Steps to apply for the 2018 Fulbright Program

Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Fulbright Scholarship | 98 comments

1) Online Application

To apply to Fulbright program you need to assemble a variety of materials to help the USEFP assess your qualifications. All materials must be submitted with your application by May 17th 2017. The following serves as a preview of what you need to prepare.

2) Transcript(s) and Degree(s)

All transcripts and degrees from a 4-year undergraduate degree or its equivalent – equivalent programs include international three-year bachelor programs, ACCA, or a 2 year Bachelor’s/2 year Masters degree. PhD applicants must also submit their MPhil or MS degrees and transcripts.

You can also apply while in your final year of undergraduate studies provided that you get your degree by December this year.

USEFP does not require transcripts or degrees attested by HEC – you could send your unofficial copies attested by the issuing authority (university registrar) from all universities that you have attended. Once admitted to the Fulbright program you will need to submit an official copy attested by HEC. If you have HEC attested documents already you can send those along with your application – attestation by issuing authority in that case is not required.

* The USEFP looks at your transcripts from a holistic perspective – not just your GPA. They take into account where you went for your education, the courses that you took and your performance in individual courses. They also account for the fact that different universities have different grading systems in Pakistan. There is no minimum GPA to apply, although most successful Fulbrighters have strong undergraduate records. Undergraduate academics are just one factor the Fulbright panel uses to evaluate a candidate.

3) GRE General Test

When submitting your application, you may report the unofficial GRE score given on the day of the test, or your official score if you have received it. Every applicant must request that ETS send an official score report directly to USEFP using the code 9388.

GRE general (international) test scores are required at the time of application. The deadline to submit your GRE scores is 17th May 2017. You MUST TAKE your GRE before 17th May. If you submit your application before 17th May and you have not taken your GRE by then, you must submit your GRE registration slip with your application. The date of GRE test must be before 17th May. A decent score for Engineering and Sciences on the GRE is 315+ and that for other fields is 310+.
GRE subject test is not required.

The minimum GRE score required to apply for the Fulbright is 138 for verbal and 136 for quantitative. But generally, accepted applicants have a GRE score in the upper percentiles. If you take the GRE test multiple times, you may report your best score, and Fulbright will only look at the scores that score.
TOEFL is NOT required at the time of the application submissions. You will have to take the TOEFL exam if you are called for an interview. IELTS is not acceptable.

4) Essays

There are two essays for the Fulbright application. Each essay must be written in the space provided in the application form, which approximates to 800 words. Don’t over craft your essays; just write in a clear language so that the Fulbright panel that doesn’t know your world can understand you better.
Before starting the essays you are going to need to figure out a marketing strategy for yourself. Successful applicants generally take 4-6 weeks writing and perfecting their essays. It takes long because it’s the strategizing and how you market yourself that takes a lot of brainstorming and revisions. Good essays are drafter 4-5 times at the minimum.

5) 3 Recommendation letters

You will need to have three recommendations submitted with your application by the application deadline. You can have 3 academic reference letters, OR 2 academic and 1 professional OR 2 professional and 1 academic. In other words, 1 academic reference letter is a must. Your referees need to fill the reference forms given in the application package and then sign, stamp and seal them in an envelope. Once you submit your online application your referees will be sent an online form via email. Your referees can submit the references either online or via mail at this address. Moreover REFERENCES MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE THE 17th MAY.

P.O Box 1128, Islamabad
Phone: (+9251) 8431300
Fax: (+9251) 8431555

There is no set formula for “who should write your references”. Sometimes it is also not possible to ask your employer to write your recommendation – USEFP does not want to jeopardize your current position for the application process. Just find people who know you well enough to answer them. It can be a former employer, teacher or researcher.

6) Resume

A current and most up-to-date resume should be added to the space provided on the application form. You do not need to have it in any special format. You can use whatever you would use to apply for a job.

7) Submit

There is no application fee for the Fulbright program. Applications must be sent to the USEFP Online.
Applications must be submitted online by or on 17th May 2017. Applications sent after 17th May will not be entertained.

8) Interview

After your written application has been submitted and reviewed, you may be invited to a panel interview. Interview decisions are made by mid-September and interviews are conducted in October. If you do not hear from USEFP by October it automatically implies that you have not been selected.

The interview is a positive indicator of selection, but is not a guarantee of admission. Interviews are scheduled in Islamabad at USEFP’s office. The format, timing or nature of the interview does not tell anything about your application or your candidacy.

Interviews are 15 to 30 minutes and are conducted by a panel of 4 people; two Pakistani Fulbrighters and two American employees of USEFP. You have to take your TOEFL registration slip with you on the day of the interview and it is not mandatory to have taken the TOEFL exam by the interview date.

Frequently Asked Questions?

GRE for Fulbright

When Should I Take the GRE for the Fulbright Scholarship?

Is GRE Subject Test Required for Fulbright Scholarship?

What is a Good GRE score for Fulbright Scholarship Pakistan?

What is the Average GRE scores of Pakistani Students?

Is TOEFL Required before the Fulbright Deadline?

Can I take GMAT for Fulbright Scholarship?

Can I give the GRE for Free?

GRE Test Preparation

What are the Best GRE Books to Prepare from?

What is it like to prepare and give the GRE Test?

How to I improve my GRE verbal basics?

How to prepare for the GRE Verbal Section?

Fulbright Scholars Profiles

What are the Profiles of Admitted Fulbright Scholars like?

Who were Admitted by the Fulbright Program last year?

Fulbright Evaluation Criteria Profiles

What is the Fulbright Evaluation Criteria?

What Trait should a Fulbright Applicant have?

How people get the Fulbright Scholarship?

Do Top Candidates Get Rejected By Fulbright?

What are my Chances of Getting the Fulbright Scholarship?

Does GPA matter for Fulbright Scholarship?

Fulbright Interview

What are the Most Important Fulbright Interview Questions?

Fulbright Interview Questions

Fulbright Pakistan Interview Experiences

Recommendation Letters and Resume for the Fulbright

How to Write a Fulbright Professional Recommendation Letter

Sample Work Recommendation Letter of a Pakistani Student

How to write a Resume for Fulbright Scholarship

How to Send Reference Letters to Fulbright?

Who Can Write Letters of Recommendation?

Sample Professional Letter of Recommendation of a Pakistani Applicant

What is a Poor Academic Recommendation Letter?

Reference or Recommendation Letter for Fulbright Scholarship

Sample Academic Letter of Recommendation of a Pakistani Applicant

Personal Statement and Study Objectives for the Fulbright

Can I see a Sample of Study Objectives of a Successful Fulbright candidate?

Can I have a look at a Sample Personal Statement for Fulbright Scholarship?

Can I see a Sample Personal Statement of someone in the field of health sciences?

What is the Difference between the Personal Statement & Study Objectives for the Fulbright Scholarship?

Sample Study Objectives for Fulbright Scholarship Pakistan

Another Sample Personal Statement for Fulbright Scholarship

How to explain low GPA in Personal Statement?

Writing a Personal statement for Fulbright Scholarship?

Miscellaneous Questions

How to Fill a Fulbright Application Form?

What is the Fulbright Offer letter, Contract and Bond like?

I have not graduated yet, can I still apply for Fulbright?

At Which Universities do Fulbright Grantees Study?

What fields are Eligible to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship?

What are the Advantages of Fulbright Scholarship?

What are the Disadvantages of Fulbright Scholarship?


  1. Avatar

    I have been reading your Blog regularly and they have helped me a lot…However, I still need your guidance for my college application. Before I explain my queries let me tell you a little about myself.
    I recently appeared in GRE Exam and scored 310 (149 Verb and 161 Quant. 3 AWA). I plan to pursue my Graduate study in the subject of Civil Engineering. I graduated in 2012 from NUST (National University of Sciences and Technology) standing 3rd among 130 students with a CGPA 3.82 out of 4. Immediately after that I started working with NESPAK Pvt. Limited Engineering Consulting Company which is the only of its kind in Pakistan.
    I aim to apply through Fulbright and a bit reluctant to apply as have fear of rejection. Furthermore, people doing job soon feel their work banal and routine, work of zero importance. Thus, it makes even difficult to describe your work as a real piece of art in one’s personal statement. I just need your help to actually decide from where and I should start.

    I’ll be so grateful and undoubtedly you doing a great job.

    • Avatar

      Well main interest of FB is the impact that you are going to make on your return to PK. Focus on that and try to link it with the MS program and what you have already done before. I will advise you to call us at 0331-4513196 to discuss in detail

  2. Avatar

    Dear Talha Omer,

    Thank you for this amazingly helpful website. Your work is helping hundreds of Pakistani students each year.

    I wanted to seek your advice. I have received an admission offer from Cornell University for MPA 2017. I will not be able to afford it on my own. If I apply to Fulbright this year, can this admission offer from Cornell be used in my application and funding for it somehow received from Fulbright? Is there a way?

    Conversely, should I ask Cornell to somehow link my offer to Fulbright sponsorship? I can see a complication; since the offer I have received is for fall of this year while the Fulbright application will be for 2018 intake. What is your view/advice on this?

    Thank you,

    • Avatar

      Thank you Zain 🙂 Nope this admission will not help you secure FB since FB has its own process of selection. The only hope is that you defer admission in cornell and then apply for FB and if you get FB you can then let them know about it

  3. Avatar

    Dear Talha,

    How to submit the attested transcripts and degrees for the fulbright application 2017? Can we submit the scan copies online or we have to send attested hard copies through TCS.

    • Avatar

      2018 fulbright program*

    • Avatar

      Yes you can submit scanned copies.

      • Avatar

        hi can i get scholorship for PhD in clinical psychology

  4. Avatar

    Dear Talha,

    There are two ways to submit the recommendation letters, my question is, can we sent the hard copies of the reference letters before submission of the online application?

    • Avatar

      Hello Qaisar – yes you can

      • Avatar

        My parents are going to USA on immigration visa… So i want to ask that is there any policy not to take above any child with u who is above 21?

        • Avatar

          Yes they cannot take any child above 21

  5. Avatar

    I am unable to find the TOEFL code for USEFP. Do I just have to upload my test report or sending the scores is necessary? In case it is is necessary what is the code for USEFP?

    • Avatar

      Hello Akif – 9388. Just uploading is fine as well.

  6. Avatar

    Hello Talha and thank you for this amazing website.

    I just needed to verify one small confusion that i had in mind.

    Do we only have to submit documents online? or do we also have to send in hard copies?

    Thanks once again.

    • Avatar

      Hello Fahad – you are most welcome 🙂
      Only online.

      • Avatar

        Great to hear that! and thanks for the prompt reply!

  7. Avatar

    Hi Talha Omer,

    Thank you for this amazing website and all your help.

    I’ll graduate in the spring semester 2019 (we get our results around August). When should I start preparing for my FB Application and when will I submit it?
    I don’t want to waste any time after my bachelors, I’d want to start with my masters degree right away so I just want to know till what month would I have to wait for an answer?
    Also can all the three Referees be my instructors?

    • Avatar

      Most welcome Hina. Well you cannot apply in 2018, you will have to apply in 2019 May and you will start your studies in Fall (August) 2020. In your case you will be wasting a year and a half after you graduate since you will not be eligible to apply in 2018.


  8. Avatar

    Hi, where can I find the list of ‘field of study’? Does it change every year?

    • Avatar

      Hey Kiran, It is the same for each year. You can apply in all fields except clinical medicine. Thanks

  9. Avatar

    Can I see my Fulbright application after submission?

  10. Avatar

    AOA, Sir has the emailing process for the rejection or interview call of Fulbright 2018 Started ?

    If so, it would be nice of you to create a separate Blog where 2018 applicants can communicate/share their experiences/Interview calls/Rejections etc in the comments section . Thanks.

    • Avatar

      WS Hamza, nope it will start inshAllah in September. Definitely I will 🙂

      • Avatar

        Okay, Thanks.

  11. Avatar

    Dear Talha Umer
    i have done Ph.D in Pashto Language and Literature in 2011 , now i want to do Post Doc, are there any Post doc scholarship,and is i am eligible ?

  12. Avatar

    Online application system seems to have saved up time… they’ve already started calling the applicants for interviews; Keep your fingers crossed people!

    • Avatar

      How do you know?

  13. Avatar

    Dear Talha, your blogs are of great help to all aspiring FB applicants.

    Since Interviews have already been conducted, it would be very kind of you if you could create a separate blog about this year’s interview experiences where applicants can communicate and share their experiences.

    Thanks. Stay blessed.

  14. Avatar

    Dear Talha,
    Is there any website to gauge the progress of the process.
    Are the interviews still in process or it’s all done?
    Till when one can be hopefull?

    • Avatar

      Hello Amman – FB interviews are now over. 🙁

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        When are the results expected, did anyone get a call?

        • Avatar

          Results will be given by early October

  15. Avatar

    When are the results expected, did anyone get a call?

  16. Avatar

    If anyone get a call or email plz mention here

  17. Avatar

    I intend to apply to US universities till Dec 2017 and in Full Bright after that in 2018. In case I secure it, will I be able to avail it in Fall 2018? Of course I’ll be mentioning admissions secured in my application.

    • Avatar

      Hello Sasha – nope for FB you will only be able to avail for 2019 in case you apply in 2018

  18. Avatar

    AOA, kindly guide me about whether I can apply for masters in any of the programs offered in the field of Physical Therapy. is there any list from where i can see which programs one can apply for through full bright. i m new to this page. It will be very helpful if you guide me through the process.

    • Avatar

      W.S. You can apply for any program except clinical medicine.

  19. Avatar

    list of courses that i can apply for?

    • Avatar

      You can apply for all courses except clinical medicine.

  20. Avatar

    Is this scholarship fully funded ?

  21. Avatar

    hi its meher from Peshawar pakistan. i done MS (CS) but due to family crises didn’t score 3 GPA .my dream is to do PHD so please guide me. and also want Fulbright scholarship program

    • Avatar

      Hello – FB will open in Feb 2018 again. By then please get done with your GRE exam and try to submit your complete application by April end max!

  22. Avatar

    Hello Talha sir,
    sir i am doing my Ph.D from IQRA University, Islamabad in Business Administration.
    I want to know about the dead line for next full bright scholorship. Furthermore sir let me know about the dates to appear for GRE test.
    Waiting to hear from you.

  23. Avatar

    Hi sir Talha
    I am engineer living and working in Saudi Arabia (have professional experience of 9 years) and now interested in graduate study MS or PhD. If i take GRE test and TOEFL afterwards, am i eligible for FB? should i apply from Pakistan or Saudi

    • Avatar

      Hello Husnain! Well you will be eligible but your chances will be very low of getting the FB. FB is generally granted to students with strong academic and working ties with Pakistan.

  24. Avatar

    AOA Talha Bhai ! I scored 300 in GRE and have a CGPA of 3.2 but no internship and publication yet and want to do a Masters in Computer science and I also have a FATA domicile do you think there is any chances of me to get full Bright scholarship. Thank you !

    • Avatar

      W.S. Ameeq, Well given your domicile i honestly think you have a really strong chance 🙂 So do apply

  25. Avatar

    I have certain questions regarding Full Bright.

    Is it necessary to serve in Pakistan after Full bright?
    Can I work anywhere abroad after completing two years in pakistan?
    Can I go back to US after completing full bright and 2 years of serves in Pakistan?
    And how helpful could full bright be in helping me find a job in pakistan after completing full bright program.

    • Avatar

      1) No. You can serve anywhere but US
      2) You can work anywhere but US
      3) Yes you can
      FB does not help you find a job, you have to do it yourself

  26. Avatar

    `Respected Sir AOA,
    How are you sir?Can i apply for masters FB scholarship 2018-2019.I have not appear in GRE test yet.?

    • Avatar

      W.A.S Abdullah! Yes you can apply – GRE can be taken till 31st May

  27. Avatar

    Hey Talha sir! Thanku for the wonderful blog..
    I m doing doctor of pharmacy I’ll be graduating in 2019. I can not do masters in clinical medicine through this program. Can u plz suggest me in which subject i can apply for master ????

    • Avatar

      You can apply for Masters in Public health or any other non clinical program

  28. Avatar

    Hi Mr. Talha

    I am a graduate of mechanical engineering from University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus with 3.1 cGPA. GRE score of 322/340. Been working as energy engineer ina renewable energy consultancy for the past 3 years. Also did internship with PITB to teach unprivileged children of Government schools. My undergrad project was also in the field of energy and i intend to do my masters in it. What are my chances of getting FB?

    • Avatar

      Hello Hadi, Well honestly, students who have already been abroad for their education have less than 10% chance of getting selected. Not that you cannot apply, but its just that the chances will be too low.

  29. Avatar

    Dear talha,i am a school head with 10 years experiance .i have done MEd & MBA in education .iwould like to apply for humphrey fellowship programe .can u plz guide me in this matter.

    • Avatar

      Hello Shazia, Please be specific regarding your query so that I can guide you. Thanks

  30. Avatar

    Talha bhai, can you tell me the steps to apply for the 2018 UGRAD exchange degree program?

  31. Avatar

    Hi, so I was going through their official website and they have mentioned that for the PhD program 18 years of education is required. However, the university I am interested in applying offers a 5 years PhD program (so no masters required). So, are they going to consider that?

    • Avatar

      Hello – I am not sure about it. In my experience, Fulbright is very strict to the 18 years requirement. But better check directly with USEFP.

  32. Avatar

    Do you know anyone or if you can help me with this question, it is mentioned that it takes around 3 to 5 months for J2 to visa to get process. Is there anyone who has been to fullbright program and invited his spouse or family within first or second month of his arrival? I have heard people saying you can start processing J2 visa after one month. is this true? can anyone help me on this ?

    • Avatar

      Spouse can be invited within 1-2 months of arrival. But if you have kids, then it is advisable to apply for their visa after 4-5 months.

  33. Avatar

    Hello, i am arfa studying BbA university i am in third year, and i want to apply in us fullbright scholar program after my graduation and i am getting confuse i need a complete guidance .

  34. Avatar

    Do undergraduate students get fulbright scholarships?

  35. Avatar

    Dear Talha Omer

    I still have a query i am a PhD in clinical Psychology and i want to apply for postdoc on full bright scholarship do i have to score on IELTS OR GRE or both. What are the tests required for postdoc

    • Avatar

      Dear Muneeba, For Postdoc you don’t need GRE. However, you need TOEFL. IELTS is not accepted.

  36. Avatar

    Hello dear bro…
    I am a student of B.Sc 4th year but till my 3rd year result is not announced…
    Can I apply for undergraduate program in zoology

    • Avatar

      Hello Arif, If the results are not announced for the 3rd year before May, you will not be able to apply. Thanks

  37. Avatar

    Hello Sir,
    I have done BE mechanical engineering, i wasted to ask, can we specify the exact subfield we want to persure our masters in.

    For example i want to masters in mechatronics, can i select it,

    If yes, then when and how we specify the subfield

    Or Fulbright Scholarship office make selection of subfield for us

    • Avatar

      Hello, Yes you can make the selection in the Fulbright online application form. Also you can tell them about it in your personal statement and study objectives.

  38. Avatar

    i am a student of BS- physiotherapy, and i want to apply for Fulbright scholarship for my further studies. can you provide me guidance about the related fields of my subject???

    • Avatar

      Hello – You can apply to any and all non-clinical fields. Thanks

  39. Avatar

    Salam Talha Bhai,
    Am amazed to see your consistent feedback against each of the above queries; great forum indeed!
    I am a Mech. Engineer (CGPA 3.43; GRE 324; TOEFL 113). I have a professional experience of 5.5 years in Operations/Manufacturing field and want to pursue Masters in Operations Management. Your feedback will be appreciated regarding the following two points:
    1- Is my relatively higher professional experience a ‘negative’ for my application (generally I have seen fresh graduates selected for Fullbright)
    2- Masters in Operations Management is not a MS per se (its more like an amalgam of MS & MBA); does USEFP encourages or discourages this field (or is neutral to it?)?
    Thanks in anticipation!

    • Avatar


      1) Not at all – in fact it is a plus if it is relevant to your prospective program.
      2) USEFP is disinclined towards programs that involve elements of MBA or general management. But you must apply and take your chances – having experience can sway FB in your favor.

      Good Luck!

      • Avatar

        Thanks a lot for the kind feedback, much appreciated!

  40. Avatar

    I am the recent graduate of Mech Engg. Can I pursue a degree in Education? If I clearly state my objectives and reasons of pursuing education, it wont affect my application. right?


    • Avatar

      Hello – Yes you can apply. There are several students who switch to education from engineering so as long as your objectives are clear it is not going to be an issue!

  41. Avatar

    Hi Talha,

    Is there any criteria for age too? I am 28 year old, can i apply?


    • Avatar

      Hello – no age criteria – anyone can apply!

  42. Avatar

    AOA Talha,
    Hope you are doing well. I intend to apply for PHD (full bright). I have done my masters(CGPA 91%) from China after completing my B.E Electrical(CGPA 2.82) from Pakistan. I have 4 publications with 7 years of work experience in Pakistan. My gre score is 317 with 163 in Quantitative and 154 in verbal. My main concern is that my masters is from abroad and my gpa in undergrad. Do i stand a chance?

    • Avatar

      W/S Saad, Hope you are well. For PHD programs 3-4 students with MS from abroad do get Fulbright. So you do have a chance. Plus your profile is pretty good.

  43. Avatar

    Hi , sir i got 137 in verbal and 156 in quant. Is there any chance to get full bright for phd economic -My CGPA 3.9 in master and 3.7 in Mphill Recently Assistant Director in Central bank and having 6 research publication.

    • Avatar

      Hi, The verbal score is too low for a decent chance of making it – you must retake the GRE and try to improve verbal score.

  44. Avatar

    Hi Talha,
    I have 2 questions:
    1-) Is there any job requirement/professional experience required to apply for FB after bachelors?
    2-) Can one apply for it when he s in his final semester (say in feb and semester ends in june). Also, what is the soonest FB scholarship that can be given to such person?
    3) Nope – that comes after you have been shortlisted by FB.

    • Avatar

      Hi Riaz,

      1) Nope. Unless you are applying to MBA or MPA program.
      2) Yes, you can apply in your last semester. FB is given for the next year. So if you apply in 2020, you ll start the program in fall of 2021.

      • Avatar

        Many thanks brother
        Jus one last question:
        Is admission in a US university necessary before the applications or does that come afterwards?
        And the choice in choosing the university

        • Avatar

          Admission and university selection is done after FB selects you after the interview. However in the application you can state your university preferences.

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