Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide funding for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study the languages and cultures of Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Through long-term overseas study, Boren Scholars and Fellows learn to communicate across cultures, and analyze economic, political, religious, and societal events from local, national, and global perspectives. In exchange for funding, Boren recipients agree to work in qualifying national security positions in the U.S. federal government.
Award: Boren Scholarships, worth up to $20,000, are awarded to undergraduate students. Graduate students may apply for fellowships worth up to $24,000. Preference will be given to applicants proposing overseas programs of 6 months or longer.
Criteria: Preference is given to applicants who: (1) Have a desire to work in the federal government; (2) Propose countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security (American well-being as well as sustainable development, the environment, disease, migration, and economic competitiveness); (3) Propose long-term study abroad.
Endorsement is not required to apply for the Boren Awards. However, applicants are very strongly encouraged to seek endorsement through ODS, as it emphasizes UNC’s confidence in you as an applicant and gives ODS the chance to submit information about your character and accomplishments.
All applicants must be:
- 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.
Boren Scholarship applicants must be:
- A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
- Matriculated in an undergraduate degree program and remain matriculated in their undergraduate programs for the duration of the scholarship.
Boren Fellowship applicants must be:
- Either matriculated in or applying to a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university. Boren Fellows must remain matriculated in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship and may not graduate until the fellowship is complete.
How to apply for UNC endorsement
Request Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
- Use the Recommender Name Submission Form to request letters be sent to ODS
Apply for UNC Endorsement with the Application for UNC Endorsement Form
- Prepare and upload a single PDF that includes (in this order)
- Your CV
- The completed Boren Application downloaded from the online portal
- All relevant unofficial transcripts
Resources for applicants
- Review the ODS “Tips & Advice” document for general advice on applying for a distinguished award.
- Review the Boren’s rules and guidelines:
- What Makes a Competitive Application: Scholarship | Fellowship
- Selection Process: Scholarship | Fellowship
- FAQs: Scholarship | Fellowship
- Service Requirement
- Boren Awards Webinars
- Contact UNC’s Study Abroad office and meet with an advisor to discuss program options.
- Meet with your Academic Advisor to ensure you fulfill UNC’s matriculation requirements.
- Attend an ODS information session or prep-shop.
- Schedule a meeting with the ODS director to discuss your application and receive advice. Non-local applicants may schedule meetings via Skype or phone.
- Hear more about the Boren Awards