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Fulbright Foreign Student Program

This is the grant you would like to apply for, if you want to pursue

  • a Master’s or Ph.D. degree;
  • non-degree coursework;
  • or Ph.D. research

The Grants are four to ten months in length and not renewable. They are to be used toward the cost of tuition and other academic expenses. In general, a grant for one academic year is about $20,000. However the final grant amount awarded per grantee depends on the number of finalists and on the availability of funds. Applications will be accepted in all fields, except medicine (not including Public Health or medical research), dentistry, and veterinary medicine. Candidates from Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts are particularly welcome to apply.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Swiss citizenship (If you hold another citizenship you must contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in your citizenship country.)
  • Undergraduate degree from a University or University of Applied Sciences and Arts completed by summer 2024.
  • English proficiency with a TOEFL Internet-based iBT score of 100 or higher.

In the following cases, you are not eligible to apply:

  • You hold dual citizenship with the United States, are a resident of the United States, or hold a “green card.”
  • You will not have completed a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) by summer 2024.
  • You plan to start your U.S. studies earlier than the fall semester of 2024.
  • You have already obtained a Ph.D. degree, or are expecting to obtain a Ph.D. degree before fall 2024.
  • You intend to apply for a double degree program with a specific university in the U.S.
  • You have your own pre-arranged affiliation with a specific university in the U.S.
  • You intend to pursue studies as medical student or an internship or residency at a U.S. school of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine.
  • You have already been admitted to a study program in the U.S. for the 2023-2024 academic year outside of the Fulbright program and you intend to defer your admission to 2024-2025. All Fulbright candidates must go through a university placement process for the 2024-2025 academic year and cannot choose the university to which they have been admitted in the 2023-2024 academic year (see “Placement at U.S. institutions”).
  • You are currently studying, researching, or lecturing at a U.S. university.
  • You are currently living or working in the United States.

Application Process

Deadline for application: August 4, 2023 at midnight

The online application is available here.

Please review the following document carefully before completing the online application:

NOTE: Make sure to read the instructions before filling out the online form as they are specific to Switzerland.

A complete application consists of the following:

  • online application form including
    •  three letters of reference uploaded by the recommenders into the online application
    • copies of academic transcripts and diplomas/degrees written in English or with an original English translation from all post-secondary schools attended
  • hard copies of official (certified) academic transcripts accompanied by original English translations (when necessary) from all post-secondary schools attended, submitted directly from the higher education institution to swissuniversities in a sealed envelope

Your application is not considered complete until swissuniversities has received your electronically submitted online application and the hard copies of the official (certified) transcripts, sent by the higher education institution in a sealed envelope, on or before August 4, 2023.

If you have any questions or doubts about your eligibility or the application procedure, you can contact the Scholarship Service via email


A number of applicants will be invited for an interview in September 2023 with the Fulbright Selection Committee. The committee expects you to attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bern in person. The pre-selection is based on the application materials, in which your personal statement, focusing not only on your academic goals, but also your support for the Fulbright ideals, and your study/research objectives play an important role.

Although the Fulbright grant allows you to list any universities in the U.S. on your application, we strongly urge you to consider a mix of small, large, public and private universities, not limited to specific geographic areas when listing your preferred universities. In the selection process, we will take this element of being open to other than highly selective universities, and willingness to cooperate with the Fulbright placement process and university recommendations, into account.

During the interview you will be asked to tell us more about your academic plans in the U.S., your interest in furthering mutual understanding, and the extra-curricular activities that you plan to do. During the interview you will also have the opportunity to tell more about yourself, to help the Committee get to know you.

Special preference will be given to candidates who show good academic performance, but who also have a sincere interest in getting to know the U.S. culture and values, and who do not have extensive and recent experience of living and studying in the U.S. Strong candidates are often socially engaged in community service, volunteer activities and the like, and are ready to meet new people and engage in new experiences.

Candidates will be notified of the results of the interviews in September 2023.

Placement at U.S. Institutions

Once you have been selected as grantee, the application procedure for U.S. universities starts.

The Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, will give you full support in this. IIE will offer placement service for approximately 4-5 universities. You will work with IIE to create a well-balanced submission plan for the various educational institutes. IIE  submits applications on your behalf as a "Fulbright candidate". IIE will follow-up with universities to obtain the most advantageous placements and financial aid. This means that IIE will negotiate (partial) tuition waivers or additional financial support with the U.S. institution. Application fees are also covered by IIE.

Once candidates have decided to accept an offer of admission, IIE forwards an acceptance or withdrawal to each university.

Please note: Prospective Fulbright participants should be aware that public health conditions, availability of consular services and travel, as well as U.S. institutional operating status and policies may affect their ability to travel to the U.S. and participate in academic programs.

Further Guidance and Support

swissuniversities and the U.S. Embassy in Bern will organize an orientation meeting for the selected grantees to get to know each other and to discuss the timeline and procedures. An early summer pre-departure meeting will be organized to discuss all visa issues and further logistics.

swissuniversities will provide vouchers for TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT examinations after the selection for the Fulbright Program.

The U.S. Embassy will assist you with the application of your J1-visa* (exchange visitor). And swissuniversities will be available to answer any questions you may have in the meantime.

IIE will invite you to a special introduction program to get to know fellow Fulbrighters. You will also be able to participate in "enrichment seminars" with other Fulbrighters during your stay.

*Visa sponsorship: J1-visa (exchange visitor) requires grantees to return to their home country for at least 2 years after the completion of their studies before they can apply for a residence or work permit. The re-entry on a tourist or student visa is possible anytime.