Muskie Fellows Program

The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program was established by Congress in 1992 to support democracy and economic development in the former Soviet Union's Newly Independent States (NIS). Now known as the Muskie/FSA Program, it provides scholarships for outstanding NIS citizens to study at the master's degree level in the United States. Over the past decade, more than 2,800 men and women from 15 countries have studied in 11 academic fields at 195 U.S. universities.

Named for Edmund S. Muskie, a former Governor and U.S. Senator from Maine and former Secretary of State, the Program operates in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Congress established a similar program, called the FREEDOM Support Act Graduate Fellowship Program, in 1993. It merged with the Muskie Program in 1998, creating today's Muskie/FSA Fellowships. The Muskie/FSA Program is operated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.

The Program is administered by non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations that receive ECA grants through open competition. These NGOs recruit candidates, conduct merit-based competitions, and select, place, and monitor Fellows during their academic programs and internships. The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) administers the program.

The Muskie/FSA Program provides scholarships for outstanding NIS citizens to study at the master's degree level in the United States. Fields of study include business administration, economics, education, environmental management and policy, international affairs, journalism and mass communications, law, library and information science, public administration, public health and public policy. The Muskie/FSA Program anticipates that Fellows will return home, contribute to the economic and democratic growth of their countries, and serve as leaders in their fields.

Most Muskie/FSA Fellows obtain a master's degree or certificate. Internships provide additional practical training for Fellows. Upon return from the United States, alumni are involved in conferences, workshops and other professional development programs sponsored by ECA. Small grants support teaching projects and community service. Computer listservs, quarterly newsletters and the StateExchange Website allow Muskie/FSA alumni to keep in touch with each other and with alumni of other ECA educational exchanges, such as the Fulbright Scholars Program.