Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are excluded. 

Boren Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. 

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 at least six (6) months overseas. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1 of the application year. Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

General Eligibility

Please visit the program website for specific eligibility requirements, including what languages you can study and countries where you can study.

  • Class year: Freshman, sophomore or junior at the time of application. Must be matriculated in an undergraduate degree program located within the United States accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Boren Scholars must remain matriculated in their undergraduate programs for the duration of the scholarship and may not graduate until the scholarship is complete.
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen at the time of application

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • High school graduate or have earned a GED
  • Applying to a study abroad program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United States.

Application Process

Davidson Boren Scholarship candidates should apply by the campus endorsement application deadline. Before applying for campus endorsement, interested candidates must schedule an appointment with the Davidson College Office of Education Abroad to discuss study plans. Following the campus endorsement application deadline, Davidson’s Graduate Fellowships & Scholarships Committee will review applications, and candidates will be required to participate in an interview with the committee. Following the campus interview, candidates will have the opportunity to refine their applications in advance of the final national deadline.

The 2020-2021 campus endorsement application process will be outlined on Handshake (login required) in fall 2020. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships and Scholarships, as soon as possible to discuss their candidacy.

Learn More

For more information, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program at or schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships & Scholarships, through Handshake (login required).

Recent Davidson Boren Scholars

2019 - Cora Martin (Portuguese, Brazil)
2018 - Mara Papakostas (Mandarin, China)