Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Website Eligibility Deadline  Seniors/Graduate Students September, 2022


The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people, based on financial need, who represent ethnic, gender, social, and geographic diversity and have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State.  The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.


  • Only individuals who are United States citizens.
  • Applicants must be seeking admission to a U.S. graduate school beginning in fall 2023.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application and this grade point average must be maintained throughout participation in the program.
  • Applicants must enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program, at U.S. based graduate institutions only, in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service (public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages)
  • Your two internships with the State Department—one in the U.S., the other overseas—will be in the summer between the first and second year of your graduate program and the summer after you finish. Throughout the program you will receive personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities.
  • Fellows will participate in an orientation at Howard University in early June.  The purposes of this orientation to familiarize the Fellows with all aspects of the fellowship and to enhance their understanding of, and skills for, Foreign Service careers.

Application Procedure

You will be required to submit an application which consists of the following items: 

  1. Personal background information
  2. Two letters of recommendation 
  3. An official copy (unofficial copy accepted but not preferred) of your transcript (all schools attended)
  4. A copy of your certification of U.S. citizenship (U.S. passport, birth certificate, or naturalization papers accepted.)
  5. Your GRE/GMAT scores
  6. Personal statement (600 words or less) that discusses the applicants’ reasons for applying, interest in international affairs, commitment to pursue a career in the Foreign Service of the Department of State, and any relevant experience or information.
  7. Resume
  8. Your most recent financial aid award letter listing grants or loans
  9. Your most recent Student Aid Report
  10. Statement of financial need

For more information on the application process and a thorough description of the aforementioned application requirements, click here.

Value of the Award

  • Up to $37,500 annually for tuition, room and board, books, mandatory fees and some travel expenses for a two-year master’s degree in fields related to the Foreign Service such as business administration, economics, public policy, international affairs, and other relevant fields.
  • Two summer internships, one at a domestic office of the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one overseas at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The program provides stipends, transportation and housing for these internships.
  • Orientation to the Program and the Foreign Service at the Department of State.
  • Mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer throughout the duration of the fellowship.
  • Employment in the Department of State Foreign Service for those who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements.


202- 806-4367

Past Winners


Hannah Cha
Class of 2009
Political Science

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