Boren Fellowship for Graduate Students


Boren Fellowships, funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), promote long-term linguistic and cultural immersion and encourage American graduate students to focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Boren Fellows receive up to $25,000 in order to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellows are also eligible to receive funding for domestic summer language programs immediately prior to their overseas study. Study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. In exchange for funding, all Boren Fellows commit to a one-year service requirement with the federal government. Service must begin within 2 years of graduation. Check out the Boren Info Session Here.


  • U.S citizen
  • Current graduate student or applying to a graduate degree program
  • Matriculated in a graduate program for the duration of the award
  • International program or project must meet Penn State’s standards and take place in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United States
  • Must commit to spending at least one year after graduate or professional school working in federal service; service must begin within 2 years of graduation

Application Materials: 

  • A completed application
  • Proposed study plan (guidance here)
  • Two essays (guidelines here)
  • Three letters of recommendation (details here)
    • One must be from your research advisor if your application includes research
  • Transcripts
    • Current transcripts should include fall
  • Language self-assessment (guidelines here)
  • Language proficiency form (optional, details here)
  • Letter of overseas affiliation (not required at the time of application)

Application Procedure:

Office Application Deadline - January 8, 2024

Given that the University is asked to evaluate each applicant, there is an office application deadline and a campus evaluation process. To be considered for the campus evaluation process, applicants must upload, but not submit the following materials through Boren's application system by the date above.

Applicants will have the chance to continue to revise their materials after the campus evaluation process.

            National Application Deadline – January 24, 2024 

Year at Time of Application: 
Senior or Beyond, Grad Student
Duration of Award: 
Summer, Semester, Full Year or More
No Preference
Office Nomination
Area of Interest: 
Agricultural Sciences, Architecture, Business, Communications and Journalism, Education, Engineering, Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences, Humanities, Information Technology and Computer Science, International Relations Political Science and Law, Mathematics, Music, Nursing and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Statistics, Visual and Performing Arts
Earliest Application Deadline: 
Jan. – April
Penn-State Sponsored: 
Fellowship Components: 
Language Learning