Getting Ready

Before beginning the application, it is very important to:

  1. Understand as much as you can about the ISLP Program.
  2. Think carefully about why you would like to receive an Iraq Scholars and Leaders Scholarship.
  3. Consider how your goals and those of the ISLP Program support each other.

This will help you to submit a stronger application.

As you prepare your application, you may wish to consider the following questions:

  • What do I want to study?
  • How will this study support my personal and career goals?
  • How do my goals and my course of study support the goals of the ISLP Program?
  • Why do I want to study in the U.S.?

The Application

The application gives you a chance to present your study objectives - and yourself - to the review panel. Please keep in mind that the selection panel will only have the opportunity to meet you through your application. It is very important to be thoughtful and thorough in describing your study plan and reasons for pursuing a degree in the U.S. You will need to convince the review panel that you have well developed goals and objectives. Please describe in detail the importance of your participation as an ISLP scholar and how your experience will benefit you and the people of Iraq when your return home. TOEFL score reports, a resume and your official university transcripts/diplomas are also required as scanned attachments.

The application includes:

a) Instructions
b) Statement of Purpose & Field of Study essays
c) Nine application pages with itemized sections
d) A signature page
e) Letters of reference forms

Official university certificates/diplomas and transcripts are also required as scanned attachments.

Additional Guidance for Completing Specific Sections

Proposed Field of Study and Description of Your Study Objectives

This is a brief statement about what you would like to study and what you hope to achieve. You must choose one program of study and be specific about your objectives. Please note that ISLP policies do not allow for a change in field of study once you have been nominated in a given discipline.

Examination Dates and Test Scores

You are required to include with your application a minimum TOEFL score of 580 or higher obtained within the last two years. This can be an unofficial ITP (Institutional Testing Program) or an official TOEFL. You may also submit scores for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), provided scores are 6.5 or higher.

The TOEFL test is given to assess a student's readiness for academic level study in English. You must be able to read textbooks, listen to lectures, write papers and explain positions in English. The TOEFL test simply helps you and a U.S. university determine whether you are ready to participate successfully in an academic program conducted in English. For information about the TOEFL exam schedule in Iraq, contact For additional information about the TOEFL exam and for practice test questions, go to TOEFL's website.

Graduate (Doctoral and Master's) applicants must also register for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). For details on test preparation and registration, please visit AMIDEAST Testing Iraq. Some undergraduate recipients may be required to take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) test. Individual testing instructions will be given to undergraduate recipients.

Statement of Purpose Essay

Your personal statement should describe your achievements and your plans for the future. This is where you can take the opportunity to discuss any significant events that have lead to where you are today and where you would like to be in the future.

Address the following points in your essay:

  • What motivated you to choose your path?
  • What obstacles have you overcome?
  • How did these experiences prepare you for what you are doing now and influence your choice of a field of advanced study?
  • Have you had any practical experience in this field?

Letters of Reference Forms

Can be downloaded from the application website. The people you ask for references will be able to write more effective recommendations if they are familiar with your study plans and with the ISLP Program. You can help them by providing each reference with a copy of your application study objective and the ISLP program description. Reference letters are an important part of your application so choose your referees wisely. Please note: be sure to read the instructions page concerning signing and submitting references.

Application Submission Deadline

The current application cycle is now closed.

The 7th annual ISLP scholarship application cycle is now closed.

Thank you for your interest in The Iraq Scholars and Leaders Program (ISLP). Below are instructions for creating your online application. Please carefully review the Application Guidelines before logging on to the online application system.

Steps for Creating an Online Application

Step 1: Click on the IIE online application

Step 2: Create a User Account & Login

Step 3: On the preliminary question page, please respond as follows:

  • Question 1: Select the Iraq Scholars and Leaders Program
  • Question 2: Select the "Graduate" (Doctoral and Master's) or "Undergraduate" (Bachelor's) application

Note: All graduate or doctoral applicants must select the GRADUATE application.

E-mail with any questions or problems.

We appreciate your interest in the Iraq Scholars and Leaders Program (ISLP) and wish you well as you complete your application.

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