Fellowships & Scholarships
NSEP Boren Fellowship
  • Northeastern: 01/08/2024
  • Fellowship: 01/24/2024

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for this fellowship, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. You may contact the office with any questions.

Award Details

Award Website

Boren Fellowships are graduate awards, funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined.  NSEP 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.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their chosen study abroad program is recognized by Northeastern University for the purposes both of academic credit and progress toward degree. Students should consult with their academic advisors and the Global Experience Office if they have questions about the transferability or recognition of courses taken abroad. For budgeting purposes, students should bear in mind that they will be charged Northeastern tuition for study abroad programs that transfer credit back to Northeastern.

Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.

In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.



Abroad Award
Term Length: A minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of one year overseas.
Needs Institutional Endorsement
US Citizenship Required

  • 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.

Boren Fellowships are awarded with preference for countrieslanguages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government.

As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications that fall outside the preferences, if the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.

For more information about what makes a competitive application, click here.

Boren Fellowships provide up to $25,000 for overseas study.

In addition, Boren Fellowships can provide limited funding for domestic language study that will supplement the overseas component. The maximum award for a combined overseas and domestic program is $30,000. Please review the budget guidelines for more information.

In order to be considered for the Boren Fellowship, you must first be endorsed by Northeastern University. To apply, please upload the following materials to Northeastern’s internal submission form by our internal deadline.

  • Boren Fellowship Application
  • Essays: National Security and Motivation & Public Service Careers
  • Research Abstract and Methodology, if relevant
  • Study Abroad Program Summary
  • Budget
  • Three standard letters of recommendation. If a proposing a research component to their overseas study, at least one letter of recommendation should be from a research advisor at their U.S. institution.
  • Official Transcripts
  • Language Proficiency Evaluation — complete this on Boren Application online

While Boren Fellowship applicants design their own study plans and may combine domestic language study with overseas study or research, study of a foreign language must be an integral part of the application proposal.

Submit the application as a PDF as well as letters through our Northeastern University Internal Fellowship Portal.

In order to receive Northeastern’s endorsement and support, we ask that applicants please complete their applications by our internal deadline.

Contact URF@Northeastern.edu for assistance with your application.

Applications will be reviewed by an on-campus committee.

Interested? Have Questions?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in a fellowship or opportunity, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. Contact the office with any questions: