Boren Fellowship

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.


Fellowship applicants must be: 

-A U.S. citizen at the time of application

-Planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.  Boren Fellowships are not for study in the United States.

-Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university located within the United States and accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Boren Fellows must remain matriculated in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete.

Period of Study

Boren Fellowships are made for a minimum of 12 weeks overseas and a maximum of one year overseas. For each Class of fellows, Boren-funded programs often begin no earlier than the June of the selection year and no later than March of the following year. 

Special Considerations

The program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security.

It draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

In exchange for fellowship funding, all Boren Fellows must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.


Boren Fellowships provide up to $24,000 for overseas study.


If you are interested in applying for a Boren Fellowship, please contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships


Deadlines and additional information can be located on the the Boren Fellowship website.


Class Year

  • Senior
  • Recent Graduate
  • Post-baccalaureate
  • Graduate
  • Doctorate


  • Multiple


  • English
  • Non English


  • Summer
  • Yearlong
  • Other

Program Type

  • Graduate Study
  • Language
  • Professional
  • Public Service
  • Research
  • Study Abroad


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • South America

GWU Sponsored?


GWU Endorsement Required?