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Boren Fellowships for International Study

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships provide a unique funding opportunity for U.S. students to study languages critical to U.S. national security interests (including languages in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. Please visit the Boren Awards website to view Preferred Languages and Preferred Destinations.

Boren Fellowships can be awarded for overseas language study, academic study, research (either Master’s or Ph.D. level), an academic internship, or any combination of the above. In addition, Boren Fellowships can provide limited funding for domestic language study that will supplement the overseas component.

Following the completion of their education, awardees must commit to working for the federal government for at least one year.

Please note the following details

  • “National Security” encompasses not only the traditional concepts of national defense, diplomacy, and intelligence matters, but also any topics addressing the challenges facing global society. Please visit the Boren Awards website for more information on National Security subjects.
  • “Completion of education” does not have to mean at the end of one’s current degree program. If an awardee wishes to delay their commitment to the federal government until they have completed further education (masters, or Ph.D programs), their work appointment in the government can be delayed.
  • “Federal Government employment” is not limited to federal departments (e.g., the Department of State, or Department of Defense). It can also include contracting organizations, including think tanks, NGOs, and government contractors. Please visit the Boren Awards website for more information on Public Service careers.


Applicants should familiarize themselves with the website (paying particular attention to the Program Basics and How to Apply sections). Once that content is reviewed, applicants are invited to schedule an appointment with the Boren Fellowships campus representative through the advising link.

Eligibility Criteria

  • U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Matriculated graduate student at the time your Boren-funded study begins
  • To receive the award you must provide evidence of admission and enrollment in such a program
  • Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship

Application Deadline

  • Fellowship Application Opens: August
  • Fellowship Application Campus Deadline: mid-January
  • Fellowship Application National Deadline: late-January

Application Submission

Applications submitted by the campus deadline will receive a review by the Boren Fellowships campus representative. Please note that applicants who submit after the Campus Deadline are still encouraged to apply to the Boren Fellowship, although a review of their application may not be provided. Applications are submitted online through the Boren Fellowship website by the applicant. Prior to applying, applicants should review the online application instructions.