David L. Boren Awards for International Study

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Boren Scholarship Basics

Boren Scholarships provide American undergraduate students with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation, in exchange for their commitment to seek work in the federal government.

Award Amounts

Maximum scholarship awards are:

  • $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; 8 weeks minimum)
  • $10,000 for a semester
  • $20,000 for a full academic year 

Length of Study

Boren Scholarships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion, and therefore study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to undergraduate applicants proposing a full-year academic study. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1.

Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. To learn more about this special STEM initiative, click here.

National Security 

The program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. It draws on 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 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. All applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to this broad understanding of national security. For more information about this broad definition of national security, click here.

Program Preferences

Boren Scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government. 

As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications that fall outside the preferences, if the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.

For more information about what makes a competitive application, click here.

Government Service

In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for 2014-15 is February 5, 2014. Please see your campus representative for your earlier on-campus deadline. For more information about the application process, click here.

Boren Scholarship applicants will be notified of their status by mail in late April.