Eligibility Criteria

EHLS is only open to native speakers of languages selected by the program’s federal sponsor, the National Security Education Program (NSEP).

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for admission to the 2020 EHLS Program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be a native speaker of one of the following languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Bambara, Dari, Hausa, Hindi, Kazakh, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Mandarin Chinese, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Tajik, Tamashek, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Uzbek, or Vietnamese.
  • Have native language skills at Level 3 or higher on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale
  • Have English language skills at level 2 or higher on the ILR scale
  • Be able to use Microsoft Office software (Word, PowerPoint) and use the Internet to conduct research
  • Have completed university-level or equivalent professional education at the bachelor’s level
  • Be able to commit to full-time daytime study for 6 months at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, followed by 2 months of part-time online study
  • Be completely separated from any position with the U.S. government and any service in the U.S. military as of the date when instruction begins
  • Agree to fulfill a one-year service commitment with the U.S. government

Please note that a person can only receive the EHLS scholarship one time.

Selection Criteria

Applicants to the EHLS Program will be evaluated according to five selection criteria, aside from language and computer skills: language goals and motivation, cultural knowledge, research skills, professional adaptability, and compatibility with the federal workplace. Detailed information about each criterion is available in the selection criteria rubrics. It is strongly suggested that you review these rubrics as you prepare your EHLS application.

Assessing Your Language and Computer Skills

For a preliminary idea of whether you qualify for EHLS, use the language self-assessment grids for both your English and your native language skills. The grids describe proficiency levels from A1 (lowest) to C2 (highest).

In your native language, you need to be confident that you meet the criteria for level C1 or better in all of the skill areas. In English, you need to be confident that you meet the criteria for level B1 or B2 in all of the skill areas.

These self-assessments were developed by the Council of Europe as part of the European Language Portfolio. Please note that this is only a preliminary measure. There is no formal validated correlation between these self-assessment grids and the ILR scale.

Use the computer skills self-assessment to determine whether you have the technology skills that the program requires.