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Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students 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.  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 a full-year academic study.

Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1. Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.  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. All applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to this broad understanding of national security.

Service Requirement:   Recipients of a Boren Scholarship accept a Service Requirement that stipulates that an award recipient work in the Federal Government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies. If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, the award recipient must seek to fulfill the requirement in a position with national security responsibilities in any Federal department or agency.

Institutional Endorsement: The Boren Scholarship requires institutional endorsement. Interested students should contact Michael Jordan to register interest in applying for this scholarship.

U-M Contact: Michael Jordan, Director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study

Application Deadline: February 3rd, 2021 (January 27th for Boren Fellowships, learn more here)


  • U.S. citizen at time of application

  • Matriculated student in an undergraduate program located within the United States. Boren Scholars must remain matriculated in their undergraduate programs through the duration of the scholarship and may not graduate until the scholarship is complete.

  • Applying to a study abroad program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United States.

  • The study abroad program must include study of a language considered high need for national security.  For a list of eligible languages see this page on the Boren website.

  • See this page on the Boren website for a list of selection criteria.

Application Instructions:

  • Contact Michael Jordan, Director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study, to register interest in applying.

  • See the Boren website for detailed instructions and advice for completing the application process, including webinars updated for the 2021 application cycle.

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