Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Graduate Student FLAS Awards - FAQs

CREEES Graduate FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships are awarded to graduate students studying a language with an approved Russian, East European or Eurasian Studies focus.
Students should consider applying for FLAS Fellowships with other FLAS-granting centers at UT, such as the Center for European Studies and the South Asia Institute, or at other FLAS-granting institutions, as relevant to their research interests.

FLAS Fellowships can be for an academic year or summer program and are competitively awarded. The Fellowship is interdisciplinary and open to students from ANY department / school at UT. Students need not be Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies majors to apply. General FAQs and specific Academic Year and Summer award FAQs can be found below.

General FAQs

Where does the FLAS money come from?

The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies receives funding for FLAS Fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education (DoED) through its Title VI grant. The funding is therefore subject to federal regulations. Other Centers on campus also receive FLAS funding, and you may (and should) apply for FLAS fellowships with multiple centers, if relevant to your area of study.


Who is eligible for a FLAS?

Per Department of Education regulations, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be eligible for a FLAS Fellowship.
Fellowships are awarded to students enrolled at or admited to study full-time at UT (or potentially another FLAS-granting institution) from all fields of study, who are in good standing.
We especially encourage applications from various departments and professional schools.

According to the FLAS regulations (§657.3), a student is eligible to receive a fellowship if the student

  • Is a citizen or national of the United States or is a permanent resident of the United States;
  • Is accepted for enrollment or is enrolled in an institution receiving an allocation of fellowships and in a program that combines modern foreign language training with—
    • Area or international studies; or
    • Research and training in the international aspects of professional and other fields of study;
  • Shows potential for high academic achievement based on such indices as grade point average, class ranking, or similar measures that the institution may determine;
  • Is enrolled in a program of modern foreign language training for a language for which the institution has developed or is developing performance-based instruction;
  • In the case of a graduate student, is engaged in—
    • Predissertation level study;
    • Preparation for dissertation research;
    • Dissertation research abroad; or
    • Dissertation writing at the home institution

Can non-UT-Austin students apply?

CREEES FLAS fellowships are open only to current (or admitted) UT-Austin students. Students applying for Fall admission to graduate school at UT are encouraged to apply!


What languages qualify as "approved" foreign languages?

FLAS approved languages include (but are not limited to) Russian, Polish, Czech, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Persian/Tajik*, Romani*, Yiddish*, Turkish*, Romanian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian for academic year study. Other languages for summer study will be considered on case-by-case basis and must receive DoED program officer approval.  (*Language study must be related to the REEE region, namely Central/Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe or the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus and/or Central Asia.) 

Students may NOT be native speakers of the language nor possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought.


Do I need to have a certain level of proficiency to be eligible?

Graduate students may be at the following levels of language proficienct in the language they will be studying:

  • beginning -- if already have advanced proficiency in another foreign language relevant to their area of study
  • intermediate*
  • advanced*

A proven record of language study is looked favorably upon.
*Only intermediate or advanced students may study overseas (for summer awards or during the academic year); however, beginning graduate students may apply for study at UT or a domestic (summer) program (unless no qualifying domestic program exists for the language of study).

NOTE: Students may NOT be native speakers of the language nor possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought. 


Can I study or do research abroad while on a FLAS Fellowship?

Yes, if studying a language at an intermediate or advanced level, however you must receive approval from CREEES, the Department of Education and potentially the International Office in order to study abroad while recieving a FLAS fellowship. See your FLAS Coordinator as soon as you begin to consider this option.

Students who receive a FLAS award and are traveling abroad MUST also complete the International Office Travel Authorization process for individual students or if traveling to a UT-designated restricted region, they MUST receive approval from the International Oversight Committee at UT before FLAS funding will be disbursed. All enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating in activities or events abroad (whether required or optional) must take steps to comply with this new travel policy. Please visit the UT International Office website for more details.

Award recipients MUST have a DoED approved Overseas Program Request on file in order to go abroad while on a FLAS Fellowship.

Students who wish to be affiliated with UT but will not be enrolled at UT while on a FLAS fellowship abroad can apply to the International Office for Independent Study & Research (ISR) status. Students will be registered for ISR 080, which allows them to maintain current student status and covers them under International SOS, UT's overseas emergency plan.

Dissertation research option: Students may apply to do dissertation fieldwork overseas in the region during the academic year while on a FLAS Fellowship. Only students at the ADVANCED level of the language are eligible to receive an AY fellowship to conduct dissertation research. See the FLAS Program Coordinator for more information.


Can I reapply for the FLAS for multiple years?

Yes, students may apply for the academic year and summer FLAS Fellowships for multiple years, although you will need to turn in a new application and supporting documents each time.


Can I turn in an unofficial transcript?

Yes, we will accept an unofficial transcript from UT's Registrar's Office. Non-UT transcripts should be official.


How do the recommendation forms work?

CREEES will no longer accept recommendation letters. Recommendation forms will be submit in lieu of uploading letters! The recommendation form will allow the recommender to copy and paste the information normally included in a rec letter, if they so choose.

Several weeks before the application deadline, be sure to secure two references, who will agree to submit recommendation forms on your behalf to CREEES. Your references can not access the recommendation form until you submit your application, and they will only have until the week after the application deadline to submit the forms, so be sure to complete your application in a timely manner to give them as much time as possible to submit their forms.

When you submit your application, the references will automatically receive an email with a link to the recommendation form. Applicants are responsible for providing correct email addresses for their references in the application form and for giving their references ample time to submit a recommendation form. 

Upon your submission of the application form to CREEES, your recommenders will receive an email with a link to the recommendation form, which will ask them to assess your abilities and allow them to enter any additional comments they may have.

Recommendations should come from faculty and at least one recommendation should speak to language learning abilities. 

It is common courtesy to send your recommender all the pertinent information as to what kind of FLAS your applying for (to which Center(s) and whether Academic Year, Summer or both), in what language(s), what their deadline is, and where/how to submit their recommendations.


When is the deadline?

The Summer AND Academic Year FLAS deadline is typically in early February. Exact dates are found on the FLAS main page. No exceptions will be made to the application deadline. Students are responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. 


Is financial need a consideration?

Yes. New DoED guidelines require a two-tiered system that takes student financial need into account. Students will first be ranked on academic merit. The next round reviews the financial needs of each ranked student based on their submitted FAFSA score.


Do I have to complete a FAFSA application?

You do not have to complete a FAFSA application, but it is HIGHLY recommended that you do so. Any student who has not completed a FAFSA application and had it reviewed by financial aid (typically a three week turnaround) before February 15th will not have a FAFSA score and will, therefore, be ranked lowest among students during the second tier of the review process.


How do I complete the FAFSA application?

Applicants should refer the the UT Office of Student Financial Aid website to create and submit a FAFSA application: http://finaid.utexas.edu. FAFSA applications can be submitted starting in October. The processing time for a FAFSA can take several weeks, so we strongly encourage FLAS applicants to complete the FAFSA applications as soon as possible.


How will you know my FAFSA score?

There is also a place on the application where you must give CREEES permission to access your FAFSA score directly from UT's Office of Student Financial Aid.


ACADEMIC YEAR (AY) FAQs

What is the Graduate Academic Year (AY) FLAS?

The CREEES graduate FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) is a Fellowship awarded to graduate students who are studying an approved modern foreign language and are engaged in coursework at UT (or abroad*) that has a Russian, East European or Eurasian focus. The Fellowship is interdisciplinary and open to students from all departments and schools at UT. Students need not be Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REE) majors to apply.

***Note: For 2018-19 and beyond, academic year FLAS awards will be contingent on CREEES securing funding for the next FLAS award grant cycle from the Department of Education.***


What does the AY Graduate FLAS Fellowship provide?

The FLAS Academic Year Fellowship provides a nine-month stipend of $15,000 total (paid in monthly increments September-May), plus tuition up to 12 credit hours per academic year. Permission to enroll in additional hours should be discussed with the FLAS Coordinator.


What does the graduate AY fellowship NOT cover?

The graduate FLAS Fellowship tuition aid does not cover:
1) fees and costs not related to coursework (including housing if abroad);
2) books and materials; and
3) medical insurance.
The student may cover these costs with the stipend. 


What are the terms of the AY FLAS award?

If awarded an academic year FLAS, you must agree to ALL of the following conditions:

  1. Take at least one grade-based language course both fall and spring semesters.* 
  2. Take at least one grade-based content course in the Russian, East European and Eurasian (REE) area.*
  3. Be registered as a full time student both semesters (9 hours/semester for graduate students).
  4. Complete the information sent to you through the U.S. Department of Education's online computer system (IRIS).
  5. Meet with the designated language evaluation instructors at the beginning and end of the duration of your award for language assessment.
  6. Complete a final online report of your activities at the end of the award period (IRIS).
  7. Participate in events held during the academic year for the Center.
  8. Participate in Department of Education follow-up surveys after graduation, for the following eight (8) years.
    *Courses must be approved by the Center's FLAS Coordinator and possibly Director.

Will the FLAS affect financial aid?

Yes, the FLAS will affect financial aid. Upon receiving a Fellowship, you will want to speak with your Financial Aid counselor to discuss the specifics of the changes. In some cases, receiving a FLAS may drastically reduce or eliminate your financial aid from the Office of Student Financial Services. 


Can I accept other fellowships or work during the academic year?

Generally students who are awarded a FLAS are not allowed to accept other Fellowships or be employed; the FLAS is designed to allow you to focus on your studies full time. However, the director of CREEES may approve special cases on a case-by-case basis. Students are required to get pre-approval from the CREEES FLAS Coordinator and Director, prior to accepting a scholarship or employment. Internships are disallowed by DoED regulations.


 

SUMMER FAQs

What is the Summer FLAS?

The CREEES summer FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) is a Fellowship awarded to students who are studying an approved modern foreign language at UT or an approved university or institute in the U.S. or abroad. Students must be at the intermediate or advanced level of language study to use an award for an approved overseas language program.
The summer program must be at least 6 weeks long, intensive and be the equivalent of one academic year of study, typically 120 in-class hours for advanced students and 140 in-class hours for beginner/intermediate students. 


Do I need to have a proposed program of study?

Yes, applications should include a proposed program of study. We understand that this program may change, but funding will be offered on the proposed program and any changes will need approval from CREEES and possibly the DoED Program Officer.


What does the Summer FLAS Fellowship provide?

The summer FLAS Fellowship provides a stipend of $2,500 plus tuition and course-related fees up to $5,000. The remaining tuition and summer program expenses are the responsibility of the student. Typically, travel expenses are not covered by the FLAS but may be paid by the student using the stipend.


What does the summer fellowship NOT cover?

The summer FLAS Fellowship does not cover: fees not related to coursework, housing, books and materials, medical or travel insurance, food, and travel costs. The student may cover these costs with the stipend. 


Do I need to have a certain level of proficiency to be eligible?

Graduate students may be at the following levels of language proficienct in the language they will be studying:

  • beginner --ONLY  if already have advanced proficiency in another foreign language relevant to their area of study. Graduate beginner language study must take place domestically.
  • intermediate*
  • advanced*

*Only intermediate or advanced students may study overseas.  Only under the condition that no summer domestic program exists for a language at the beginner level, can a beginner student apply for an overseas FLAS.

NOTE: Students may NOT be native speakers of the language nor possess fluency equivalent to educated native speakers in the language for which the award is sought.


What are the terms of the award?

If awarded a summer FLAS, you must agree to ALL of the following conditions:

  1. Enroll in an intensive summer language program (120-140 contact hours) in a pre-approved FLAS eligible language.
  2. Complete the information sent to you through the U.S. Department of Education's online computer system (IRIS).
  3. Meet with the designated language evaluation instructors at the beginning and end of the duration of your award for language assessment.
  4. Complete a final online report of your activities at the end of the award period (IRIS).
  5. Participate in events held during by the Center.
  6. Participate in Department of Education follow-up surveys after graduation, for the following eight (8) years.

How do I know if a summer language program is "intensive?"

Summer language programs must be a minimum of six week with 140 contact hours (in-class instruction) for beginner and intermediate level of study and 120 contact hours for advanced level.


Do I need to be enrolled at UT during the summer?

Students do not have to be enrolled at UT during the summer, but they must be enrolled in a program of modern foreign language training for a language for which the institution has developed or is developing performance-based instruction.

Students who receive a FLAS award and are traveling abroad MUST also complete the International Office Travel Authorization process for individual students or if traveling to a UT-designated restricted region, they MUST receive approval from the International Oversight Committee at UT before FLAS funding will be disbursed. All enrolled undergraduate, graduate and professional students participating in activities or events abroad (whether required or optional) must take steps to comply with this new travel policy. Please visit the UT International Office website for more details.


Will courses completed under a Summer FLAS award show up on my UT transcript?

It's possible, but requires the student's initiative to seek credit for courses taken abroad on a FLAS. Contact a Study Abroad Program Coordinator at the International Office for more information: https://global.utexas.edu/isss



Application and instructions available on FLAS main page.



For specific questions regarding the graduate FLAS application, please contact:


FLAS Coordinator
(512) 232-9123
BUR 460

Looking for Undergraduate FLAS FAQs? Click HERE!


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  • Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600
    Burdine Hall 452
    Austin, TX 78712
    512–471–3607