HomeAll Boren Awards provide students with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire language skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation, in exchange for their commitment to seek work in the federal government.

Applicants should not apply for a language commonly taught in the US, unless through a Flagship Program. In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

Types of Awards

  • Boren Scholarships — Provide study abroad funding for undergraduate students, for six months up to one year. Students may combine programs to meet the six-month minimum. 
  • Boren Fellowships — Provide study abroad funding for graduate students with a specific focus on language study, for six months up to one year. Graduate students may combine language and research; one year programs of study are preferred. In addition, a portion of the Fellowship may be used for domestic language training. 
  • Flagship Language Initiatives — Preference is given to students who apply through a Flagship Language Initiative (African Languages, South Asian Languages, and Indonesian Language). 
  • Boren-ROTC — A special initiative for undergraduate ROTC cadets and midshipmen. 
  • STEM Initiative — Provides summer study abroad funding for a minimum of 8-weeks for STEM majors. Students may combine programs to meet the 8-week minimum and/or may continue for the fall semester. Study may be language-only, language and research, or language and an internship. 


All applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • Matriculated in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program.
  • Boren Awards cannot be used for study in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Domestic (U.S.) language training is allowed in combination with other programs. 
  • Candidates must apply for Regional Flagship Language Initiative or select/design their own study program

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants have documented evidence of superb achievement in:

  • Academics
  • Sincere interest in serving in National Security
  • Sincere interest in studying a strategic language

Application Process

  1. Visit the Boren Awards website to review criteria and eligibility requirements. Begin the online application (can be saved and completed in multiple sittings).
  2. Once you have looked over the Boren website send an email to cua-fellowships@cua.edu.
  3. Complete entire application for endorsement by 15 January.
  4. Receive endorsement from faculty through the on-campus interview process. 
  5. Submit the application to Boren by the application deadline. For undergraduate student scholarships, the deadline is 5 February by 5pm EST. For graduate fellowships, the deadline is 29 January by 5pm EST.

What to Expect

  • Applicants should expect to work with the Fellowships Adviser to revise their application components several times. Please reach out to the Fellowships Advising office before the end of Fall semester classes.
  • After submitting their application online by the campus deadline, each applicant will have a campus interview.
  • Following this interview, an endorsement letter from the campus committee will be uploaded by the Fellowships Adviser and the student will then submit the completed application to Boren.
  • All application materials will then be reviewed by the Boren.
  • Final notifications will be sent in mid-to-late April.