United States Education Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) has opened its applications for the Fulbright 2020-2021 Masters and Ph.D. program. The application deadline is May 13, 2020. The scholarship pays for the following:
- 100% tuition fee
- Cost of books
- Free air travel
- TOEFL test fee
- Health insurance
- Visa fee
- Monthly stipend
- No money for dependents
150 Scholarships will be awarded in 2021 of which 50% will be for females, 30% for Ph.D. and 40% for Engineers.
How long is the application process?
- Between May and August 2020, all applications will be thoroughly reviewed.
- In August 2020, qualified applicants will be called for an interview to Islamabad.
- Interviews will be conducted in September 2020.
- In October 2020, selected applicants will be notified of their final acceptance.
- Between November 2020 and March 2021, applicants will apply for admissions with the help of their IIE admissions officers.
- From March 2021 to April 2021, applicants will accept their admissions offer and apply for the visa.
- The Visa process will end by June 2021 and applicants will leave for U.S. in July/August 2021.
Final successful applicants who are notified by an e-mail and by mail. Those who do not get selected are notified only by mail.
- For the Master’s degree program, eligible candidates must have at least 16 years of formal education from an HEC recognized university. Fresh graduates can also apply except for MBA and Public Policy/Administration, which require at least 2 years of full-time professional work experience. For the MBA program, it is generally advisable that applicants should have 3-5 years of average work experience since most MBA programs require that much work experience.
You can apply if you have a 3-year Bachelor’s degree, a 3-year ACCA degree or a one year Masters or M.Phil. degree. If you are still studying or haven’t received your degree or final transcript, you can apply as long as you can provide the final transcript by December 2020.
For the Ph.D. program, a minimum of 18 years of education is mandatory. This is an odd requirement since many programs in the US accept students with 16 years of education in their Ph.D. programs. Whereas Fulbright only accepts applicants with 18 years of education.For Ph.D. programs, it is recommended that applicants have decent teaching and research experience. A few publications are also an added advantage for Ph.D. applicants. For those who are still doing their MPhil or are yet to receive their MPhil degrees and final transcripts can also apply if they can get their final degrees before December 2020. You cannot apply for Masters leading to Ph.D. You can apply for one degree only, either a Masters or Ph.D.
- All academic disciplines are eligible to apply for the Fulbright except clinical medicine. MBBS students can apply for any non-clinical program such as Public Health. Some fields are given priority in selection such as Agriculture, Education, Public Health, Urban and Regional Planning, Arts and Culture Management, Environmental Science, Security/Peace Studies, Data Science/Analytics, Energy, Water, Social Sciences, Journalism and Mass Communication.
Priority only implies that if Fulbright finds a competitive applicant in one of these areas then his or her application will take precedence over others. Some students would deliberately mold their application to apply in one of these areas so that they have a higher chance of getting selected. This will go against them if they do not have a convincing reason to apply in that field. So, we would warn you against pursuing fields that are not your natural career paths.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE General) is required for all applicants. GRE Subject Test is not required. Even business applicants should take the general GRE. If selected, they may be asked to take the GMAT. A minimum score of 136 in Maths and 138 in English is mandatory for the application. However, meeting the minimum score requirement is no guarantee of getting the Fulbright scholarship. GRE scores of most of the accepted applicants are averaging around 156 in Maths and 155 in English.
The GRE must be taken before the application deadline. Taking the GRE after the application deadline will disqualify your application. If you don’t have your score report by the deadline you should upload the proof of your registration with the application showing that you took the exam before the deadline.Your GRE test fee will be refunded if you currently study or teach at a public university. To be eligible for the waiver, you should score at least 290 if you are an applicant from humanities and social science subjects or at least 300 if you are an applicant from an engineering and science subject. Just attach a request for reimbursement of the GRE cost with your application. Note that only 30 applicants are reimbursed on a first-come, first-served basis – so try to submit your application early. The USEFP code for sending your GRE score is 9388.
- TOEFL is not required with the application. However, once called for the interview you will have to register for the TOEFL.
- You must be a Pakistani citizen. Dual Pakistani/Non-US nationals can also apply.
- People with disabilities and/or belonging to underprivileged areas such as FATA and/or Baluchistan are also encouraged to apply.
All successful candidates are required to sign a contract with USEFP and, for successful Ph.D. candidates, a bond with the HEC that binds them to return to Pakistan within 30 days of their program completion. Upon returning to Pakistan, applicants should serve Pakistan for two years after a Master’s degree and for 5 years after a Ph.D. degree. If you wish to stay in the U.S. then you must pay the USEFP, the full amount spent on you.
- Persons with a dual U.S./Pakistan nationality or those having a spouse, parent, fiancé or child over 18 years of age who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Employees of the Fulbright organization or the U.S. Department of State and their spouses, fiancés, siblings, dependents, children, and parents. For programs funded by their agencies, employees of USAID or the HEC and their spouses, fiancés, siblings, dependents, children, and parents.
- Persons already studying in the U.S. or on a work/residence visa in any country.
- Applicants with a U.S. education in the past 5 years
Students who have not previously received a Fulbright grant are given preference; though a lot of UGRAD and other USAID funded scholars do end up getting the Fulbright scholarship. Moreover, students who have not previously studied abroad are also given preference. However, 5-10% of students do get the Fulbright scholarship despite having a degree from outside of Pakistan.
How to apply
A complete application package includes:
- In order to apply, you must fill the online application form and attach all the supporting documents online by May 13, 2020.
- Scanned transcripts, including an explanation of the grading scale of the university issuing the degree, should be uploaded as well. Please note that HEC-attested documents are preferable with the application, but degree and transcripts attested by the issuing authority will be accepted at the time of application.
- When you submit your application online, an auto-generated email is sent to your referee asking for your recommendation letter. He/she has the option to submit the letter online or send the paper copy through courier at the below address before May 13, 2020.
USEFP, Street 17, F-6/2, Islamabad, Pakistan