Fellowships Office { Advising Center }

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Boren Fellowship

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

Program Website

Program Purpose

NSEP-Boren Fellowship provides U.S. master's and doctoral students with the resources to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to future U.S. national security, in exchange for a commitment to seek work in the federal government. 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. Applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to national security thus defined.

Program Description

NSEP-Boren supplements each Fellow's graduate degree program with language intensives in the U.S. and, if the Fellow's proposal includes this, languge and area studies in abroad. In this way, Fellows develop or increase competency in their chosen language(s), and gain experience and disciplinary knowledge in the foreign country where they study. Supported Languages, Destination Countries, and Fields. Program supports study and research in 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 Fellowship supports study of less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and African, Indic, Iranian, and Turkic family languages. Study of Spanish or French is only permissible at an advanced level of competency. In such cases, coursework should focus on academic subjects rather than language acquisition. Applications will also be considered at intermediate levels of Spanish and French from students in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For a complete list of languages, see: Boren Fellowship - What Languages Can I Study?.

Supported Fields

Supported fields are: agricultural and food sciences, area studies, business and economics, computer and information systems, foreign languages, health and biomedical science, history, international relations, law, mathematics, sciences and engineering, political science and policy studies.


The Program provides up to $30,000 for overseas or domestic study, or a combination of both, for a minimum of 1 semester and a maximum of 2 years. Actual funding level is determined by Fellow's project budget and project length. Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the entire fellowship period.

Applicant Profile

Primary factors in selection of Fellows are: academic excellence; a comprehensive, feasible proposal; demonstrated commitment and a clear plan to develop, maintain, or advance language competence; ability to adapt to a different cultural environment; explanation of proposed study's relevance to US national security; commitment to federal service.


Please note that there is a service requirement associated with this fellowship: Within 3 years of completing their graduate program, Fellows must seek work with the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities. Priority agencies are the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, or any element of the Intelligence Community. Even students who would not want to work in a defense-related position should consider applying for the Boren. The Department of State includes many agencies that would provide satisfying employment for one or more years. A sampling of Offices in the Department of State include: Civil Rights; Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Economic and Business Affairs; Educational and Cultural Affairs; Energy Resources; Global AIDS; Global Criminal Justice; Global Food Security; Global Women's Issues; Global Youth Issues; Medical Services; Mission to the United Nations; Near Eastern Affairs; Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Population, Refugees, and Migration; Resource Management Science and Technology; South and Central Asian Affairs; Trafficking in Persons; and Western Hemisphere Affairs.


Graduating seniors applying to a U.S. graduate program in a supported field, master's and doctoral students currently enrolled in a graduate program in a supported field who will continue in the program for the entire fellowship period.


U.S. citizens only.


Usually in January.

How To Apply



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