National deadline: January 16, 2015 (online application)
                                January 23, 2015 (recommendation letters)
Eligibility requirements:

  • United States citizens
  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • At the time of application, candidates must be seeking admission to graduate school for the following academic year. Winners are expected to enroll in a two-year, full-time master's degree program in either public policy, international affairs or public administration, or in an academic field such as business, economics, political science, sociology or foreign languages (U.S. graduate institutions only).
  • 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 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship program provides funding to participants as they are prepared academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.  The goal of the fellowship program is to attract outstanding students who enroll in two-year master's degree programs in public policy, international affairs, public administration, or academic fields such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages, who represent all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds and who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The program develops a source of trained men and women who will represent the skill needs of the Department and who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad. The Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Program components:

  • In 2015, financial support of up to $37,500 annually for actual expenses during the first and second years of graduate school. 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 funds.
  • Internships:  Graduate-level Fellows receive stipends during participation in one domestic summer internship between the first and second year of graduate school, and one summer overseas internship following the second year of graduate school.
  • Mentoring:  Guidance from a Foreign Service officer is provided during graduate school.
  • Testing:  Fellows must meet Department of State Foreign Service entry requirements and take both the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) and the Foreign Service Oral Assessment (FSOA) at least once prior to the completion of the academic requirements of the Fellowship.
  • Contractual Agreement:  Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years’ service in an appointment as a Foreign Service officer. Candidates who do not successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements may be subject to a reimbursement obligation to the Department of State.

Application materials:  A completed application for the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship includes the 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 or

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.

Internal interview:  No
National committee interview: 

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. National committee interview.

Faculty Representative:  Keith Raether

Contact information: