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Boren Graduate Fellowship

Provides a unique funding opportunity for graduate students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests.


The National Security Education Program (NSEP) was designed to provide Americans 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 a commitment to seek work in the federal government.  As students of other cultures and languages, Boren Scholars and Fellows begin to acquire the international competence needed to communicate effectively across borders, to understand other perspectives, and to analyze economic and political affairs.  The NSEP David L. Boren Fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency.  The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.


SEE ALSO:  NSEP Boren Scholarships for Study Abroad, NSEP Language Flagship Fellowships, Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship, Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes, Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program

Selection Criteria

Fellowship award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit with consideration for:

  • Academic record and potential to succeed in the proposed program;

  • Commitment to international education to fulfill academic and career goals;

  • Language interest and aptitude;

  • Quality and appropriateness of the proposed program and its relevance to the goals of the National Security Education Program;

  • Commitment to service in the federal government.

The primary factors in the selection of Fellows are:

  • A demonstrated academic excellence;

  • A comprehensive, clear, and feasible proposal;

  • A clear plan and demonstrated commitment to develop, maintain, or advance language competence;

  • Evidence of ability to adapt to a different cultural environment;

  • A clear and cogent explanation of the relevance of the proposed study to U.S. national security;

  • An expressed commitment to federal service.


Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application;

  • Be enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university located within the United States.  Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship.

This award has a required service component, which stipulates that an award recipient work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities.  The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies.  If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, the award recipient must seek to fulfill the requirement in a position with national security responsibilities in any federal department or agency.  Approval of service outside of a priority agency is contingent upon satisfactory demonstration of a full and good faith effort in accordance with conditions established by NSEP.  The duration of the service requirement is equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program, but in no case less than one year.  Boren Scholars must begin to fulfill the service requirement no later than three years after the date of graduation from, or termination of, the program of study for which the scholarship was awarded.


Boren Graduate Fellowships provide support for overseas or domestic study or a combination thereof.  The maximum level of support for a combined overseas and domestic program is $30,000.  A maximum of $12,000 per semester for up to two semesters ($24,000) is available for overseas study.  A maximum of $12,000 is available for a program of domestic study only.  Support for domestic study is limited to language or area studies that enhance a degree program; it is not intended to support the general tuition costs of obtaining a degree.


Boren Graduate Fellowships are awarded for a minimum of one semester and maximum of two academic years.  Overseas programs can be no longer than 12 months.  To be considered, summer programs must be equivalent to an academic semester.

For more information:

Boren Graduate Fellowship



Internal Selection Deadline (LSU)