Fellowships & Scholarships

Boren Scholarship and Fellowship

Sponsor: U.S. Government

Purpose: The National Security Educational Program Boren Fellowships and Scholarships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures, and world regions that are critical to U.S. interests. These awards  enable U.S. students to pursue specialization in area and language study or to add an international dimension to their education.  It is hoped that recipients of Boren awards will comprise an ever-growing cadre of experts whose enriched educational and professional experiences will enable them to provide leadership and direction in our national commitment to economic growth, international peace and security, and the promotion of democracy abroad. 

NSEP Boren awards support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures, and world regions that are critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). Study of the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is excluded. Preferences for certain countries, languages, and fields of study exist and should be examined when considering whether to apply for this award.

Amount: Scholarship — a  maximum of $10,000 per semester/$20,000 per academic year for overseas study (8-52 weeks). Fellowship — up to  $30,000 total with a maximum of $24,000 for overseas study (12-52 weeks abroad) and a maximum of $12,000 for a program of domestic language study immediately before or after the overseas study.

Length of funding: minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of two academic years with the exception of undergrads in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields who can study for a minimum of 8 weeks during the summer. If pursuing the scholarship for a Union study abroad program, be sure the study abroad program is at least 12 weeks long.

Min. requirements:

  1. U.S. citizen
  2. Either enrolled college (scholarship) or enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program (fellowship) at an accredited U.S. college or university
  3. Including a plan for language study in a modern language other than English in your application.

Additional criteria: The Boren Scholarship and Fellowship may not be used for study of French or Spanish unless such language instruction is at an advanced level or combined with the study of sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields.

Service requirement: The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community . If, after making a full and good faith effort, an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, he or she may work in any U.S. federal department or agency. There is also an expectation that NSEP Boren Fellows will use the language or regional expertise acquired as a result of the award in their work for the U.S. government.

National deadline: early-mid February

Campus deadline:  early-mid January

Comments: Successful applications generally include a significant overseas component. See website for list of preferred countries and languages.

Websites: https://www.borenawards.org/

Citizenship: U.S.

Min. GPA: none listed.

Class year: All class years for the Boren Scholarship. Seniors or alumni for the Boren Fellowship. 

Fields of study:

  • Engineering
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities and the Arts


  • Foreign
  • Domestic