Boren Scholarship


Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Program Description: 
Funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), Boren Scholarships provide up to one academic year of funding to U.S. undergraduates to study abroad in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. These countries include Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East. Excluded from the program are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the countries of Western Europe. The Program draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing it to include not only protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
Supported Fields: 
Scholarship supports study of less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and African, Indic, Iranian, and Turkic family languages. For a complete list of languages, see: Supported fields of study are: agricultural and food sciences, area studies, business and economics, computer and information systems, foreign languages, health and biomedical science, history, international relations, law, mathematics, sciences and engineering, political science and policy studies.
Program Benefits: 
Maximum scholarship awards are $10,000 for 1 semester, $20,000 for a full academic year. Freshman and sophomore Scholars are eligible for a second undergraduate award by re-competing as upperclassmen. Juniors and seniors may receive only one Boren Scholarship; however, if the award was initially for 1 semester, student may request a second semester. Boren Scholarship recipients are eligible to apply for the Boren Fellowship: Those who achieve an advanced level of language proficiency in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, or Russian are also eligible to apply for
Application Process: 
Application materials include rationale of proposed study abroad experience and study abroad program description. Successful applicants will address how study abroad program and language, and applicant's career goals, relate to U.S. national security interests, broadly defined.
Applicant Profile: 
Because NSEP-Boren Scholarships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion, preference is given to applicants proposing a full-year of academic study abroad. Summer-only programs must be at least 8 weeks and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematic students. If full year opportunities in the same program are unavailable, students may submit two separate, but related, applications for study in two different programs.
Undergraduates who will be enrolled in their bachelor's degree program for the entire study abroad scholarship period.
There is a service requirement associated with this scholarship: Within 3 years of completing their undergraduate degree, Scholars must seek work with the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities. Priority agencies are the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, or any element of the Intelligence Community. The Department of State includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The period of service is 1 year.
U.S. citizens only.
Program Deadline: 
Usually early February.
How To Apply: 
This program is administered by the Office of International Programs. Contact OIP for more information: