National Security Education Program (NSEP) Scholarships

Published: October 13th, 1998

Category: Memos

Richard Downie, Associate Director

Each year scholarships are available through the federally-funded National Security Education Program (NSEP) for graduate and undergraduate students. A brief description of each program is noted below.

Please note that graduate fellowship awards are up to $10,000 per semester. Applications for NSEP Graduate Fellowships can be obtained only off the Web Page at or by calling AED at (202) 884-8285 or (800)498-9360. Undergraduate awards are up to $8,000 per semester. Applications for NSEP Undergraduate Scholarships are available through the International Center, Room 123 Grinter Hall. Your assistance in bringing these scholarship opportunities to the attention of your students would be greatly appreciated.

NSEP Graduate International Fellowships support students who study underrepresented languages, cultures, and world regions that are deemed critical to U.S. national security and who would consider the possibility of federal government service. Although NSEP publishes lists of geographic areas, languages, and cultures of primary interest and encourages study in other countries and world regions where a compelling argument proves an increased understanding and appreciation would contribute to U.S. national security, world regions specifically excluded from NSEP support are Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be a citizen of the U.S., enrolled in a graduate degree program or applying to a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university located within the U.S. In addition, although NSEP does not require study abroad, it is strongly recommended. To receive an NSEP Fellowship, the applicant must provide evidence of admission or an intent to enroll in a U.S. graduate school, be willing to enter into a service agreement, which requires the applicant to seek employment with an agency or office of the federal government involved in national security affairs, and agree to a language proficiency test prior to and immediately after the NSEP-supported language study. NSEP Fellowships support a minimum of one and a maximum of six academic semesters, ranging from $10,000 per semester for overseas study and $2,000 per semester for domestic study. The programs may begin no earlier than Fall 1999 and no later than Summer 2000. Completed application must be postmarked by January 15, 1999.

NSEP Undergraduate Scholarships provide American undergraduates with the resources necessary to acquire skills and experience in underrepresented cultures and languages that are deemed critical to the future security of the U.S. NSEP Scholarships can be applied to study abroad in all countries except Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. To be eligible for a NSEP Scholarship, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application, matriculated as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in an accredited U. S. post-secondary institution, applying to engage in study abroad experience that meets home institution standards, and able to complete the study abroad program before graduation. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate an interest in undertaking serious study in foreign countries, as a complement to academic and career goals, along with an appropriate and integrated study of a foreign language, with a language proficiency test prior to and after the program. Furthermore, all recipients of NSEP awards incur a service requirement, to work for an agency of the federal government with national security responsibilities or to work in the field of higher education in the area of study for which the scholarship was awarded. For the 1999-2000 NSEP academic year, freshmen and sophomores are eligible for summer, semester, and full year programs while juniors and seniors are eligible for semester and full year programs. The amount of an NSEP Scholarship award is based on financial need and on the cost of participation in a proposed study abroad program, with the maximum award amount at about $8,000 for any one academic term. Completed application must be postmarked by February 8, 1999.

Richard Downie may be contacted at:

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