Funding for credit-bearing study abroad programs focused on languages critical to U.S. national security in regions outside of Western Europe.


Application Deadline

January 31, 2025 at 10:00 PM

5:00pm EST

Duke Contact

Quick facts

Academic Discipline

Arts & Humanities
Public Service
Social Sciences
STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Eligibility: Citizenship

U.S. Citizen

When to Apply

Sophomore Year, Junior Year

Campus Nomination Required?


Sponsoring Foundation Site


Boren Scholarships support the study of world regions and languages critical to U.S. interests. Applicants must apply to study in a country outside of Western Europe (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East), and study abroad programs should focus heavily on language skills.

Boren Scholarship awardees must commit to a minimum of one year of federal government employment upon accepting the award. 

N.B.: Boren Scholarships are for undergraduates and Boren Fellowships are for graduate students. 


Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:

  • Up to $25,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
  • Up to $12,500 for 12-24 weeks
  • Up to $8,000 for 8-11 weeks (STEM majors only)


U.S. citizens who are first-year through juniors are eligible. Your proposed study abroad plans must prioritize studying one of Boren's target languages (20+ contact hours per week) in a target country to be competitive. Plan ahead to be sure your study abroad plans meet Duke Global Education Office (GEO) requirements so you can receive academic credit and/or study abroad during the academic year.  If you propose a study program that is not already Duke-approved, you will need to start sooner to go through Duke GEO's petition process for approval.  Those accepting Boren Awards commit to serve one year of employment in the Federal government with national security duties--broadly defined (defense, intelligence, diplomacy, development...).

If you receive financial aid at Duke, you may not need to accept your entire Boren Scholarship award offer from your application budget to receive your full financial benefit from being offered a Boren Scholarship. Please reach out to your Financial Aid advisor if you are offered a Boren Scholarship to understand all your options.

Selection Criteria

  • Connection between proposal and US national security
  • A demonstrated interest in federal government service
  • Academic preparation for the proposed expereince
  • Commitment to prior and continued language study

N.B.: A majority of the scholarships are reserved for students planning a 25+ week experience. 


Recent Duke Recipients


Eleanor Ross

Boren Scholar