PURPOSE: The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships enable U.S. graduate students to pursue specialization in area and language study or to add an important international dimension to their education. Boren Fellowships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures, and world regions which are critical to U.S. interest, 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). It is hoped that recipients of Boren Fellowships will comprise an ever-growing cadre of experts whose enriched educational and professional experiences will enable them to provide leadership and direction in our national commitment to economic growth, international peace and security, and promotion of democracy abroad.


  • Agriculture and Food Sciences
  • Area Studies
  • Business and Economics
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Foreign Languages
  • Health and Biomedical Sciences
  • History
  • International Affairs
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science and Policy Studies
  • Sciences and Engineering
  • Social Sciences

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to apply for a Boren Fellowship, a student must be:

  1. A citizen of the United States
  2. Either enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university located within the United States

CONDITIONS OF AWARD: Awards are made for a minimum of one and a maximum of six academic semesters (24 months). The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or in the Intelligence Community. If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies after making a full and good faith effort in accordance with conditions established by NSEP, s/he may work in any U.S. federal department or agency. There is also an expectation that Boren Fellows will use the language or regional expertise acquired as a result of the award in their work for the U.S. government.

LEVEL OF SUPPORT: The maximum award amounts for overseas study are $12,000 for 12-24 weeks, $20,000 for 25-36 weeks, and $24,000 for 37-52 weeks. The maximum support domestic study is $12,000 for language or area studies which enhance a degree program. The maximum level of support for a combination of overseas and domestic program is $30,000 over 24 months.


For additional information and/or application materials, please see the NSEP Boren Awards website.