Boren Scholarships: Summer Initiative for STEM Majors

National Security Education Program

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Grant amount: Up to US $8,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 7, 2020 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: Undergraduate Student

Funding uses: Scholarship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

Location of citizenship: United States

Must travel to: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe Expand all

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Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate 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 Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Special Initiative: Summer Initiative for STEM Majors

The Boren Scholarships offer a special initiative for undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors. The scholarships fund for summer study (minimum of 8 weeks) for students majoring in the STEM fields.

All other applicants must plan to study overseas for at least a semester. STEM field majors are also encouraged to apply for semester and year programs.

Options While Overseas

All students applying for Boren Scholarships are expected to have a significant language component as part of their proposed study abroad program. Although many STEM students choose study abroad programs that offer courses in STEM fields, it is not required.

Options include the following. 

  • Language Study Only: Study abroad program may focus entirely on language study.
  • Language Study with Academic Coursework: Study abroad programs may include language study as well as other academic coursework. Depending on the program, this coursework may or may not be within the applicant’s major.
  • Language Study with a STEM-Related Internship: Some students focus on language study, while also incorporating a STEM-related internship to their overseas plan. As a reminder, all internships should be academic in nature, unpaid, and with a non-governmental organization.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants must be:
    • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
    • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
    • Matriculated in an undergraduate degree program located within the United States accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
      • Boren Scholars must remain matriculated in their undergraduate programs for the duration of the scholarship and may not graduate until the scholarship is complete.
  • Applying to a study abroad program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of the United States, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • All Boren Scholars must study a foreign language appropriate to the country in which they are studying abroad.


  • Boren Scholarships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion, and therefore study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. 
    • Preference will be given to undergraduate applicants proposing six (6) months or longer.
  • Boren Scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate a longer term commitment to government service.


  • Boren Scholarships are not for study in the United States.