Walter J. Jensen Fellowship


About the Fellowship

The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship was established in 2001 by Professor Walter J. Jensen (ΦΒΚ, UCLA) for the study of French Language, Literature, and Culture. It aims to help educators and researchers improve education in standard French language, literature and culture and in the study of standard French in the United States.

Fellowship Details

The fellowship is awarded for at least six continuous months of study in France and carries a stipend originally set in 1995 at $10,000, to be adjusted for inflation. The stipend for 2018 was $16,400. Phi Beta Kappa will also cover a single round-trip, economy-class ticket for the recipient to travel to France; some additional support may be available to those with dependent children.

The Jensen Fellowship recipient must:

  • Report to Phi Beta Kappa every two months in both English and French.
  • At the conclusion of the fellowship, submit a summary report in English and French, which may be submitted, preferably in French, to a scholarly publication such as The French Review

Eligibility Requirements 

Candidates must:

  • Be U.S. citizens
  • Be under the age of 40
  • Demonstrate how an active use of the French language plays a role in their current or future career
  • Have a bachelor's degree in French language and literature from an accredited four-year institution
  • A 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Demonstrate superior competence in French, according to the standards established by the American Association of Teachers of French

Application Process

Before applying, interested candidates should thoroughly read this application form and these eligibility requirements.

Completed applications should be sent electronically* to Jen Horneman and must include:
  • The application form
  • A work proposal in both English and French
  • Transcripts from all institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation
*Letters and transcripts may be sent electronically.

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Applications for the Jensen Fellowship:
Due January 15, 2019


2018 Walter J. Jensen Winner

2018 Walter J. Jensen Winner

Ms. Emelyn Lih (ΦΒΚ), NYU, has been awarded the 2018 Jensen Fellowship for her exceptional promise as a scholar of French language, literature and culture. This award provides $16,400 and round-trip travel to France for six months of study. Lih plans to use the Fellowship for her project Writing Oneself into the World: Narratives of Self Confront the Twentieth Century. Learn More.

Past Jensen Recipients

Staff Contact

Please email Jen Horneman at with any inquiries or call (202) 745-3287


For basic information on all of the National Phi Beta Kappa Awards, download this information sheet.