Carnegie Mellon University

Boren Scholarship

Boren Scholarships provide $8,000 - $20,000 for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

Boren Scholars are highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.


  • 1st-year students through seniors
  • U.S. citizens
  • Planning on a semester- or year-long study abroad in one of the eligible regions (8-week summer programs eligible for STEM students only)


Candidates are rated based on the fit of their study abroad programs with U.S. national security interests (broadly defined*), as well as on the fit of their study abroad programs with their academic and career interests. 


The specific selection criteria are:

  1. Solid academic record and potential to succeed in their study abroad experience
  2. Commitment to international education to fulfill academic and career goals
  3. Language interest and aptitude
  4. Study abroad plans that relate directly to the applicant’s career goals and to his or her envisioned work in the federal government (Departments of State, Homeland Security, or Defense, or the Intelligence Community)


*National security can include traditional issues such as conflict and peacebuilding, as well as global societal challenges such as sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.




Students must apply through FSO by the required campus deadline (January 15th, 2019) in order to be considered for endorsement.


Make an appointment as early as possible in fall semester with Dr. Richelle Bernazzoli, Assistant Director and Boren Campus Representative, in order to discuss your fit with the award.   


You should also meet with a study abroad coordinator in the Office of International Education in order to identify an appropriate study abroad program.  You will need to meet the required study abroad program deadline(s) as well as the Boren Scholarship deadline.




Required Materials:

  1. A signed FSO Scholarship Waiver
  2. A complete Boren application submitted online (no hardcopy needed).  The online application includes:
  • Two 800-word essays
  • Official trasncripts from all colleges and universities attended. 1st-year students must include high school transcripts as well.
  • Two to three recommendation letters specifically tailored for the Boren Scholarship. Recommenders should email their letters directly to FSO.
  • Scanned copy of your study abroad description or brochure for your primary program with your name printed at the top.
  • Language Self-Assessment form for each language you have studied.
  • Language proficiency form completed by a language instructor (optional, but strongly encouraged).


After the campus deadline, the campus Boren Scholarship Committee will review all applications.  Applicants may be asked to interview with the committee as part of the endorsement process.  Endorsed applicants will then be notified and guided through the final steps of the application process.



By this date, endorsed applicants must upload all revised documents to the online Boren application and submit the application. Any updated transcripts, letters of recommendation, or program descriptions will also need to be submitted at this time.  The FSO will then complete your campus committee evaluation form and submit it with your application by the national deadline of February 8.



After the national deadline, the Institute of International Education sends all applications to regional screening panels for review.  The regional panels evaluate applicants and then recommend candidates to be reviewed by the national nominating panel.  This panel then designates awardees, alternates, and non-awardees.  Final notifications go out in late April or early May.