Boren Scholarship Preparation Tools

Guidance for Boren Applicants

What are the Boren Scholarship and Graduate Fellowship programs?

The Boren scholarships and fellowships are programs intended to encourage the study of less common languages in regions of the world that are critical to U.S. national security.  These  programs provide scholarships and fellowships for long-term study abroad programs (1 semester – 1 year).  While the Boren program identifies the eligible languages and countries, applicants are responsible for arranging their own study abroad programs through the UMass International Program Office.

Is the Boren for me?

You should apply for the Boren Scholarship or the Boren Graduate Fellowship if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You intend to study abroad for one or two semesters. (There is a summer only option for STEM majors.)
  2. You are seeking linguistic and cultural immersion in addition to studies in your academic field
  3. Your academic field is relevant to U.S. national security
  4. You are prepared to serve for at least one year in the federal government in the area of national security

What is Meant by the Term “National Security”?

The Boren program uses an expansive definition of national security.  The Boren website provides good examples of how national security can be incorporated into a study abroad program. (see However, if you have your own approach to national security, discuss this with the UMass Boren advisor to determine how to best present your proposal.

The UMass Recommended Application Process:

  1. Meet with the UMass Advisor for Boren to discuss personal goals and the suitability of the Boren. Set up this meeting as soon as possible since study abroad plans need to be developed before the Dec 16 application deadline.
  2. Visit the International Program Office to identify study abroad programs that are supported by UMass.
  3. Consult with academic advisors on the suitability of potential study abroad programs for meeting your academic and graduation goals.
  4. Students seeking Graduate Fellowships should also coordinate with Dr. Heidi Bauer-Clapp in the Graduate School’s Office of Professional Development.
  5. Complete the on-line application on the Boren website after having thoroughly reviewed the site’s guidance on how to apply.  Also consider the advice from previous UMass applicants for the Boren found here.
  6. Ask the professors writing your letters of recommendation that they submit drafts of their letters to the UMass Boren Advisor before they post them to the application website.
  7. Applications and Letters of Recommendations must be loaded on the site by Dec 16, 2016 for consideration by the UMass Boren Committee. This deadline is the same for the Undergraduate Scholarship and the Graduate Fellowship.
  8. UMass interviews will be conducted in January after which there will be an opportunity to make adjustments to on-line applications prior their final submission.
  9. Boren recipients will be notified in mid-April.

There will be a Boren Info Session in the Honors College Events Hall-East from 12-1 PM on Friday, October 21st.  The registration form can be found here.

The UMass Advisor for Boren is John Hagen in the Office of National Scholarship Advisement. Phone: 413-577-0727; E-mail:

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