Fulbright Vietnamese Student Program FAQ

About the Program

What does the Fulbright scholarship provide?
The scholarship provides grantees with the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree at a
university in the United States. The grant provides full tuition and fees, a living allowance,
round-trip travel and health insurance.

How long is the program?
Most M.A. programs take 2 academic years to complete, although in some cases, the M.A.
course is only 10-12 months. Law students will take one academic year to complete their
degrees. All grantees must remain in good academic standing to continue their program.

How many awards are there?
The number of scholarships depends on the amount of funding allocated by the US Department
of State. Approximately 20 new grantees go to the U.S. each year.

Is there a certain number of scholarships for a certain fields of study?
No. There is no quota for each field of study. The competition is based on merits.

Eligibility requirements

What are the minimum eligibility requirements for a Fulbright scholarship?
Vietnamese citizens from all regions in Vietnam are welcome to apply. Applicants must have at
least a BA degree and have two years of work experience by the time of their application. All
applicants must be proficient in English, as measured by a minimum 79 on TOEFL iBT or 6.5 on
IELTS. Finally, the field of study that an applicant intends to pursue must be supported by the
Fulbright Program.

The Program requires two years of work experience since graduation. I graduated recently
but I had worked full-time for more than two years before graduation. Can that experience
satisfy the requirement?

Unfortunately, the Fulbright Program counts the work experience based on the date of issuance
of your first bachelor’s degree. For example, to be eligible for the academic year 2019-2020 of
which the application deadline is May 15, 2018 your first bachelor’s degree must be issued
before May 15, 2016. The experience you gained before graduation only add bonus to your
competitiveness but does not necessarily meet this requirement.

Does the Fulbright Program require applicants to submit contracts of employment and
certificates of extra-curricular activities?

No. Contracts of employment and certificates of all kinds are not required. You just need to list
your work history and extra-curricular activities in your CV.

Do I need an offer of admission from a university in the US prior to applying for a
Fulbright award?

No. All grantees will be placed at universities by the Institute of International Education after
attaining finalist status.

Which fields of study are supported by the Fulbright program?
In general, most fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences are supported by the Fulbright
Program. Please contact the program office if your desired field of study is not listed.

Is there a minimum GPA for applicants?
No. Applicants will evaluated based on the merits of their entire application, including their
GPA, work experience, references, essays, and TOEFL/IELTS score.

Is there an age limit for applicants?
No, although most successful candidates are at an early or mid-point in their careers.

Do I need a Bachelor’s degree in the same subject that I want to study for a Master’s
No. Master’s degree programs in the U.S. do not require that applicants have a Bachelor’s degree
in the same subject. However, it is recommended that applicants have substantial work
experience related to their intended field of study. One exception is Law: candidates for a
Master’s in Law must have a B.A. in Law. A master’s in Economics may also require an
academic background in economics or finance.

My TOEFL iBT/IETLS test score is expired. Can I use GMAT/GRE instead?
Yes. At the application round, the Fulbright Program may accept GMAT/GRE in place of your
expired TOEFL iBT/IELTS. Your GMAT/GRE must be valid by the application deadline, and
your percentile ranking must be 50% for each component of each exam.


When should I apply for a Fulbright award?
Applicants who wish to obtain the scholarship to for the fall of 2019 should submit an
application by May 15, 2018.

What are the components of an application?
All applicants are required to apply online. A complete online application consists of an
application form, three confidential letters of reference, diplomas and transcripts from
undergraduate and graduate degrees, and TOEFL iBT/IELTS score reports.

I applied last year and was not successful. Can I resubmit that application for the new

Unfortunately, once the application is submitted, you can no longer have access to it. You need
to create a new log-in account using a new email address and password.

When I register online, the Embark system asks me to contact the Fulbright Office prior to
commencing my application. What should I do?

This is NOT a requirement of the Fulbright Program in Vietnam, so there is no need to call or
email the Fulbright officer. Please select “yes” in answer to question 3 and start your application.

I do not have much work experience in my chosen field. Will my application be at a

Work experience in the field you wish to pursue is an indication of your commitment to that field
and is considered additional preparation for graduate work. Work experience can often make up
for any academic experience you may lack. While it is not a mandatory requirement, a lack of
relevant work experience may diminish your chances to earn the scholarship.

Is there another way to submit the reference letters if my referees cannot submit them
Online references are preferred; however, if by no means your referees can submit online letters,
you can go to “Supplemental Form” on our online application system, download the Fulbright
Reference form and forward it to your referees for completion. Your referees should complete
both parts of the Fulbright Reference Form (rating chart & recommendation). The reference form
must be sent to the Fulbright Office in a closed envelope with the referees’ signature on the seal.

What happens to my application after submission?
Your formal application will be reviewed by a committee, which will decide whether to
recommend your application for an interview.

How many interview slots are there?
It depends on the number of qualified applicants. In general, we usually interview approximately
50 applicants per year.

When are interviews held?
Interviews are held in the fall in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Who is on the selection panel?
The selection committee is composed of Vietnamese and American experts in a variety of fields
of study.

Receiving the scholarship

What happens after I am chosen as a finalist?

You will be required to sit for the official TOEFL (Internet-based) and GRE exams. MBA
students will take the GMAT exam instead of the GRE, and Law students will only take the
TOEFL exam. The Fulbright Program will provide you with test vouchers for these exams, as
well as transportation to and from the test site if necessary.

Your application will then be sent to the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the United
States. The IIE Placement office will review your application and send your dossier to a variety
of universities. The Fulbright Program and IIE will make the final decision regarding your placement at a university,
based on whether the program fits your academic needs and whether your qualifications meet the
requirements of the university.

Will my score on the TOEFL/GRE/GMAT affect my placement at a university?
Yes. Each university in the U.S. has different admissions criteria, and therefore a low TOEFL
score may make your application less competitive. Therefore, the Fulbright Program encourages
finalists to prepare carefully for these exams. In general, the Program is able to successfully
place Vietnamese grantees at appropriate university programs.

The application instructs applicants to name three-four universities of their choice. Will
IIE honor my choice?
IIE will try to honor your choices. However, if there is no match between you and your choice,
IIE will find other universities where you have a better chance of gaining admission.

Can I defer or delay the scholarship to the following year?
No. You should plan to apply for the year that you will be able to participate fully in the

Does the Fulbright Program provide any orientation for grantees before leaving for the
Yes. The Program will organize a pre-departure orientation in Vietnam for all grantees in May

Are there any requirements attached to the Fulbright grant?
As part of a U.S. government-funded study program, all Fulbright grantees are subject to a 2-
year home country residency requirement. This means that grantees may not apply for a work or
immigrant visa to the U.S. until after two years of residence in Vietnam upon the completion of
the Fulbright grant.