University Fellowships Mark

Boren Fellowship for Graduate Students

Boren Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and they focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. The fellowships are not for study in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the United States. They provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellowship promotes long-term linguistic and cultural immersion, and therefore study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Fellows must agree to a service requirement, which is one year long and must begin within 2 years of graduation.

Office Application Deadline: December 6, 2019


  • U.S citizen
  • Current grad student or applying to a graduate degree program
  • Recipients must remain matriculated in their programs for the duration of the award
  • Applying to engage in a study abroad program that meets Penn State standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United States

Application Process: The university is required to review all applications, so there is an internal deadline noted above. Applicants will have a chance to revise their materials, if necessary, prior to final submission deadline.

**NOTE: DO NOT SUBMIT your application until the office has reviewed your documentation and offered feedback.  We do not have the ability to return your materials for revision if you do submit. When your application is complete, notify the office (

Complete applications are submitted through Boren's application system and are comprised of the following materials:

  • Application form (details here)
  • 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
  • Unofficial transcripts from all universities attended, 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)
Current Status: 
Senior, Grad Student
Duration of Award: 
Summer, Semester, Full Year or More
International Experience
Office Nomination
Fields of Study: 
Agricultural Sciences, Business, Communications and Journalism, Education, Health-related, Humanities and Social Sciences, Information Sciences and Technology, International Relations and Public Policy, STEM, Visual and Performing Arts
Semester of Application Deadline: 
Spring (January – April)

Boucke Building
University Fellowships Office
321 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802