United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program 2022

The United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program, authorized by the U.S. Congress and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program that provides opportunities for Master’s and Bachelor’s degree study at the University of Hawai‘i in fields that are directly relevant to the development needs of Pacific island countries.

It will also enable the recipients to obtain a broader understanding of the United States. 

The scholarship program will include a mentoring component with a possible follow-on summer internship, and readily accessible opportunities for participation in host family and volunteer service programs.

The U.S.–South Pacific Scholarship Program is administered by the East-West Center on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Level/Field of study:

The Scholarship gives priority to areas of study that include agriculture, business, communication/journalism, education, environmental studies, gender studies, NGO management, political science, public administration, public health, STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), and other related fields.

If a desired field of study is not among the priorities, the applicant should give special attention to explaining how this course of study would support the goals of the scholarship program. Support is not available for professional degrees such as architecture, law, and medicine.

List of eligible Programs with UCAS code 2022. If you wish to explore more information on Undergraduate Scholarships, click on the link.

Host Nationality:

All scholarships are taken in the United States. If you are an international student and you desire to study in the US, Check out the best scholarships obtainable for study in the US. Complete Guide to Getting A UK Tier 4 Student Visa For International Students.

Eligible countries:

Candidates from the following countries, who meet specific selection criteria, are eligible for the program: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Selection: Selection will be made, with input from U.S. Embassies in the region, by a U.S.-based academic review committee that may include Pacific Islands and other specialists from the East-West Center and University of Hawai‘i system, a representative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and a Pacific Islands student representative.

Eligibility for Scholarship

Bachelor’s Scholarship:

  • Applicants must have completed secondary school by the deadline for submitting a university application for admission to their undergraduate program. In some countries, this means having completed “Form 6.”
  • In other countries, this may mean having completed “Grade 12.” Individuals who have completed some undergraduate level courses but have not obtained the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree are also eligible and strongly encouraged to apply.

Master’s Scholarship:

  • Applicants must have completed at least a three-year baccalaureate program. Those with a three-year Bachelor’s degree may apply for a bridging program of up to one year, which upon completion allows for application to a master’s degree program.
  • Master’s programs may not require a bridging component, depending on prior study and academic performance during the first year. The USSP program does not generally permit direct application and admission to a graduate degree program.
  • Those who currently possess both a bachelor’s degree and a post-graduate diploma or honors degree, or will have earned a post-graduate diploma or honors degree before the scholarship’s August start date, are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Because an objective of the program is to provide an educational exchange experience to those not previously afforded such an opportunity, preference will usually be given to candidates who have not had recent extensive experience in the United States.
  • Preference may also be given to candidates who have not had extensive opportunities for study at educational institutions outside the Pacific Islands region (i.e., outside the countries listed in paragraph one above).

Note: Individuals who have dual citizenship, one being that of the United States, are not eligible. U.S. non-citizen nationals and U.S. permanent residents are also not eligible for USSP. All scholarship recipients must be able to meet the requirements of the Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) program.

Selection Criteria for the United States–South Pacific Scholarship

  • Selection will be made by a U.S.-based academic review committee that may include Pacific Islands and other specialists from the East-West Center, the University of Hawai‘i system, a representative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and a Pacific Islands student representative.
  • In selecting scholarship awardees, the review committee will consider academic merit as well as other attributes including evidence of leadership potential and experience; community service; cross-cultural knowledge, experience, and sensitivity; capacity for change; adaptability; ability to pursue independent study; career potential and employment history; English language proficiency; creativity; initiative; self-expression; and, anticipated kinds of post-graduation contributions to home country and region.
  • Preference may be given to those with little or no previous U.S. or other international study experience.


  • Awards are expected to be announced on the East-West Center website by April 1, 2022.

Application Procedure

Individuals are strongly encouraged to submit their USSP application using the new ‘paperless’ online application system located at www.eastwestcenter.org/Z3u.

Otherwise, a complete set of ‘paper’ application materials (including form-fillable application and letter of reference forms) must be downloaded (see links at the bottom of this webpage).

Hard copy application packets can also be obtained from U.S. embassies and consulates located in:

  • Suva, Fiji;
  • Auckland or Wellington, New Zealand;
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Apia, Samoa; or
  • the Award Services Office at the East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, Hawaii  96848-1601. Further inquiries:  Telephone (808) 944-7735; Fax: (808) 944-7730, Email: [email protected].  All inquiries should reference the 2022 United States–South Pacific (USSP) Scholarship Program competition.


All application documents contained in the application packet may be found here:

  1. USSP Application Instructions [pdf]
  2. USSP Application [form-fillable doc]
  3. USSP Letter of Reference [form-fillable doc]
  4. USSP Tips for an Acceptable Application [pdf]

United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program Application Deadline

The application deadline is February 1, annually.

Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from the official website

It is important to read the application procedure and visit the official websites (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

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