Campus Deadline: 3rd Friday of December 

The Boren Scholarship provides funding for study abroad in areas of the world that are deemed critical to US national security interests and/or are underrepresented as study abroad destinations. Countries/regions include Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

In addition to the traditional Scholarship (semester, summer + semester combinations, 2 semesters), Boren offers special initiative programs including:

  • Summer STEM Initiative (8+ weeks)
  • ROTC Initiative (summer, semester or longer; may fulfill service requirement through your ROTC service commitment)
  • African Flagship Initiative (summer + semester: study of Akan/Twi, Swahili, Wolof, Zulu, French or Portuguese)
  • South Asian Flagship Initiative (summer + semester: study of Hindi or Urdu)
  • Indonesian Flagship Initiative (summer + semester: study of Indonesian)

South and Central America are included if the applicant has advanced Spanish language skills. If a student is going to Francophone Africa and is not studying an indigenous language, the student should possess advanced French language skills.

The only countries/regions that are explicitly excluded are Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland, and the UK.

The program draws upon a broad definition of “national security”, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting US well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including but not limited to sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population grown and migration, and economic competitiveness.

In exchange for scholarship funding, Scholars fulfill the NSEP (National Security Education Program) service requirement  by working for the federal government (including the Peace Corps; Depts. of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, Intelligence Community, EPA, etc.).

Boren Scholars are eligible for non-competitive hiring for federal/government jobs. That means, as a Scholar you “jump the queue”.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

  • US citizens
  • First-year through seniors (seniors must apply in the Spring semester of their junior year)
  • Study abroad in a non-Western country (i.e., the program will not fund study abroad in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or NZ)
  • Study abroad program includes language and culture study
  • Study abroad of a semester or longer; students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) fields are eligible for summer study of 8 weeks or longer
  • A plausible explanation describing how/why the intended study abroad program contributes to the applicant’s future academic/career goals AND addresses how the program will contribute to US national security interests (broadly defined)

For sample essays, please see Dean Goldberg.

Boren Scholarship Poster