At Which Universities do Fulbright Grantees Study?

Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Fulbright Pakistan | 106 comments

This post was updated in April 2017 for the latest information on chances of securing the Fulbright 2018.

Every year after the Fulbright final university selections are completed I get comments and messages from applicants suspecting that the Ivy Leagues and the better public and private universities in the US do not get the any share of the feed of the Fulbright applicants from Pakistan. These pessimistic emails claim that it is a shame that Fulbright sends shiny Pakistani students to average programs in US. There is another common criticism against USEFP that top schools are actually underrepresented, because they are private and hence more expensive. And although the Fulbright people don’t say that officially, their funds do have limitations. Money of course is a decisive factor for Fulbright but not the only factor.

While it is true that majority of the Fulbrighters do not end up in the top programs but it is not the Fulbright’s fault entirely – in fact it is mainly the applicants shortcomings that fail to get them into top programs in US. I will give some examples – an applicant from 2014 applied to 4 programs in the US through Fulbright: MIT, Stanford, SUNY, Georgia Tech. He got accepted to SUNY only and rejected by all others so naturally he went to SUNY. Now others would say that Fulbright sent this guy to SUNY and not to MIT but the truth is that he didn’t get in MIT in the first place. Similarly another female student applied to Columbia, NYU, George Washington and Cornell through Fulbright – she got accepted to all 4 and was sent to Columbia, which is a very expensive IVY league school so that means cost is not the number 1 determinant factor. Another student got admitted by the graduate engineering programs at Purdue, George Washington and New York Institute of Technology but was sent to George Washington University though it wasn’t the cheapest of the three.

Fulbright applicants from Pakistan do get to choose the programs they want to apply to but do not get to pick the program or university eventually. USEFP and IIE make that decision for you but believe me Fulbright would never chose a below par program for competitive applicants. Fulbrighters have gone to top places such as Stanford, Columbia, Georgia Tech, MIT, Harvard etc. so it is pretty clear that Fulbright commission chooses where it sends your applications based on your preferences, your profile and your competitiveness.

Here are just some of the top universities to which Fulbright has sent its recent applicants.

• University of Chicago
• Texas A & M University
• Columbia University
• University of California
• University of Wisconsin-Madison
• SUNY Buffalo
• University of California, Berkeley
• John Hopkins
• Michigan State University
• University of Illinois at Chicago
• University of Texas at Austin
• Princeton University
• University of Pennsylvania
• Harvard University
• University of Maryland, College Park
• Stanford University

There is no “fixed” pool of universities that Fulbright sends it grantees to – the universities vary from year to year depending on applicant’s preferences and credentials. So do not take this data as a trend and don’t generalize too much on this. The only thing that should matter to you is that you should make every effort at improving your profile in order to apply for the Fulbright and that will work in your favor of going to a good program. If you – applicants with strong profiles do get to places of their choice eventually?


  1. At what stage does the Fulbright share which places they are applying to? Do they interact with the student in that process? Is there any way to effect it?

    • They do interact with students in the process – they do it after the final selection


      • All uni’s in the U.S. that offer a program in Linguists are under the Fulbright as well.

  2. Dears!
    Please assist regarding the medical form.
    What answers are allowed? I mean examples- Yes of should I put the cross there?
    I for example I had never got any serious illnesses do I need to fill in like N/A or there is no need to rite anything?
    I do understand that if there is no diseases I suffered it is good, however I would like to be confident that I filled it right.
    I will lot appreciate any link to the instructions.
    Best regards, Ahmed.

      • hello, i am an undergraduate student of BS-Hons. I am currently in 8th semester and my degree will be completed in june 2016. Shall i apply to fullbright masters program?

        • Yes you can!

        • I am Master in Zoology. But I worked As a principal For four years. could I apply for Educational Administration irrespective of my Academic background??

          • YES you can apply

  3. hi.i am currently in 6th smester …3rd year…can i apply for this >>???

    • You can apply next year but not this year

  4. I did my 4 years BS ( Hons) in jewellery design and Gemological sciences . They have Fulbright scholarship for me ????

  5. What are the programs included in Fulbright? I mean, Enginnering, Business, Project Management..?
    Can we apply for an MBA Program at a business school and get Fulbright funding?

    • Yes all of these programs are included also an MBA – but you need 3 years of work experience to apply for an MBA via Fulbright

      • Hi Talha. I started my carrer last year in Sep as a business analyst. Can I apply for an MBA for the 2019 cycle?

        • Hello Meeran, Nope you cannot apply – actually FB requires 3 years of work experience full time at the time of application.

  6. AoA Talha. From where can we get a list of the universities and subjects that we can apply to?

    • WAS – You can apply any program and any university.

  7. Hi Talha,

    I have received the grant offer to Rutgers NB for anthropology MA program. Also I have received an admission offer to Cornell MA program in anthropology, but Fulbright would not fund it. I want to pursue a PhD afterwards, which direction will increase my odds?

    • Rutgers is fine as long as it is funded – take whatever opportunity you have right now and try to build on it for a PHD later on 🙂 Take this MS as a stepping stone and look at a long term perspective.

  8. hi! im currently in my last semeseter of my bachelors and will know my final grade by June 2016.
    Can i still apply? my transcript uptill yet is available and a predicted final grade can also be provided.

  9. Can serving government employees apply if they have an NOC?

    I am an ACCA with a first class BSc from Oxford Brookes University. Have ACCAs been awarded fullbright scholarships in the past?

    • Yes they can apply. Yes every year 5-6 ACCAs get awarded

  10. Hello Sir, I am a civil engineer and want to go for Msc in project management. Will the fulbright only apply for Project Management related programs or will it also apply for other civil engg related masters programs?

    • Hello – it will only apply to one of these programs

  11. Can I apply for Computer Science in Masters for Full-Bright after studying in the social sciences school at LUMS? I mean can we apply irrespective of our Bachelors degree?

    • You can apply – but you need to have relevant experience to back your prospective program.

  12. Do they accept medical and dental students for postgrad?

  13. is it possible that two fullbright scholars are in a same institution, same discipline ?

  14. hi dear i am from Afghanoistan i want to get my master degree in Colambia university what is the requirement for this university please send me some information this is my email

  15. Aoa sir
    I have done my bs in economics with cgpa of 3.44 out of 4.00. I want to apply for mphil in economics. How much score i need to gain in gre to qualify for fb ?? I have no experience in my field yet. Are students with relative experience are preferred??

    • W.S. Rabia – FB does not fund for MPHIL and there is no work experience requirement for Fulbright in your field.

  16. Hi Talha,
    Is it mandatory to choose a university in applications/statements or Fulbright committee will decide where to send our application considering our interest?

    • Hello – Nope it is not mandatory but always better to do it since FB does take into account your preferences.

  17. Hi Talha, I’m planning on taking a masters degree in McMaster University which is in Canada. Is it possible for me to apply for Fulbright Scholarship?

    • Hello – Actually FB is only granted for US programs for Pakistani students!

  18. Can you be denied the Fulbright scholarship because of health issues say a chronic disease?

  19. Hi,

    I have a Bachelor’s from the States which I self-financed and now I want to continue and get my M.A., but I’m out of funds to do that. The thing is, in the FAQ section of Fulbright’s website, they mention that priority will be given to those with no prior American experience OR no previous American education in the last 5 years… (I graduated 2 years ago and now live in Rawalpindi). Are my chances as slim as I think or am I being paranoid and should definitely still apply for the Masters scholarships?


    • Hi, Yes your chances are really really slim. You can take a chance at applying but practically speaking, I don’t think you will have a chance. But saying that I have seen a couple of people with Undergrads from US get Fulbright – but do note that those undergrads had full scholarships for their Bachelors as well.

  20. Dear Talha Umar,
    I want to do Masters in watershed management under full bright scholarship, kindly advise me some universities for this also should i apply in full bright scholarship

    • Hello Arshad, You can get a list of reliable programs in this field from
      Yes definitely you should apply for FB. This program is preferred in Fulbright

  21. Hi, I have an executive MBA finance and marketing from Lahore school of economics, would it wise to apply for another mba programme through fulbright?

    • Hello Baig – not at all. It is extremely rare that FB will allow another degree in the same field and level.

  22. Hi
    I have a bachelor degree in education (hons) .I have been working for two years full time as an educator. I want to apply for a MA in leadership and educational policy. Is this correct timing? And does fulbright offer teachers scholarships?. Do you have any suggestions of universities in the USA that is best for this program?

    • Hello, Yes 2 years is good enough experience to apply – Stanford is a good choice as Fulbright has sent students in this domain to Stanford. Fulbright does offer teachers scholarships – in fact 10-15% of successful applicants are teachers.

  23. Hi Talha Omer,
    I completed my undergraduate study in 2015 at the University of Zambia in Agricultural Economics. I now want to do a postgrad in the USA through the Fullbright Scholarship. I would like to know whether I have to apply for placement at universities separately or the Fullbright will do it for me when I choose my prefferd universities in the scholarship application.
    Thank you.

    • Hello – Fulbright will place you, you don’t need to worry about applying to uni’s.

  24. hi, I am a civil engineer and I would like to apply for project management in Fullbright program is this possible ??

    • hello – yes you can apply in project management!

  25. Hello sir… i’ve done mphil in Education and want to avail fb for phD. Does it need any experience?? Also tell how much score is required in GRE for phd in Education.

    • Hello Abbasi, Nope it does not require experience – you will need above 305 on GRE

  26. Hi Talha! I have 1 year of experience, and have graduated from Business department. Is it possible to be accepted to LIM College (Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management) through Fullbright program? I did not found fullbright candidates graduated in that major.

    • Hello – Yes indeed – the only program that is not accepted on Fulbright is clinical medicine.

  27. Hi. I have completed PhD and awarded recently. I want to apply for post doc program in Fulbright. The question is before applying online do I need to contact the US institutions and only after getting a invitation letter from there I can apply and attach the letter as a part of application? or would it happen after submitting the application?

    • Hello – In Pakistan, you have to apply to FB directly, and not to the university!

  28. Hello, I got a university acceptance and I have not heard anything from Fulbright. It’s been two months now and I am now worried since it’s June. My fellow candidates have been confirmed. Should I lose hope?

    • Hello – yes if you have not heard till now then it means that your application has been rejected.

      • Dear Mr. Talha, I am intetrested to apply Ph.D program in TEFL. Could I have the right university for the field of study? Thanks

        • Hello – you can check to shortlist programs in TEFL.

  29. AoA. I am planning and really committed to apply and secure FB in the next cohort ( year 2019). I have about 5 months to prepare for GRE till december 2018, can you please suggest me some study material and plan.

  30. Can someone having a DVM degree apply for full bright?

  31. Hi Talha Omer,
    I have some query about getting FB. I am doing MBA (3.5 Years) from UCP, Lahore. Before that I have done B-Com (2Y), I-Com (2Y). I am currently in the 4th Semester and I have 3 more semester. I just have to ask that, I apply for fullbright in 2019 or 2020? I will get admission in Masters or PHD in USA after completing MBA in 2020?

    • Hi Haroon, If you get your degree by 2019 December then you can apply in 2019. Else in 2020.

  32. Hi Talha! So, if I got this correctly, you can apply to any institution in the USA via Fulbright? I graduated from Architecture school with distinction and got employed immediately and I’ve been thinking of applying to Yale but I’ve heard it’s a bit difficult for international students to get into Yale with scholarships, do you think it’s a possible option via Fulbright?

    • Hello Mary, Yes definitely you can get into any program through Fulbright given that you have the requisite profile…. Yale is also one of the universities, where Fulbright sends students.

  33. Dear Talha,
    My BBA(Bachelors in Business Administration) will be completed by june 2019.
    Can I apply for MBA(2 years) through fulbright just after completing my BBA?

    • Hello, Nope. For MBA you need 2 years of work experience at least!

  34. Dear Talha,
    I am currently in my final year of Bachelors and I looking forward to get admission in one of the top 50 universities. What should be the minimum GPA and GRE score to get into one of those. Also please mention any other factors on which the admission depends.
    Thank you

    • Hello Daniyal, Well for GRE a good score is above 315 and for the GPA anything above 3.5 is fine…..

  35. Dear Talha,

    It was a pleasure reading all these comments, and personally, I would like to thank you on all help you are providing to other potentials applicants, I have only one question, it’s in a different country not Pakistan but I think all Fulbright commissions are applying the same rules.

    I have been invited for an interview next week I need the best tips and hints I can work on them (Thank you in advance) also I didn’t choose my preferred universities in the scholarship application, if I will be accepted after the interview stage, can I still choose or start giving them preferred universities ?.

  36. Hi Talha!

    I’m in the last semester of my economics degree with a GPA of 3.8 . I have published 3 articles in international journals and i have been granted research funds from the university 3 times as well. Is there any chances for my acceptance at mit harvard or top tier graduate school via fulbright scholar program?

    • Hello Fahad, Well it is very very hard that FB sends you to places like MIT…. the reason is that Fulbright has limited funds and they want to maximize the number of students they send. Since MIT is expensive, it will be unlikely that Fulbright sends you there. Unless the program itself is cheap.

  37. Hey
    Is it possible that after getting Fulbright Scholarship you pay some amount to get into your desired choice of University

    • Hello – nope thats not possible

  38. hi talha.,
    I’m from Afghanistan and I’m bachelor of law, my toefl score is 58 could you please help me for universities that I can apply for Fulbright, can I apply with this score ?

    • Hello Khadija- there are no programs in my view that will accept you with such low TOEFL scores

  39. hello, i am an undergraduate student of BBA-Hons. I am currently in 7th semester and my degree will be completed in june 2019 and i will have my transcript almost by the end of june,2019. Shall i apply to fullbright masters program?

    • Hello – yes definitely you should apply

  40. Hello!
    Can you please tell me what is the academic eligibility criteria for apply through full bright?
    Also do i get to pick the program that i want to study or it would be selected for me from fullbright comission?
    Is there any minimum cgpa requirement?
    And how can i apply for full bright scholarship for next session?

  41. Hello. Im an under grad student in my 6th semester. About to move to 7th semester. can i apply for masters through full bright?

  42. I am Assistant Professor with 6 years experience in Public sector university. I have M.Phil in Business. Can i apply for PhD in Business. Also suggest which uni will be best?

    • Yes you can apply. What is your GRE score? And what publications do you have at the int’l level?

  43. I have applied last year for Fulbright degree program, PhD but couldn’t make it. I want to improve my GRE score, i need the GRE fee waiver. Will you please give me regarding this?

  44. Hi Sir. I am a graduate of Bs in geology and would like to do post grad thru full bright scholarship. I am planning for engineering geology or geoscience but still thinking for any other field. Kindly advice me which universities offer masters for the said filed. I am from the Philippines and have worked for almost 3 years. Thank you

    • You can apply to ranked programs available at

  45. Hello! I’m from Honduras. I got my Civil Engineering Degree last year. Before graduating, I worked at my university as an assistant lab instructor for 1.5 years. After graduating I got another job, so that combined it’s more than 2 years of work experience. Mi GPA it’s 3.1. My TOEFL score is 105. Right now I’m preparing for the GRE but I’m kind of worried of not getting a good enough GRE. What score should I be looking for to make a good appplication on my field of study? Is it mandatory to take the GRE before presenting my application to FB? Should I focus mostly on the quantitative part of the GRE? Thank you in advance!

    • Hello – Focus more on the quant part as it is much more important – a good score will be 162+ quant and 150+ on verbal. You must take the GRE before applying for the program. Hope it helps

  46. What type of GRE test (general or subject), I should take for the application to Master in chemistry through Fulbright Degree Program.

  47. Hey, Just went through the steps to apply. It says the interviews will be conducted in Islamabad. What if, you are from Karachi – still the interviews for them will be held in Islamabad?

    • Yes – you will have to go to Islamabad

  48. hi, i an a fulbright principal candidate for phd in biological sci for 2019. i am currently going through admission process. my gre score is 307 (153v, 154q) my submission plan include uni of colorado denver, uni of miami, florida uni, uni of illinois urbana champagne, uni of texas and uni of arkansas. so far i have recieved decision for 2, illinois and colorado both have rejected me. i still have 4 to go. but i am really distressed after 2 rejections. is it possible for a fulbright principal candidate to be rejected by all the uni he applied to?

    • Hello – nope it is not possible to get rejected by all 4 uni’s – unfortunately one has little to no control over the programs/uni’s that one can go to via Fulbright

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