Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships, USA 2025-26

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In the realm of academic pursuits, few opportunities rival the transformative power of the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships USA. This prestigious program, jointly funded by the governments of India and the United States, aims to foster mutual understanding between the two nations by enabling outstanding Indian students to pursue master’s degrees in select fields at select U.S. institutions.

Administered by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), this flagship fellowship program aims to nurture future leaders, scholars, and changemakers by providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in the United States.

The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships are designed for highly motivated individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities, have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree, have at least three years professional work experience, and are committed to return and contribute to their communities in India.

In this blog, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships, uncovering its significance, eligibility criteria, application process, and the profound impact it has on the academic and professional trajectories of its recipients.

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Key Information

  • Country: United States of America
  • Institution: United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF)
  • Level of Study: Master’s degree
  • Duration: Up to two academic years
  • Deadline: 15th May 2024

Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the General Prerequisites, the applicant:

  • Must be a responsible Indian citizen.
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in the English language to undertake the proposed project/program and adjust to life in the USA.
  • Must have completed an equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized Indian university with at least 55% marks. 
  • Applicants must either possess a four-year bachelor’s degree or a completed master’s degree; or a full-time postgraduate diploma from a recognized Indian institution, if the bachelor’s degree is of less than four years’ duration;
  • Must have at least three years’ full-time (paid) professional work experience relevant to the proposed field of study by the application deadline;
  • Should demonstrate experience in leadership and community service;
  • Must not have another degree from a U.S. university or be enrolled in a U.S. degree program; and
  • If employed, should follow the instructions carefully regarding employer’s endorsement. If applicable, obtain the endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority on the FNMasters Employer’s Endorsement Form. The employer must indicate that leave will be granted for the fellowship period.

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Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships, USA 2025-26


The fellowship will provide –

  • J-1 visa support
  • round-trip economy class air travel from fellow’s home city to the host institution in the USA
  • funding for tuition and fees
  • living and related costs
  • accident and sickness coverage per U.S. Government guidelines

Fields of Study

These fellowships are awarded for up to two years to pursue a master’s degree at U.S. colleges and universities in the areas of Economics; Environmental Science/Studies; Higher Education Administration; International Affairs; International Legal Studies; Journalism and Mass Communication; Public Administration; Public Health; Urban and Regional Planning; and Women’s Studies/Gender Studies.

How to apply?

Timeline and Placement Process

May 15, 2024Application Deadline
End June 2024Review of applications
Early August 2024USIEF informs the applicants about the review outcome
End August 2024Interviews of short-listed candidates
End August 2024USIEF notifies principal and alternate nominees. Nominees take tests (such as TOEFL and GRE)
October 2024USIEF forwards applications of recommended candidates to the U.S. for J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) approval and placement
March/April 2025USIEF notifies the finalists about the FFSB approval
May/June 2025Pre-Departure Orientation
July/August 2025Pre-academic training in the U.S. (if required)
August/September 2025Degree program begins


The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships USA represent more than just a scholarship program; they embody a shared commitment to excellence, innovation, and global citizenship.

By nurturing the brightest minds and fostering cross-cultural understanding, these fellowships serve as catalysts for positive change, driving progress and prosperity in both India and the United States.

Aspiring scholars and leaders who dare to dream of a brighter future find in the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships a pathway to turn their dreams into reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. How many letters of reference/recommendation do I need to submit?

    A. Depending on the grant category, applicants are advised to request two to three referees to complete the letters of reference online by the application due date.

  • Q. If I am employed, do I need my employer’s approval as part of my application?

    A. If you are employed, you are required to route your application through the proper channel. Your application will be considered ineligible without the employer’s endorsement/Letter of Support from Home Institution.

  • Q. How long does the review process take?

    A. The review process takes three to four months after the application deadline.

  • Q. If selected, when can I begin my fellowship in the U.S.?

    For the 2025-2026 cycle, most Fulbright fellows will begin their grants in August/September 2025. Depending upon the fellowship category, some fellows could begin in January 2026. 2025-2026 Fulbright-Nehru fellows for non-degree programs have to come into grant status no later than May 31, 2026.

  • Q. What is the duration of the grants?

    A. These fellowships are awarded for up to two years to pursue a master’s degree at U.S. colleges and universities.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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