Pickering Undergraduate Fellowship


National deadline:  January 24, 2014 for the online application, 11:59 EST
                                 January 31, 2014 for letters of recommendation
Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be expecting to receive their bachelor’s degree in Spring 2015.
  • Winners are expected to enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service.
  • The Fellowship does not fund law or joint law degree programs.
  • Only U.S. institutions based in the U.S. are eligible.
  • Applicants must be available to fulfill the summer internship obligations (summer 2015 & 2016)
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
    • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale must be maintained throughout participation in the program.

Award summary and conditions:

The U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was renamed the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program to honor one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Pickering held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The fellowship award includes funding toward tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees during the senior year of college and during the first year of graduate study. Reimbursement for books and some travel may be paid. Fellows must commit to pursuing a graduate degree in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service.

Program Components:

  • In 2014, financial support of up to $40,000 annually for actual expenses for the senior year of college and the first year of graduate study. This funding is to help cover tuition costs first then room and board, books, laboratory fees, and one round trip ticket per academic year between the Fellow’s residence and the academic institution pending availability of funding. 
  • Two Summer Internships:  Fellows must participate in one overseas and one domestic summer internship within the U.S. Department of State. Students receive a stipend during the internships.
  • Mentoring:  Guidance from a Foreign Service officer is provided during the graduate school segment of the program.
  • Testing:  Fellows must meet Department of State Foreign Service entry requirements.

Contractual agreement:  Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. Candidates must be able to obtain medical, security and suitability clearances in order to remain in the program. Candidates who do not successfully complete the fellowship program and fail to meet Foreign Service entry requirements may be subject to a reimbursement obligation to the U.S. Department of State.

Application process: A completed application for the Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship includes both an online application form, which requires secure registration at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation website, and email addresses for two recommenders. Your recommenders will be required to submit their recommendations as PDFs to either FAFdocs@woodrow.org or GFAFdocs@woodrow.org.

Supplemental Items: Each of these documents must be saved into a single .PDF file, correctly labeled, and uploaded in the Supplemental Items section of the online application:

  • Upload a copy of your certification of U.S. citizenship
  • Upload a copy of either your SAT/ACT or GRE/GMAT scores
  • Upload an unofficial copy of your transcript (all schools attended)
  • Upload your most recent Student Aid Report (SAR), which indicates the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number
  • Upload your latest Form 1040
  • Upload your updated resume
  • If currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, upload your  most recent financial aid award letter listing grants or loans.

Faxed documents will not be accepted.

Selection process:
Consideration will be given to qualified applicants who, in addition to outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement, demonstrate financial need. The number of fellowships will be determined by available funding. Finalists will attend an interview session in Washington, D.C.; the program pays the costs of transportation to the interview. Those selected as new Fellows will attend an orientation in Washington, D.C. Medical and security clearances will be required for program participation.

Faculty Representative:  Keith Raether

Contact information: http://www.woodrow.org/higher-education-fellowships/foreign_affairs/pickering_undergrad/index.php