Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships to the USA

Interested in studying for a master's degree or PhD in the USA? You’re not alone: every year, thousands of students from the UK choose the USA for their graduate studies.

Applications for academic year 2025-26 are now closed.

Aimed at anyone looking to pursue a master’s or PhD in the USA, our Fulbright Postgraduate scholarships, known as 'Fulbright Awards' provide the only scholarships for academic work in any graduate programme at any accredited US university.

The All Disciplines Award can be applied to any master's or doctoral degree at any accredited US university, as well as for independent research projects. We also offer several Awards partnered with US universities and professional or charitable bodies who are looking for Fulbrighters interested in specific academic disciplines.

All Postgraduate Awards offer:

  • Generous financial packages and fully funded awards
  • Sickness and accident coverage
  • J-1 visa sponsorship and pre-departure support & orientation
  • Visit UK cultural sites and areas of scenic beauty
  • Support in the USA from the Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • Access to a global alumni network of collaborative engagement and cultural diplomacy, with over 300,000 academically and professionally accomplished members

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Postgraduate Awards to the USA for academic year 2025-26

To be eligible to apply for a Fulbright Award, applicants must:

1. Be a UK citizen

Applications from non-UK citizens based in the UK and committed to a life and career in the UK may also be considered. You will be required to follow these steps: 

  • Contact the Fulbright Commission/post in your home country to check if you are eligible to apply through them. You can submit an application to us only if your home Commission/post do not accept your application due to your residency in the UK. You will need to obtain a written confirmation (e.g., an e-mail) and upload it as part of your application to the US-UK Fulbright Commission.  
  • In addition to your passport copy, please provide evidence of your legal status in the UK (e.g., settled/pre-settled status, Indefinite Leave to Remain). Please note that we are unable to accept applications from non-UK citizens on a student visa.  
  • All non-UK nationals meeting the above criteria will be expected to demonstrate commitment to returning to the UK after their proposed academic study in the US. Please note that this will be assessed at the application review stage by reading panellists.
  • Dual US-UK citizens, US Green Card holders, or individuals who are resident in the US at the time of application are ineligible to apply.
  • We welcome candidates from British Overseas Territories.

2. Hold or expect to attain an undergraduate degree with at least a 2:1 overall undergraduate result

  • We may accept applications from individuals with a 2:2 overall result in some exceptional cases. If you have obtained a 2:2, in order to be considered, you must submit a form providing an explanation as to why you did not obtain a 2:1 and why you believe you would be a competitive applicant to the Fulbright programme. We will evaluate these applications separately and on a case-by-case basis will determine if the application will be included in the competition.

The US-UK Fulbright programme aims to foster cultural understanding between our two countries. Preference is therefore given to applicants who do not have extensive experience (six months or longer) in the USA. Applicants with extensive US experience should explain in detail how further experience in the USA will fulfil the Fulbright mission in ways that their prior visits did not.

What we're looking for

We are looking for applicants who can engage with the USA in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding. 

Academic excellence is important, but we are looking for more than that. The best applications are from well-rounded students who can demonstrate: 

  • Strong academic proposals and/or research projects 
  • Ambassadorial skills 
  • Intercultural sensitivity  
  • Genuine desire to learn more about the USA and to share aspects of British culture 
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Community involvement 
  • Leadership potential 
  • Plans to further the Fulbright mission and give back to the UK upon returning

How to apply

Postgraduate Awards application instructions

Choosing an Award


There are a number of postgraduate awards available each year, applicants can only apply for one award at a time so be sure to check the description of each to make sure you’re applying for the Award that best suits your interests and discipline.

Applications for academic year 2025-26 are closed.

Application instructions


1. Review the UK-specific application information: 

2. Complete your online application. The application portal is linked on the first page of our application instructions.

3. Complete the separate online US-UK Fulbright Commission Supplemental Form. You can access the form here. The link is also available in the Application Instructions.

This is a required part of the application for all applicants, and your application will be considered incomplete without it.

3a. If you are submitting an application with a 2:2 undergraduate result, you must additionally complete the 2:2 Undergraduate Result Form. The link is also available in the Application Instructions.

We may accept applications from individuals with a 2:2 overall result in some exceptional cases. We will evaluate these applications separately and on a case by case basis will determine if the application will be included in the competition.


4. You must make a separate application to your chosen US institution(s), the timeline and deadlines for which will vary from the Fulbright application unless you select the IIE placement track. In this case you will work with an IIE Advisor should you be successful at the interview stage.

If you have chosen the self-placed track, University and graduate programme application guidance is available from our EducationUSA advising centre. You do not need to have applied to a US university before submitting your Fulbright application, but must receive an offer of admissions from the institution(s) nominated in your proposal to receive your Fulbright grant if successful. 

Application process

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a panel interview which will take place in August on Zoom. 

All applicants for academic year 2025-26 will be informed of their application outcome by early September 2024. The Fulbright Commission cannot comment or provide feedback on individual applications. 

UK Postgraduates Application Timeline

Please note that candidates who are not using the IIE Placement Model will need to make their own independent applications to US institutions. 

For academic year 2025-26

February 2024

Applications open

6 May 2024, 5 PM GMT

Deadline for applications. Please note that we do not consider late applications. All applications have to be submitted online, and we do not accept applications via e-mail.

May-July 2024

Initial screening and review of applications are done by review panels. You should not expect to hear from the Commission during this time, and staff will be unable to comment on the process or an individual application’s status.   

Early/Mid-August 2024

If shortlisted, successful candidates must be available for interview.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to be available for an interview on the date and at the time allocated and to cover associated costs. We have a tight schedule and are therefore unable to reschedule interviews. Candidates who have not been selected for interview will be notified via e-mail by the end of August 2024. Please check your spam folder for the message. 

Early September 2024

All candidates will be notified of the interview outcome.

From late September 2024 onwards

Selected grantees on the IIE placement track will begin working with Fulbright and the IIE on their submission plan.

March-July 2025

Fulbright and J-1 visa paperwork. 

From late July 2025 onwards

Independent departures, your Fulbright exchange begins. In exceptional cases, earlier departures may be permitted if no alternative grant dates can be arranged.

Placement types

You can choose between two placement types for our Fulbright Postgraduate Awards - the IIE placement model, or the Independent Placement Model

IIE Placement Model

With this placement model, you can apply for a Fulbright Award without having to choose which US university to apply to. The IIE Placement track is for students interested in exploring postgraduate education in the US and who are willing to approach finding a university with flexibility and an open mind.

Applicants on this track who are successful at the interview stage will have an application submission plan created for them by an educational advisor at the IIE to find the best academic and funding fit for the student. Their Fulbright application will be submitted to those universities for consideration and the IIE will cover the costs of admission and admission tests. Applicants on this track should not reference any U.S. universities in their Study Objective or Personal Statement.

IIE Placement Model FAQ's

By choosing IIE Placement, you will be in a stronger position to find a university that is the right academic and personal fit.

  • IIE Placement staff members are field of study experts
  • The IIE’s approach is individualised
  • IIE has a strong track record of securing admissions and cost-sharing

IIE will create a submission plan of up to five programmes (depending on your level of study) with a selection of institutions that are some of the strongest in your field, and you won’t have to independently complete applications for these US institutions, as they will largely use the materials you provided in your Fulbright application. 

The IIE will also place you in a better position to negotiate financial packages with your host university, to help you manage the cost of your education. The IIE will handle financial package negotiations on your behalf with all institutions in your submission plan, and will cover the cost of your application and test fees. 

Conversations regarding IIE submission plans shall begin in early Autumn for the successful candidates, after the Fulbright Commission finalise the selection process. 

The Fulbright Opportunity Fund will be available to selected candidates for the IIE Placement. This fund is designed to provide financial support for students who are selected to receive a Fulbright Award, but who cannot afford to fully fund their US study after exhausting all options to find funding. Find out more about the Fulbright Opportunity Fund.

Please note, if you choose the IIE placement track you must choose one of the universities offered within your submission plan. If you decide to accept an offer for a different university that you’ve applied to independently, you will forfeit your Fulbright award.

Yes, you can apply for an All Disciplines Award with this model. Visit our how to apply page for details on the application process.

You cannot apply for an institution-specific Partner Award through IIE Placement. However, if the Partner Award is not specific to a particular US institution, then you can apply through IIE Placement. Please review each Partner Award page for details on whether the Award can be applied for through IIE Placement.

In your online application, you must select the award you are applying for. Your Award selection will indicate whether the Award is IIE Placement or Independent Placement.

Independent Placement Model

If you have a specific institution – or several institutions – that you wish to apply to on your own, then Independent Placement is the model for you.

The Independent Placement track is ideal for students who come to the Fulbright application with specific universities in mind that they wish to apply to, or hold deferred offers from universities in the United States. Students who select this track will be expected to make applications to their chosen institutions independently. Before commencing with a Fulbright award, candidates will be required to have secured admission at a university in the U.S. However, you do not have to have submitted any applications by the time that you apply for a Fulbright Award. If you select the Independent Placement track, you MUST reference the institutions that you are applying to/hold a deferred offer from, in the Study Objective essay.

Choosing the right university for you requires plenty of research. The selection committees and interview panels will be looking for clear reasons for your US university preference. We expect candidates to conduct a thorough university search and to identify institutions that are a strong fit for their academic, personal and professional goals. 

When choosing the US universities to apply to, applicants are encouraged to be open-minded and flexible, and consider the many excellent universities throughout the US. For more guidance on choosing a US institution, review our EducationUSA advice pages.

Please note that the Fulbright Opportunity Fund will not be available to selected candidates for Independent Placement. The Fulbright Opportunity Fund is only available to selected candidates for IIE Placement.

Independent Placement Model FAQ's

Yes, you can apply for an All Disciplines Award with this model.

You can apply for any Partner Award through the Independent Placement. 

In your online application, you must select the award you are applying for. Your Award selection will indicate whether the Award is IIE Placement or Independent Placement.

Visit our how to apply section for details on the application process.

N.B. Please note If you choose the IIE placement option and then decide to go to an institution which is not suggested by the IIE, you will no longer be able to participate in the Fulbright programme.

Connect with Fulbright Alumni

Would you like to connect with one of our past Fulbrighters to find out more about the Fulbright Awards? Chat to one of our alumni to hear about their experiences, and to discover tips and advice for applying. 

Ask our alumni

Fulbright Opportunity Fund

As part of our commitment to increasing participation of under-represented groups and continuing fair access, we welcome applications to the Fulbright Opportunity Fund. 

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is committed to widening access to the UK Fulbright Programme. We do this by maintaining equitable application and selection processes and providing the opportunity -- for students who otherwise could not afford to participate in the programme -- to apply for additional financial support since we recognise that the cost of taking up a US education, even with a standard Fulbright Award, is a barrier for many UK students.  


The Fulbright Opportunity Fund is designed to provide further financial support for students who are selected to receive a standard Fulbright Award, but who do not have the means to fully fund their US study after exhausting all options to find other funding. Thanks to additional sponsorship from the UK government, we are now delighted to be able to offer an increased number of fully funded awards that cover the cost of a two-year master’s degree and living costs in the US. In 2022, we also introduced the IIE Placement model, supporting successful Awardees with expert guidance to negotiate financial packages withtheir host university and to find an institution that is the right academic and personal fit for them. Both of these offeringsprovide our Fulbright UK Students with substantial help in managing  the cost ofa US education. It is important to note that the Opportunity Fund is only available to applicants who opt for the IIE placement model from academic year 2025-26. You can read more information about the placement types here.


We invite students of all backgrounds to explore the exciting possibility of a Fulbright Award. The Opportunity Fund exists to help students overcome the financial barriers which might prevent them from taking up an Award, and we particularly encourage those who are first generation university students, received free school meals, or were state school educated to apply. 


If you have any questions, please email programmes@fulbright.org.uk

Opportunity Fund FAQ's

To be eligible to apply for the Fulbright Opportunity Fund, you must: 

- Have been awarded a Fulbright scholarship in the current application cycle 

- Have selected IIE Placement track 

- Provide evidence of specific financial need 

- Provide evidence that you have applied to other external funding bodies

The Fulbright Opportunity Fund is available in the event that Fulbright Award recipients are unable to take up their Fulbright opportunity due to financial challenges. 

We expect students to exhaust all other options for funding before applying for the Fulbright Opportunity Fund, such as making applications to external funding bodies. In addition to the Opportunity Fund, we have introduced several support mechanisms to help students find financial resources that will enhance their Fulbright scholarship. 

The final decision to award Opportunity Fund funding rests with the Fulbright Opportunity Fund Committee. 

Webinars and videos

See below for two webinar recordings on applying for a Fulbright Postgraduate Award, which focus on our Partner Awards and on what we look for when reviewing applications.

2025-26 Fulbright UK Postgraduate Awards to the USA

Submitting a Competitive Application and Understanding Placement Models

Hear more about the experiences of some of our recent UK Fulbright grantees and alumni as they navigate the application process and life in the USA.