Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a challenging problem. Early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) are considered as important vulnerability factors for the development and maintenance of BPD. Literature suggests a complex relationship between BPD and EMSs. The current study employed network analysis to model the complex associations between central BPD features (i.e., affective instability, identity problems, negative relations, and self-harm) and EMSs in 706 undergraduate students. The severity of BPD symptoms was assessed using the Personality Assessment Inventory-Borderline subscale; the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form was used to assess EMSs. Results suggest that specific EMSs show unique associations with different BPD features. Interestingly, affective instability showed no unique associations with EMSs. Identity problems were uniquely associated with abandonment, insufficient self-control, dependence/incompetence, and vulnerability to harm/illness schemas. Negative relations in BPD showed unique connections with mistrust/abuse and abandonment. Finally, BPD self-harm was connected to emotional deprivation and failure. These findings indicate potential pathways between EMSs and specific BPD features that could improve our understanding of BPD theoretically and clinically. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.