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NSEP Language Flagship Fellowships

Funding Suspended for Graduate Students - Undergrads See Boren Awards ....................................................................................... Provides a unique funding opportunity for graduate students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests. Applicants should view their particular university program for more application guidelines.


The National Security Education Program (NSEP) was designed to provide Americans with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation in exchange for a commitment to seek work in the federal government.  As students of other cultures and languages, Boren Scholars and Fellows begin to acquire the international competence needed to communicate effectively across borders, to understand other perspectives, and to analyze economic and political affairs.  Language Flagship offers Fellowships for advanced language training in Arabic, Central Asian languages, Korean, Mandarin, Persian, or Russian.

Selection Criteria

Flagship Fellowship applications are received by IIE, where they are reviewed by staff for technical elegibility.  Applicants are then forwarded to independent merit panelists to assess all eligible applicants.  Merit panel recommendations are corroborated with Flagship Institutions’ acceptances of Flagship Program applicants, and a final group of award recipients is recommended to the National Security Education Program Office.  Note: Each Flagship Institution has its own admissions process.  Flagship Fellowship awardees must apply to and be accepted by a Flagship Institution in order to receive funding from NSEP.


Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens at the time of application;

  • Demonstrate a minimum proficiency of Advanced Low (as defined by ACTFL) or level 2 (as defined by ILR) in the appropriate foreign language;

  • Demonstrate a minimum proficiency of Superior (as defined by ACTFL) or level 3 (as defined by ILR) in all modalities of English;

  • Have completed an undergraduate degree by the time you would begin the Fellowship.  Past recipients of Boren Scholarships or Fellowships are eligible and encouraged to apply to this program;

  • Not be employed by the U.S. government.

This award has a required service component, which stipulates that an award recipient work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities.  The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies.  If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, the award recipient must seek to fulfill the requirement in a position with national security responsibilities in any federal department or agency.  Approval of service outside of a priority agency is contingent upon satisfactory demonstration of a full and good faith effort in accordance with conditions established by NSEP.  The duration of the service requirement is equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program, but in no case less than one year.  Boren Scholars must begin to fulfill the service requirement no later than three years after the date of graduation from, or termination of, the program of study for which the scholarship was awarded.


Language Flagship Fellowships are awards of up to two years that support academic expenses directly associated with participation in a Flagship Program, including tuition, a modest stipend for living expenses, and support for travel costs and health insurance coverage.  The living stipend is based on reasonable costs associated with the location(s) of each Flagship Program.  Total Flagship Fellowship amounts will vary by individual depending upon the specific composition and duration of the program.  Fellowship award amounts cannot include additional support for dependents.


SEE ALSO:  NSEP Boren Scholarships for Study Abroad, NSEP Boren Graduate Fellowship, Pickering Foreign Affairs Undergraduate Fellowship, Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship, Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes, Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program


Language Flagship Fellowships have two components: one domestic and one overseas.  The first year involves intensive language study at a domestic Flagship Institution.  The second year is spent in an immersion program overseas, which is designed and managed by the domestic Flagship Institutions.  All Flagship Fellows who participate in the domestic component are expected to continue with the overseas component.  In exceptional cases, a Flagship Program may determine that an applicant with advanced language skills should bypass all or part of the domestic year and participate in only the overseas component.

For more information:

NSEP Language Flagship Fellowships