Application period: July 14, 2021 to September 22, 2021 (8:59 p.m. PT)

Graduate eligibility requirements: 

  • U.S. citizen
  • Seeking admission to a U.S. graduate school
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher
  •  to attend orientation in Washington, D.C. 
  • Available to fulfill summer internship obligations
  • Must commit to a minimum of five years of service in the Foreign Service after completion of program and master's degree.

Award summary and conditions: Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University. The Pickering Fellowship is one of the State Department's premier recruitment programs aimed at increasing diversity among U.S. Foreign Service officers.

The Pickering program plans to award 30 fellowships. Benefits of the Pickering Fellowship include:

  • Up to $37,500 annually for two years of expenses related to degree programs in fields related to the Foreign Service.
  • Two summer internships - one at a domestic State Department office and another at an overseas U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Orientation at the State Department and mentoring from a current Foreign Service officer.
  • Employment in the Foreign Service of the Department of State for Fellows who successfully complete the Fellowship and all Foreign Service entry requirements.
  • Contractual agreement: Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of five 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: online

Application requirements:

  • • Biographical information
    • Personal statement (600 words max.)
    • Financial aid statement (400 words max.)
    • Letters of recommendation (2)*
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship (copy of birth certificate, certificate of U.S. citizenship or U.S. passport)
    • The Student Aid Report (SAR)
    • GRE or GMAT Scores (copy of report sent to student)
    • Official Financial Aid Award Letter from senior year
    • Official transcript(s)

*Applicants will be asked to enter recommender's e-mail addresses and recommenders will receive an email requesting that they submit an online recommendation form.

Campus representative: Keith Raether

National committee interview: In Washington, D.C. In addition to the interview, finalists will be given a written exercise. The program will pay the cost of accommodations and travel to Washington, D.C. from within the continental U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.

Announcement date: The program will strive to complete the selection process and make offers to 30 fellows by late November.