The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships support undergraduate study abroad in all countries, except those in Western Europe and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, in order to help students acquire the international competence needed to communicate effectively across borders, understand other perspectives, and analyze increasingly fluid economic and political realities. The NSEP focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. All proposed programs must include formal language study.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Preference is given to students who want to study abroad for at least two semesters or the equivalent. The only exception is summer programs that are eight weeks or longer, for students in science, technology, engineering, or math.
  • NSEP applicants must plan to seek employment for at least one year with a federal agency or office involved in national security affairs after graduating.

How to apply

  • The application is available online.
  • Applicants must submit a completed online or print application form, two or three references, a one-page study abroad program description OR letters of support for direct enrollment or individually arranged study, and transcripts representing four full semesters (freshmen and sophomores must submit a high school transcript). 

Boren application guidance for Ball State students

  • Click to access an application packet prepared specifically for Ball State students who apply for a Boren undergraduate scholarship. It contains tips on creating the best application possible, a timeline and checklist, advice on getting strong letters of recommendation, and sample essays. 
  • You will need to enter your Ball State username and password to gain access.


  • The deadline for the 2018 competition is February 8, 2018.
  • The campus deadline is January 19, 2018. All materials must be submitted by this date to Barb Stedman, director of national and international scholarships and NSEP representative.

Duration and amount

  • Full academic year or semester programs are open to all applicants, and a summer language immersion of eight weeks or longer is available to science and engineering majors.
  • For students participating in individually arranged programs, the amount of the award is based on host country cost of living, tuition (if any), travel, books, settling in, and appropriate insurance.
  • The maximum award is $8,000 for summer study, $10,000 for a semester, or $20,000 for a full academic year.