Boren Scholarship for International Study

Important Dates

Visit for details.

Online application availability: August

Application Deadlines:
Campus deadline: Early January; candidates may apply directly
National deadline: Early February

Notification of winning candidates: Mid - late April

Scholarship Overview

Study a language that is critical to US interests and is underrepresented in study abroad programs!

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for US undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to US interests and underrepresented in study abroad programs, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Central America, and the Middle East. Countries in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded from this scholarship. Boren Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in national security. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least a year after graduation.


Information for Applicants

  • Eligibility

    Applicants must be:

    • Sophomores or juniors currently matriculated in an associates or bachelors degree program in a US college or university 
    • Must have a high school diploma or GED
    • US citizens


    Who cannot apply:

    • International students


    Applicants are not limited to a particular field of study, but there is a special initiative for STEM students.

    For more information about eligibility requirements, visit

  • Additional Requirements

    All Boren Awards-funded programs must include language study as a core element for the duration of the grant. 

    There is no maximum or minimum proficiency level of language required for a student to receive a Boren scholarship. Language requirements depend on the student's chosen program of study.

    Boren Scholarship applicants must be matriculated in a US college or university upon application and throughout the duration of the award. Boren Fellowship applicants may apply prior to matriculating as a graduate student but must show proof of matriculation in order to accept the award.

    Seek advising early in the application process. Schedule an advising appointment with the Boren Scholarship Campus Representative, Dr. Francisco Miranda, at or 907-786-4035 to discuss intent to apply.

    Interview requirements:
    Campus interview: Highly recommended but not required
    National interview: No

  • Award Benefits

    Award amount depends on specific length of study.

    Maximum award amounts:
    8-11 weeks: $8,000 for a summer program (STEM majors only)
    12-24 weeks: $12,500 for a semester program
    12-52 weeks: $25,000 for a year-long program

    Awards cannot be deferred or renewed.

  • Candidate Profile
    • meets Boren Scholarship preferences for country, language, field, length of study, and commitment to federal government services
    • makes a compelling case if above preferences are not met
    • provides clear national security argument for study abroad program
    • demonstrates commitment to language study
    • has a clear plan of study mapped out at the time of application
    • possesses appropriate academic preparation, cultural adaptability, flexibility, resiliency, and maturity


    Preference is given to applicants who propose a full year of academic study abroad, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government.

  • Application Procedure
    1. Applicants should familiarize themselves with specific languages, regions of the world, and potential programs of study supported by the Boren Scholarship. You can find this information by visiting
    2. Find a faculty member willing to serve as your mentor throughout the application process.
    3. Schedule an advising appointment with the Boren Scholarship Campus Representative, Dr. Francisco Miranda, at or 907-786-4035 before you plan to apply for the award.
    4. Register at and start completing the application.
    5. Start researching your proposed study abroad program according to the Boren guidelines. Consider your language background, the coursework, the learning opportunities outside of the classroom, and the academic content of the program.
    6. Start organizing your study abroad budget according to the Boren guidelines.
    7. Start developing the two essays you need to complete. Visit to see essay requirements and prompts. You will also need to include a Study Plan Summary as a part of your application.
    8. Two letters of recommendation* are required. Select two (2) instructors who can comment on your ability to complete your proposed study abroad program; and on your academic achievement, linguistic proficiency abilities, and your personal preparation for the study abroad program, especially as they relate to the Boren Scholarship objectives. *You may submit a third letter of recommendation if it would strengthen your application.
    9. Submit a complete application online by the campus deadline.
    10. If you wish to complete an individual campus interview, you will do so 1-2 weeks after the campus deadline.
    11. The Boren Scholarship Campus Representative will formally submit an evaluation of your application based on the material submitted and your campus interview (if you completed one) as part of your application.


    About 16% of applicants receive a scholarship.

  • Advising

    The Boren Scholarship Campus Representative is the advisor for this scholarship:

    Dr. Francisco Miranda
    ADM 276

    Information sessions:
    Webinars for candidates are offered in August-January at