Boren Scholarship

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

Visit Program Website Here

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: 

Boren Awards are available to students in the following Preferred Fields of Study: Agricultural & Food Sciences - STEM; Anthropology; Archaeology; Area Studies; Astronomy - STEM; Biology - STEM; Business; Chemistry - STEM; Computer & Information Sciences - STEM; Criminal Justice; Cybersecurity - STEM; Economics; Engineering - STEM; Environmental Studies - STEM; Geography; Geology - STEM; History; International Affairs; International Development; Languages; Law; Linguistics; Mathematics - STEM; Medical Sciences - STEM; Military Science; Nursing - STEM; Physics - STEM; Political Science; Psychology; Public Administration; Public Health - STEM; Social Sciences; Social Work; Sociology.

Undergraduates majoring in subjects marked as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are eligible for summer-only awards of at least eight weeks’ duration.

For a complete list of supported languages, see:

For a complete list of preferred countries, see;

Program Benefits: 

Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad: Up to $20,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred); Up to $10,000 for 12-24 weeks; Up to $8,000 for 8-11 weeks (STEM majors only).

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: 

Boren Scholars should seek study abroad programs that have a serious language component. Although such programs may include some coursework, unpaid internships, or volunteer opportunities conducted in English, the strongest applicants will make every effort to immerse themselves in language study. Language study should comprise the majority of overseas coursework. Beyond the classroom, language immersion may take place in university housing with local students, in homestays with local families, or through research or volunteering conducted in the local language.

Because 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 mathematics students.


Undergraduates who will be enrolled in their bachelor's degree program for the entire study abroad scholarship period, and will return to their U.S. institution following the Boren Scholarship period to graduate.


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 required period of service is 1 year, however competitive applicants will anticipate a career in the federal government.


U.S. citizens only.

Program Deadline: 

Usually early February.

More information: 

Boren Scholarship recipients are eligible to apply for the Boren Fellowship.

How To Apply: 

This program is administered by the Office of International Programs. Contact OIP for more information:

Resources for Applicants

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Fellowships Office

Dr. Joy Viveros

Phone: 415.405.2128
Reception: Grad Stop, ADM 250 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132