The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship for French Language, Literature, and Culture


The deadline for submission has passed for the 2016 Jensen Fellowship.

The deadline for applications for the 2017 Jensen Fellowship is January 15, 2017.

The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship is awarded for at least six continuous months of study in France. The purpose of the award is 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. The fellowship, awarded annually, carries a stipend originally set in 1995 at $10,000, to be adjusted for inflation. The stipend for 2015 was $15,500. 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.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens under the age of 40 who can demonstrate their career does or will involve active use of the French language. They must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution with a 3.0 minimum GPA in French language and literature as a major. They must demonstrate superior competence in French, according to the standards established by the American Association of Teachers of French. The recipient must report to Phi Beta Kappa every two months in both English and French. At the end of the fellowship, the Fellow must submit a summary report in English and French, which may be submitted (preferably in French) to a scholarly publication such as The French Review. Preference may be given to members of Phi Beta Kappa and educators at the secondary school level or higher. Jensen Fellowship Winners

Application Process

1. Read and follow the instructions for our Application Process.
2. Fill out and print the Jensen Application.
3. Print and fill out the Recommendation & Transcript Request Forms.
4. Email all of the required materials to the Program and Event Specialist


History of the Fellowship

In 2001, Professor Walter J. Jensen left to the Phi Beta Kappa Society a bequest to establish a fellowship in French studies. In that bequest he established the conditions of the fellowship. Professor Jensen was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at UCLA in 1941. He spent his career teaching French, primarily at state institutions in New England. 

Please send all questions by e-mail to the or call (202) 745-3287.

Love of learning is the guide of life.