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National Security Education Program Scholarships


The National Security Educational Program (NSEP) was established by Congress in 1991 to provide funds for international study and thus equip young Americans with an understanding of less commonly taught languages, create a base of future international leaders who will help this country make sound decisions on global problems, and enhance institutional capacity in international studies.

The Scholarships

Substantial funding, but that varies depending on the student's financial need as certified by the Financial Aid Office. Scholarships are available for summer study (first years and sophomores plus junior and seniors in the applied sciences and engineering) or for fall and/or for spring. Preference is given to students studying abroad for the entire academic year. Preference will also be given to applicants who are proposing study in fields identified as of primary and secondary emphasis by the NSEP. Study of a foreign language appropriate to the identified country must be part of each proposal. Service obligation for students who accept NSEP scholarships. Recipients must enter into an agreement to work in an agency of the federal government with national security responsibilities for a period of time equal to the length of scholarship support under NSEP auspices.

The Application

The six-page application asks students to select a study abroad option in a non-Western European country. Students must lay out a program of language study and program course work related to important global issues affecting national security; they must also show a link between their proposal and their career goals. There is a two-part statement of purpose (no more than two pages in each part). Transcripts for at least two years of academic work are required; freshmen and sophomores must submit high school transcripts.

Who Should Apply

This scholarship program is open to all classes, freshmen through seniors, and also covers graduate study. Good grades (~3.5), language facility and a defined interest in international issues are important. Students in all majors, especially economics and science, are encouraged to apply.

NSEP Application Deadline

The national applications deadline is usually February. Talk to advisors on campus (Dean Rusk, Graduate Fellowships Committee, language teachers) by December.

The NSEP Process

The national application deadline is usually in mid-February for programs taking place during the next academic year of January. In April a slate of finalists is chosen. Scholarship recipients are announced in early May.

Learn More

For more information, contact the Graduate Fellowships Committee chair. For additional resources, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program, Center for Career Development at or schedule an appointment through Handshake.  Also, visit the official NSEP website

Davidson NSEP Scholars

1997 John Hong (Chile); 1994 Eric Collings (Russia & Kazakhstan).