Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

NSEP David Boren Scholarship

university fellowships committee

All BC Undergraduates and Graduate Students may apply.

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David Boren Scholarships are designed to encourage and support American students who wish to acquire skills and experience in less commonly studied languages and cultures. The NSEP offers more than 300 merit-based scholarships each year for the study of languages, cultures, and world regions not commonly represented in American international education, specifically those outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The undergraduate program offers awards of up to $20,000 for students who study abroad; the graduate program offers awards of up to $25,000 per year for research pursued at home and abroad.

Scholarship award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit, with particular attention to: academic record and potential for success in the proposed study-abroad experience; commitment to international education to fulfill academic and career goals; language interest and aptitude; and, the quality and appropriateness of the proposed study-abroad project.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens
  • be enrolled as a degree-seeking students at the time of application, as well as during the planned study-abroad period
  • propose a study-abroad experience that meets their home institution standards.

Freshmen and Sophomores may apply for summer, semester, and full year programs; Juniors and Seniors may apply for semester and full year programs.

The NSEP awards have an additional benefit: because these grants are given with the expectation that the recipients will later apply their new skills and experience in ways beneficial for the United States, recipients are subsequentially granted preferential placement in internships and positions with the U.S. government (e.g., in the Congress, the State Department, etc.)

NSEP winners from Boston College in recent years have included the following:

  • A junior political science major who studied at Sophia University in Japan, where she pursued comparative study of the American and Japanese legal and political systems.
  • A sophomore classics major who studied Japanese ancient civilizations at Sophia University, to become more fluent in Japanese and to prepare for a future career in international relations.
  • A sophomore political science and Philosophy major who studied at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, to gain an Eastern cultural perspective on Western philosophical and political traditions.
  • A sophomore spanish major and Latin American studies minor who spent the summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, improving her Spanish and studying international marketing.
  • A Ph.D. candidate in English literature who studied French Creole at L'Ecole SupĂ©rieure d'Haiti, while conducting dissertation research on Haitian yard culture and alternative religions.

The Boston College Center for International Studies will assist students in establishing project contacts in universities around the world. Boston College partner universities in eligible destinations include, among others:

  • Nanjing University, China
  • San Francisco de Quito University, Ecuador
  • Hong Kong University Science & Technology
  • University of Madras, India
  • Sophia University, Japan
  • Sogang University, Korea
  • Al Akhawayn University, Morocco
  • Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
  • Jagiellonian University, Poland
  • Russian Academy of Science, Russia

Interested students should make an appointment with the Boston College NSEP Campus Coordinator, to obtain application materials no later than December 1. The completed application, with supporting documents, must be returned to the Campus Coordinator no later than the first week of January. During the third week of January, candidates will be interviewed by a campus evaluation committee, which will decide on nominees. Winners are selected by NSEP in late April, and award recipients are notified in early May.

To be competitive, interested students should contact the NSEP Campus Coordinator at the start of the Fall semester, to begin preparing their applications.

If you would like additional information about the scholarship and the application process before talking with the Campus Coordinator, consult the National Security Education Program web site.