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Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program

The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program brings emerging leaders in key professional fields from Eurasia to the United States for one to two years of graduate study.

Through academic studies, internships, and community service, fellows make direct connections with American universities, businesses, social-service organizations, and citizens. The Muskie program enables fellows to develop a deeper understanding of U.S. values and to gain skills and knowledge in fields they often cannot study in their home countries—such as public health, environmental policy, and human rights law.

Visit our Interactive Muskie MapsMuskies in Eurasia Muskies in the US

Returning Muskie alumni share their firsthand understanding of American culture and democratic values in their workplaces and communities and take leadership roles in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors.The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Established by Congress in 1992 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Muskie program works to ensure that countries in the region continue healthy economic and democratic growth.


Promote mutual understanding, build democracy, and foster the transition to market economies in Eurasia through intensive academic study and professional training by:

• Developing fellows' professional knowledge and skills, and understanding of democratic processes.

• Expanding ties between Americans and Muskie fellows.

Project Activities

Graduate Study: Muskie fellows enroll in full-time non-degree or degree programs at IREX’s partner universities, enriching graduate classrooms with new international perspectives and valuable professional experience.

Community Service: All Muskie fellows complete a volunteer project related to their graduate field of study. In 2011, fellows volunteered over 4,000 hours of their time in communities across the U.S.

Internships: Muskie fellows gain technical skills through an internship in their professional field, bringing an international perspective to the workplace, and expanding American employers’ connections abroad.

Alumni Programming: Muskie alumni create tangible changes in their home communities through small grant competitions and continue their professional development through organized conferences and trainings.


Project Facts

• Nearly 5,000 Muskie fellows have participated in the program since its inception in 1992.

• Strengthening Ties with the U.S.: 88% of alumni remain in contact with or have collaborated with Americans they met during the program.

Leading Progress in Their Countries: 75% of alumni are in a professional leadership position.