Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate 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 Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. Boren Fellowships promote long-term linguistic and cultural immersion. Proposed programs of two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to Boren Awards applicants proposing overseas programs of at least 25 weeks’ duration.

Info Circle (Solid)

This information is about Boren Fellowships for students matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program. Undergraduate students should contact Davidson’s Office of Education Abroad for information about Boren Scholarships.



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

  • Class year: Applicants may be matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program located within the United States and accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Boren Fellows must be matriculated in a graduate degree program by the start date of their fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete. Eligible graduate degree programs include master’s (MA, MS, MBA, LLM and others), juris doctor (JD), or doctoral (PhD, MD and others) programs. Non-degree certificate programs are not eligible by themselves.
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen at the time of application

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • High school graduate or have earned a GED
  • Boren Awards fund study in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (colored grey in the map below) are always ineligible for Boren Awards funding.

Applying & Guidance

For more information, schedule an Office of Fellowships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Director of Fellowships, to discuss your candidacy. Seniors and alumni who are interested in applying for a Boren Fellowship should be in contact by November 1 each year.