Boren Scholarship/Boren Fellowship

Funding for undergraduate students or graduate students to travel abroad to study less commonly taught languages.

The Boren Scholarship (for undergraduate students) and the Boren Fellowship (for graduate students) provide funding for undergraduates and graduates students to obtain long-term linguistic and cultural immersion abroad. The scholarship provides up to $25,000 in funding to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Upon completion of the Boren Scholarship/Fellowship, you are obligated to work for the federal government in some capacity for one year after graduation.


  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • For undergraduate students, be matriculated in an undergraduate program at an accredited university in the U.S. at the time of application and remain matriculated in an undergraduate degree program for the duration of the scholarship. You may not graduate until the scholarship is complete
  • For graduate students, be matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited university in the U.S. and be remain matriculated in a graduate degree program for the duration of the scholarship. You may not graduate until the scholarship is complete.
  • Proposed program must be at least 12 weeks
    • STEM undergraduates may propose summer programs of 8 weeks or longer
  • Proposed programs of 2 or more semesters are strongly encouraged
    • Preference is given applicants proposing overseas programs of at least 25 weeks


  • ~100 Boren Fellowships (Graduate study)
    • 12-24-week program: up to $12,500
    • 25-52-week program: up to $25,000
    • Option to apply for up to $12,000 for domestic summer intensive language courses
  • ~200 Boren Scholarships (Undergraduate study)
    • 8-11-week program for a summer program (STEM majors only)
    • 12-24-week program: up to $12,500
    • 25-52-week program: up to $25,000

Selection Criteria:

  • Clear and compelling explanation of relevance of their country, language, field of study and overseas study to U.S. national security
  • Academic excellence to succeed abroad
  • Demonstrated commitment to language study before, during, and after overseas study
  • Proposed study plan in a country and language or field of study preferred by the Boren Awards? If not on the preferred lists, a compelling argument for funding on the basis of U.S. national security is required
  • Preference is given to applicants who demonstrate a longer-term commitment to government service
  • If conducting research, a clear, comprehensive, and feasible study plan

Application Material:

  • Boren Application
  • Budge plan for time abroad, including travel to and from the U.S. to desired country
  • National Security Essay
  • Motivation and Public Service Careers Essay
  • 2-3 letters of reference
  • Language self-assessment
  • Language proficiency evaluation (optional)
  • Study Plan Summary
  • Abstract and Methodology (for Boren Fellows if they elect to include research as an element of their program proposal)
  • University endorsement


University Endorsement Process:

  • University endorsement is a competitive process and not guaranteed. Students seeking University of Utah endorsement must submit certain application components by the University’s deadline.


NOTE: In exchange for funding, Boren Awards recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least 1 year after graduation



University deadline: January 4, 2021

External deadline:

  • Boren Fellowship (Graduate study): January 27, 2021 by 3 pm MST
  • Boren Scholarship (Undergraduate study): February 3, 2021 by 3 pm MST


August: Application available

January 4, 2021: University deadline

January 27, 2021: National application deadline for graduate study

February 3, 2021: National application deadline for undergraduate study

Late April: Notification of selection

Length of Scholarship: Dependent on proposed program of study

Scholarship Website:

Contact Information:

Fellowship Advisor (Graduate Students): Jolyn Schleiffarth:

Scholarship Advisor (Undergraduate Students): Kathryn Timm: