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Fulbright Foreign Student Program

A Fulbright HSI Leader (2021, 2022, 2023)

UIC is privileged to welcome dozens of applications from Fulbright-funded international students each year. We have been recognized by Laspau and by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for outstanding support and leadership as an Hispanic-Serving Institution.

This page has information for prospective graduate students as well as graduate programs.

What is the Fulbright Foreign Student Program? Administered by binational Fulbright  Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.

Program eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country. Please visit the Fulbright program's website for more information.

Graduate applicants are placed at a US institution by one of two administering entities. (A longstanding third organization, Laspau, is ceasing operations in the autumn of 2023.) A placement officer from Institute of International Education or AMIDEAST will upload application materials on behalf of the applicant into UIC's Graduate Admissions portal (Slate). The Graduate College endeavors to bring Foreign Fulbright applicants to the attention of the prospective graduate program--there is no centralized or automated system. If materials are missing, the program coordinator or director of graduate studies (DGS) is encouraged to contact the placement specialist at Amideast or IIE. (The agencies have basically carved out separate geographical areas: Amideast handles the Middle East, Laspau handled Central and South America -- IIE handles most of the world except the Middle East. There may be some exceptions.)

What UIC programs should know:  While each Fulbrighter arrives with a unique funding package, master's students generally come with one year of funding which may be renewable for a second year; doctoral students arrive with two to four years of funding (renewable annually). In each grant-funded year, the Graduate College, as part of its generous cost-share agreement with the Fulbright entities, will waive tuition (including differential) and some fees. Should funding expire before the student completes their degree, the Graduate College expects the graduate program to assume the student's funding through an assistantship.

The UIC graduate program is encouraged to verify that the applicant is a Fulbright recipient and not an alternate awaiting a final decision.

Other scenarios: Albeit rare, foreign Fulbright recipients might place themselves at UIC. If they are seeking a graduate degree from UIC, out cost-share agreement will apply. Other students may arrive as "visiting student researchers" who do not enroll but who conduct their research at UIC. These students are highly recommended to check in with Benn Williams (Graduate College) and Melissa Hickok and/or Ben Wright (OIS) at least one month prior to their arrival in Chicago. The latter may be eligible for an i-card and office space.

What prospective Fulbright Foreign Students should know: While the application system is centralized at UIC, each graduate program makes its own admissions decisions. Prospective applicants are encouraged to research our faculty and then communicate with prospective mentors. Stating such preferences demonstrates the applicant's seriousness and it helps the program to make decisions. Doctoral applicants will likely communicate directly with a prospective mentor prior to admission to ensure an intellectual "fit." There are caveats. Amideast and IIE apply to multiple institutions on a student’s behalf. These entities prefer that the department refrain from directly contacting the student prior to formal placement decisions to avoid confusion and misunderstanding regarding funding. The Graduate College recommends that a program communicate directly with the placement officer listed in Slate.

UIC's Office of Graduate Admissions tends to receive applications November through April with most arriving December-February. Graduate programs are encouraged to have a deadline on or before January 1st and to make admit decisions promptly to avoid losing a strong applicant to a different university.

Funding: Each home country commission determines the amount and duration of funding.  In most cases, Fulbright grants do not cover all program expenses. If admitted and placed in a graduate program under the auspices of the Graduate College, Fulbright-funded students will receive a full tuition and partial fee waiver through the Graduate College for the duration of the grant. Some professional programs (e.g., MPH, DPT) will permit use of a waiver; however, these are handled on a case-by-case basis. Our generous cost-sharing for Fulbright students is part of the university’s longstanding commitment to federally-funded international exchange initiatives. Most Fulbright students receive a living stipend, travel funds, book allowance, and payment of unwaived mandatory fees for the duration of the grant. Fulbright-funded students should review the financial terms document that is included in each dossier or ask the placement officer if the terms of award (TOA) are missing. The Fulbrighter or their placement officer may need to reach out to Sponsor Billing (University Bursar) for the billing of unwaived fees.

Fulbright students may need permission from their advisor (at Amideast or IIE) to enroll in summer courses. The Graduate College will provide a full tuition and partial fee waiver. Graduate programs may want to provide additional institutional support ("top-off" funding or an assistantship) to make placement with their department more attractive. In such cases, they should contact the placement officer.

Current Fulbright Students: If you have questions about our waiver, please contact Benn Williams, Fellowships and Awards Coordinator in the Graduate College. Other questions may be addressed on the OIS website.

Why UIC? Heading link

There are many reasons to consider UIC for your graduate studies.
  • Research

    The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) is the city’s public research university. UIC provides an affordable and excellent education. Our world-class research benefits individuals and society. Sixteen colleges offer degrees that are valued by employers and will improve our world. More about research…

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    UIC is one of the nation’s most ethnically and culturally rich college campuses in America. Our welcoming environment and diverse student body deepen understanding and intellectual achievement. Learn more…

  • Graduate & Professional Degree Programs

    College and Schools can be found here. Here are our programs.

Life @ UIC

Hello, future UIC student! Meet some of our current and past international Fulbrighters. Oft delayed by a year, the FFSP directory can be found here. At last count, we had 286 international Fulbrighters grace UIC’s campus!

Name Program Research
Andre Almeida Felgueiras de Moura (Portugal) PhD Student, Mathematics Unknown!
Angela Maria Hernandez Moreno PhD Student, Political Science Sustainable development.
Alejandra Marin-Buitrago (Colombia) PhD Student, Urban Planning and Policy Alejandra's research explores housing policy in post-conflict cities. She investigates the challenges of governance, social and political integration of war-affected people in Colombian cities in the post-civil war era.
Kudzai Shava (Zimbabwe) Dissertating, Disability and Human Development Kudzai Shava is a blind disability rights activist from Zimbabwe. He is a qualified teacher who was educated in at the University of Zimbabwe (bachelor's) and Leeds University (MA in Disability Studies ). He is now completing a doctorate at UIC. His activism, research and advocacy work with disabled people in Zimbabwe and beyond covers a wide range of issues, at the center of which is their full inclusion and equal citizenship.
M. Shafaat Nawaz (Pakistan) PhD Student, Urban Planning and Policy M Shafaat Nawaz's research interests are at the intersection of spatial planning and economic development. He won a research grant for his doctoral research which aims to investigate the spatial planning of the industrial clusters that develop without direct support of the government. A keen researcher, he is willing to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects.
Claire van den Helder (Netherlands) MS student, Disability Studies Van den Helder grew up in Aalsmeer, a village close to Amsterdam. She studied fashion design and when she became disabled, she switched to cultural anthropology and development sociology at Leiden. Her research examines social movements and resistance as the exercise of democratic rights. The experiences of Disabled people lead to unique understandings of what it is to be human, and what it is to be a citizen. I am interested in their approaches in social movements and resistance, because I believe that their unique experiences can give us new perspectives on citizenship.
Genesis Xiomara Insaurralde (Argentina) Public Health Environmental management and monitoring.
Marilyn Facey (Jamaica) PhD student, Communication Marilyn sent 15 years as an award-winning news and current affairs producer in her native Jamaica and her current research focuses on public policy at the intersection of new media technologies and the cultural and creative industries. She is also passionate about youth development, the future of higher education, leadership and team dynamics.
Jovita Alvares (Pakistan) MFA student Jovita Alvares is an artist and art writer from Karachi. Valedictorian (BFA, 2016) at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She is recipient of the Imran Mir Art Prize 2017 and Resident Artist of the 4th Sanat Residency 2017.
Vimy De la Barra (Bolivia) MPH student Vimy studied dentistry at the Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno and then a master's degree in health science research in Navarra prior to her arrival at UIC.
Halia Didula (Ukraine) MSW student A graduate of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Didula is in the MSW program and living, fittingly, in Ukrainian Village.
Saw Min Thu Oo (Myanmar) MS, Health Analytics (Biostats) Arriving at UIC with a degrees in medicine and public health, Saw-Min is is a self-proclaimed data geek working on tobacconomics who is currently working on the Bloomberg Tobacco Tax Project.
Name Program at UIC Post-UIC life
Natalia Villamizar Duarte PhD in Urban Planning and Policy An architect in Colombia before arriving in Chicago, Natalia is an urban planner and designer focusing on how people experience their cities and especially the policies shaping those experiences. Prior to and after UIC, she taught at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, worked for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, lectured at the University College London, and now lecturer at Newcastle University in the UK.
Buyanjargal Munkh-Ochir MPH, Community Health Sciences with a concentration in Global Health On the 4th of May 2023, I graduated with a Master's in Public Health. With my 5-year work experience as a dentist (my bachelor's degree from the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences), I decided to pursue an MPH to educate myself and work for the communities where health disparity still exists. During these last two years, I have learned a lot through this amazing program in the beautiful city of Chicago.

Accolades Heading link

  • Laspau U UIC receives 2020 Lasapu University Award in recognition of outstanding support

  • HSI Leader UIC named inaugural (2021) HSI Leader by Fulbright

  • HSI Leader UIC named HSI Leader: 2022 & 2023

FAQs for current students Office of International Services

Benn Williams Heading link

Fellowships & Awards Coordinator, UIC Graduate College

601 S. Morgan St, Chicago, Illinois 60607