David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships

Application year: 

Sophomore, Junior


NSEP awards scholarships to American students for study of world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). Boren Scholarships are for undergraduates and Boren Fellowships are for graduate students

Signature of program: 

Study less commonly taught languages abroad for an academic year or a summer + a semester. STEM majors may apply for summer-only programs.


U.S. citizens who are first years 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 must 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.


Below are links to Boren webinars to use as you prepare your application. You can browse all of the Boren webinars here.  *undergraduate Boren Scholarships,  ^ graduate Boren Fellowships

  • Introduction to the Boren Awards *^
    Your Boren application should reflect your aspirations of becoming a federal government employee in a position related to national security. Understanding the national security implications of your study and the many career opportunities available to you is critical to a successful application.

  • Boren Scholarships - Self-Identified Language Programs (11 min)*
    How to identify an eligible overseas language program

  • The Flagship Language Initiatives (13 min) *^
    The structure of the Flagship Language Initiatives: African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI), the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI), the South Asian Flagship Language Initiative (SAFLI), and the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI).

  • Crafting Competitive Essays (27 min) *^ 
    A deep dive into the critically important Boren Awards application essays. It covers the concept of national security discussed in Essay # 1 and how to describe career plans with the federal government in Essay # 2. This info and links to U.S. government careers websites is available at https://borenawards.org/essays.

  • Understanding the NSEP Service Requirement *^
    An overview of the process for seeking federal employment after receiving a Boren award, and the numerous advantages that alumni have in that process.
Amount of award: 

Usually cover full costs of travel, living, and tution based on your application budget.





Endorsement Required: 



OUSF and Global Education


Early January

Area(s) of interest: