Documentation. KAEC will accept completed applications only during the period of July 1 - July 5, 2019.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the required documentation has been submitted or mailed to the KAEC office by the end of this application period. After documentary screening by specialists, those who are recommended for further consideration will be contacted, either by phone or e-mail, to confirm the time and date of an oral interview which will be conducted in English. Schedule for oral interviews are to be announced later.

Based on the recommendations of the interview panels, and any other considerations it deems appropriate, the KAEC board will nominate candidates and obtain approval for their selection from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in the United States.

Selection decisions will be announced in September 2019. The award becomes effective when the candidate's admission or affiliation at a university or other institution in the United States has been confirmed and the candidate is notified to that effect by KAEC.


A. Requirements

  1. Korean citizenship only. Dual citizens, overseas Korean residents or "green card" holders are not eligible.
  2. Must reside in Korea during the period from July 2019 to August 2020.
  3. Should maintain good health, however, applicants with special needs are encouraged to apply.
  4. Must complete the required military service or be exempted (for male only)
  5. Must not have been an employee of the Korean-American Educational Commission or a recipient of a U.S. government funded scholarship (Fulbright or other) during the past five years
  6. Adequate English language proficiency (either Official score report of TOEFL or IELTS is acceptable.)
    Applicants in the fields of Literature or Linguistics must have a TOEFL score of, IBT: 100 (IELTS score of 7) or better, and in other fields IBT: 88 (IELTS score of 6.5) or better. TOEFL or IELTS exams must be taken early enough to submit a test score report at the time of application. Score of GRE/GMAT should be valid until September, 2020.
  7. A superior academic record
    The required minimum overall undergraduate grade point average is 3.0/4.0, 3.225/4.3 or 3.375/4.5. In addition, clear evidence of strong academic performance, especially in the junior and senior years as well as graduate school, if applicable, shall be submitted.
  8. Sufficient academic preparation
    At least, all applicants must have graduated or be eligible to graduate from an accredited university by February 2020. Applicants who hold a graduate degree cannot apply for a grant to pursue the same level of graduate degree. Applications are accepted for projects in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences/life sciences/engineering.
  9. The following applicants are ineligible to apply for this program.

    • Foreign high school diploma holders
    • Foreign Bachelor degree holders
    • Applicants who transferred to Korean university after enrolling in a foreign university
    • Applicants who completed more than 1 year (2 semesters) of master program in Korean or U.S. university can not apply for master program.
    • Applicants who completed more than 1 year (2 semesters) of Ph.D. program in any countries including Korea and U.S., can not apply for Ph.D. program.
    • Applicants who pursuing the same level of degree as a graduate degree
    • Applicants who want to have financial support as current students in U.S. graduate schools
    • Applicants who have been an employee of the Korean-American Educational Commission or a recipient of a U.S. government funded scholarship (Fulbright or other) during the past five years
    • Any applicant who enrolls from 2019 fall semester in U.S. after submitting application forms, his/her applications will be automatically revoked.

B. Preferred Candidates:

  1. Academic Excellence
  2. Research focus on American studies.
  3. Under 35 years of age at the time of application
  4. Applicants without any academic experiences in U.S.


All of documents required for application are only available in Korean language. Please click Korean language toggle for further details.

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