The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships support research and study in all countries, except those in Western Europe and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The NSEP focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Boren Fellows design their own programs, usually research-based, but all proposed programs must include formal language study.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Must be planning to study a particular culture, country, or region and its language. Students can study overseas, domestically, or a combination of both.
  • Must be enrolled in or applying to a graduate degree program at a college or university in the United States. Boren Fellows must remain enrolled in their graduate programs for the duration of the fellowship.
  • 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 that includes a program proposal and budget.

Boren application guidance for Ball State students

  • Click to access an application packet prepared specifically for Ball State students who apply for a Boren graduate 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 January 30, 2018. 
  • The campus deadline is January 9, 2018. All materials must be submitted by this date to Barb Stedman, Honors College director of scholarships and NSEP representative.
  • Applicants do not need to be nominated by Ball State. However, they are strongly advised to work with Barb Stedman, director of national and international scholarships, in preparing their application materials.  At least six weeks before the deadline, students should call 765-285-1024 to schedule an appointment or e-mail with questions.

Duration and amount

  • Awards are for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of two academic years. Up to 12 months of the fellowship may be spent abroad.
  • The maximum award is $24,000 for overseas only study, $12,000 for domestic only study, and $30,000 for a combination of both.