Funding and scholarships

Students interested in preparing for careers in world politics have a number of possible sources of funding.

  • The Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. Boren Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.
  • The Pickering Fellowships help talented students –highly motivated and academically excellent college juniors and graduating seniors or college graduates–who want to pursue a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The programs provide funding for academic expenses, as well as summer internships, professional development, and ongoing mentoring. Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Pickering Programs honor Career Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, one of the country’s most respected Foreign Service Officers. The goal of the programs is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic and social backgrounds who are dedicated to representing America’s interests abroad. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.
  • The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke. The Board created an endowment to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Since 1975 the program has selected more than 500 college juniors from more than 100 different undergraduate institutions for support during graduate study at any accredited university. Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. There are no geographic restrictions on the use of the scholarship, and recipients are allowed to supplement the award with other scholarships, assistantships and research grants. Scholars are encouraged to begin graduated study as soon as possible following graduation from college, and must utilize all of the funding within five years of completion of undergraduate studies.
  • The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership in the public policy arena. PLEN is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C. Through introducing college women to role models, career paths, and skills trainings before they enter the workforce, PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.