National deadline:  January 14, 2015
Eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be in the senior year of their undergraduate study or have completed their undergraduate degree by June 2015 and must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2015.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.

Award summary and conditions:  The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program seeks to attract and educate outstanding young people who desire a career in the Foreign Service.  Funded by the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, these Fellowships prepare students to enter exciting and rewarding careers in public service as Foreign Service Officers.  The Rangel Program encourages the involvement of members of minority groups and those with financial need.  In this manner, it advances the goal of Secretary Rice and Congressman Rangel to create an excellent and diverse U.S. Foreign Service that represents the rich range of talents and expertise of the American people.

In 2015, the Rangel Program will select up to 30 outstanding Rangel Fellows in a highly competitive nationwide process.  These Fellows receive up to $35,000 annually in assistance for tuition, room, board and other related expenses for completion of a two-year master’s degree in international affairs or a related topic.  They also do internships at U.S. Embassies overseas and on Capitol Hill.  Each Fellow is committed to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer.     

Application materials:
All documents submitted electronically and a completed online application includes the following:

  • Background Information
  • Personal statement (in 600 words or less) that discusses the applicant's reasons for applying, interest in foreign affairs, commitment to pursue a Foreign Service career and any relevant experience or information.
  • Statement (in 400 words or less) from the applicant that discusses his/her need for financial assistance to attend graduate school, including an explanation of:  financial assistance received during undergraduate studies, overall education-related debt and ability/plans to pay for graduate school independently.
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    ---One from a community leader or other individual who can comment on the applicant’s non-academic accomplishments and his/her potential
    ---One from a faculty member.
              Note:  In the online application, applicants will identify recommenders, who will be contacted by the
              program and asked to submit letters electronically.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship with a copy of birth certificate, certificate of U.S. citizenship or U.S. passport.   If selected as a finalist, originals will be required at the interview.
  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form FAFSA
  • GRE or GMAT Scores (copy of the report that was sent to student)
  • Official Financial Aid Statement from applicant’s senior year
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended for credit.  An official transcript would be best; a student copy is acceptable if it is in the format of an official transcript. If you are selected for an interview, you will have to bring an official transcript, in a signed, sealed envelope, to the interview.

Faculty representative:  Keith Raether

National committee interview: In Washington, D.C.  In addition to the interview, finalists will be asked to prepare a writing sample.

Selection process:  The Rangel Program expects to award 30 fellowships in 2015. A panel of individuals with experience in the U.S. Foreign Service and academia makes selections for the Rangel Program. Consideration will be given to qualified applicants who demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement in programs relevant to work of the U.S. Department of State such as international affairs, management, communications, history, political science, economics and foreign languages, and also whether a candidate demonstrates financial need. A candidate’s community, academic, extracurricular and leadership activities will be considered during the selection process.

The Rangel selection panel will choose approximately 60 finalists by the end of February. The Rangel Program staff will communicate decisions to both successful and unsuccessful applicants by the end of February. Candidates selected for final consideration will be brought to Washington, D.C. for interviews (from continental U.S. points only) and to prepare a writing sample. The program will pay the cost of accommodations and travel to Washington, DC from within the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Applicants should carefully review the Foreign Service requirements for medical, security and suitability clearances. Participation in the Rangel Program is conditional upon successful completion of pre-employment procedures specified by the Department of State, including background investigations for a security clearance, suitability determinations, medical examinations (to include spouse and eligible family members if applicable) and drug tests. For more information, see

The purpose of the Final Review is to determine, from the candidate's total record, whether the candidate is indeed suitable to represent the United States. The Final Review Panel has the authority to terminate a candidacy. The most common grounds for a finding of unsuitability are a recent history of drug or alcohol abuse and delinquency in repaying debt or other evidence of financial irresponsibility. (For more information on additional factors evaluated during the final review process, please log on to: Candidates whose file indicates such issues are unlikely to be found suitable for the Foreign Service. The Director of the Board of Examinations can reconvene a Suitability Panel should new information become available prior to hiring a candidate. Failure to meet medical, security, and suitability requirements may result in an applicant's disqualification from the fellowship program and reimbursement to the U.S. government of financial assistance paid in connection with the applicant's education.

Applicants are expected to undertake the steps necessary to complete the process of applying for a Foreign Service Officer position. 

Announcement date:  The program will strive to complete the selection process and make offers to 30 fellows by mid-March.

Contact information: