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Application for 2023 Boren Awards is open, and the national deadlines for the Boren Fellowships is January 24, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST and for the Boren Scholarships is January 31, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST. The deadline for the Boren Campus Committee application review is December 23.




Adnan Dzumhur

Associate Director, UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian & East European Studies


Boren Awards website

What is Boren Awards?

The Boren Awards fund the intensive study of language and culture abroad by U.S. undergraduate and graduate students. Boren Scholars and Fellows study a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili, and immerse themselves in the cultures of world regions like Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. All eligible participants have the option to either apply for a Regional Flagship Language Initiative or select their own study program in a chosen critical language. Boren Awards are available to students of all proficiency levels who are committed to enhancing their skills.


The finalists are chosen based on three different factors:

  • Preference to work in the federal government
  • Proposed countries, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. national security
  • Suggested long-term study abroad

Please watch the video below, and read the information on this page and the application page. Then, reach out to Adnan Dzumhur for specific questions.


Maximum awards are typically determined by duration abroad.

Boren Scholarships

Dedicated to U.S. undergraduate students planning to study in world regions critical to U.S. interests:

  • 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

Boren Fellowships

Dedicated to U.S. graduate students interested in research and language study proposals in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

  • Up to $25,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
  • Up to $12,500 for 12-24 weeks
  • Up to $12,000 for domestic language study (optional)

Who is Eligible to Apply?

All applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens at the time of the national application deadline
  • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
  • At least 18 years of age or older at the time of the national application deadline
  • Planning an overseas program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
  • Planning to study in a country of which they are not a citizen
  • Matriculated for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program in an undergraduate or graduate degree program located within the United States and accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • (For ROTC cadets and midshipmen and members of the military Reserves or National Guard) In inactive, non-drilling status for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program

Endorsement is not required to apply for the Boren Awards. However, applicants are very strongly encouraged to seek endorsement through UNC Boren Campus Committee, as it emphasizes UNC’s confidence in you as an applicant and gives the committee the chance to submit information about your character and accomplishments.