Open Society Foundations Civil Society Leadership Awards Scholarships


OSF established the CSLA program as a fully funded master’s degree scholarship for students from selected developing countries. Its mission is to “build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.” The admitted MSFS students who will receive this scholarship demonstrate both academic and professional excellence as well as great potential in becoming strong leaders in their communities. OSF continues to support these future leaders in positively impacting their societies and meeting the various political, economic, and social challenges their countries face today.

CSLA Award Structure

Successful applicants will receive the following support:

  • Tuition and mandatory university fees
  • Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses
  • Program-related travel
  • Accident and sickness insurance during the program
  • Funds for educational materials and professional development
  • Attendance at a regional grantee conference
  • Pre-academic preparation via summer schools

Eligibility Criteria

CSLA does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.  

The awards are available to citizens of the following countries:  

  • Afghanistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Cambodia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Laos
  • Libya
  • Myanmar/Burma
  • Republic of the Congo
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Applicants for CSLA support at Georgetown’s MSFS program must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential
  • Have excellent academic records and an earned bachelor’s degree before applying
  • Have proficiency in the language of instruction (English) at a level required for admission as evidenced by standardized language test scores
  • Be able to participate in an intensive academic writing program in July or August and start their degree program in August
  • Be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the United States
  • Demonstrate a clear commitment to return to their home country or region to continue supporting open society development

For more information about these awards and how to apply, please visit the CSLA website.

Applicants to the MSFS program must meet its application requirements, including but not limited to the following:

  • A completed undergraduate degree from an accredited university and a strong academic record
  • Completion of one course each in microeconomics and macroeconomics or the ability to complete both courses prior to August 1 of their matriculating year
  • Professional work experience, ideally in a field related to their future professional goals

For complete information on required application items and how to apply to the MSFS program, please visit our page on how to apply.