Pandemic Message

Pandemic Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Terms and Dates:

  • Academic Year 2019-20
  • Summer 2019
  • Academic Year 2020-21


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning


Opportunity Description

Funding for U.S. undergraduates to study for two semesters or a semester and a summer focusing on world regions and languages that are critical to U.S. interests.  Summer funding for STEM students only.

What is unique about this scholarship?

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities 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 (for students with advanced Spanish), and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

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

Award Amounts

Maximum scholarship awards are:

  • $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; 8 weeks minimum)
  • $20,000 for 6 - 12 months

Program Preferences

Boren Scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security.

Boren Scholarships draw on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Preference is given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government.

For more information, please visit, what makes a competitive Boren Scholarship application.


Boren Special Initiatives

Boren applicants may also apply for any of the Boren Special Initiatives.  The Flagship Language Initiatives fund summer language study in the U.S. and semester study at a partner institution in the destination country.  With the African Flagship Languages Initiatitve (AFLI) students may apply to study Akan/Twi, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof or Zulu; the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiatitve (SAFLI) enables students to study Hindi or Urdu, and the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) is for students to study Bahasa Indonesian.  Students are not required to participate on a flagship program in order to study the languages listed above.

How to Apply

Undergraduate students should apply directly on the Boren Scholarship site.  More information on the Scholarship is available on that site.

* The Cornell University deadline is earlier than the national deadline to allow the Campus Representative to review and endorse Cornell undergraduate applications.

On the Global Learning website you will find a list of current returned students who have agreed to share contact information, stories from students in their own words, and selections of recommended programs in these categories: Cornell Global Programs, College Administered, Global Issues, STEM-focused, and Beyond Europe.

Returning Applicants