Boren Scholarships provide up to $25,000 for a year-long program, $12,500 for a semester long program and $8000 for STEM majors to participate in a summer program. The Boren Scholarship considers U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

The Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.


Internal: mid January
External: early February
Here's the link to view this year's specific deadline dates.


  • Undergraduate student; 
  • A. U.S. citizen at the time of the application;
  • Applying to engage in a study abroad experience in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand that meets home institution standards;
  • Planning to use the scholarship for study abroad, and the study abroad program ends before you graduate. Boren scholarships are not for study in the United States.


  • The application is completed online at;
  • Letters of reference - two letters required, three letters optional;
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended;
  • Essay one - National Security; In no more than 800 words respond to the essay prompt and 'explain the significance of your proposed country, region, and language to U.S. national security. The Boren Awards recognize a broad definition of national security, but you should make a specific, detailed, and focused argument’;
  • Essay two - Motivation and Public Service Careers; In one integrated essay of no more than 800 words reflect on a previous experience that has led to growth or a personal quality, explain how the country and language you selected will help you achieve your career goals (including your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement), and describe what makes you interested in federal service and what you will bring as a leader in the federal workforce;
  • Study Plan Summary; Describe plans (250 words) for curricular and extracurricular language immersion, including hours per week of formal instruction. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the language and a strategy for continuing language study beyond the award;
  • Campus evaluation.

Learn more about the Boren Scholarships, visit the Office of National Fellowships & Scholarships, or contact the faculty liaison.