Boren Scholarships and Fellowships

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are prestigious awards funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) that support U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in regions critical to U.S. interests. These awards aim to develop a workforce with essential language skills and cultural understanding to contribute to national security.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Boren award, applicants must meet certain criteria, including academic requirements, language proficiency, and U.S. citizenship. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a career in the federal government’s national security sector.


Types of Boren Awards

There are two main types of Boren awards: Boren Scholarships for undergraduate students and Boren Fellowships for graduate students. Boren Scholarships provide funding for up to one year of study abroad, while Boren Fellowships support graduate students pursuing language study and research abroad.


Application Process

The application process for Boren Scholarships and Fellowships involves several steps, including submitting a comprehensive application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a language self-assessment form. Applicants must also outline their study plans and goals for language study and national security service. Deadlines for applications typically fall in the fall or spring of each year.

Benefits of Boren Scholarships and Fellowships


Boren awards offer numerous benefits to recipients. Beyond financial support for language study and research abroad, recipients gain valuable cultural immersion experiences and develop critical language skills. Boren Scholars and Fellows also join a network of alumni and professionals dedicated to national security and international relations.

What is the purpose of Boren Scholarships and Fellowships?

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships aim to provide opportunities for U.S. students to study languages and cultures critical to national security, enhancing their ability to contribute to the federal government’s efforts in these areas.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligibility for Boren awards is open to U.S. citizens enrolled in accredited undergraduate or graduate programs. Applicants must demonstrate a strong academic record, language proficiency, and a commitment to a career in national security.

How can I increase my chances of receiving a Boren award?

To increase your chances of receiving a Boren award, focus on academic excellence, demonstrate proficiency in a less commonly taught language, articulate clear goals for language study and national security service, and secure strong letters of recommendation.

What are the benefits of receiving a Boren award?

Boren awards provide financial support for language study and research abroad, cultural immersion experiences, access to a network of professionals in national security, and opportunities for federal government service upon completion of the program.

Are Boren Scholarships and Fellowships renewable?

Boren Scholarships are not typically renewable, but recipients may apply for additional years of funding for language study. Boren Fellowships are renewable for a second year, contingent on satisfactory academic progress and continued commitment to national security service.


Boren Scholarships and Fellowships play a crucial role in preparing the next generation of leaders with essential language skills and cultural understanding for national security efforts. By supporting language study and research abroad, these awards contribute to a more globally engaged and knowledgeable workforce. If you are passionate about languages, cultures, and national security, consider applying for a Boren award to pursue your academic and career goals.


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