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Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship

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The Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State, supports undergraduates as they prepare for careers in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. The fellowship aims to attract students from all ethnic, social, and racial backgrounds who will go on after the bachelor's degree to pursue a two-year Master's degree relevant to work in the Foreign Service, such as international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, or science policy. The Undergraduate Fellowship is a comprehensive program that prepares fellows for such a career and funds the senior year of undergraduate study and the first year of graduate study.

Award Details:

The fellowship awards up to $40,000 annually towards tuition, institution fees, room and board, books, and some travel for the student's senior year of undergraduate degree and first year of graduate study. Some graduate schools offer financial support in the second year to students with financial need.

Fellows are also placed in internships, one domestic and one overseas, during the two summers of the fellowship term; fellows receive stipends for living expenses during these internships. All eligible candidates are welcome to apply, but the Pickering especially encourages applications from women and members of minority groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the Foreign Service. Those with evidence of financial need are also especially encouraged.

Fellows are obligated to serve a minimum of three years in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer after the completion of their studies. Candidates must be able to obtain medical, security and suitability clearances in order to remain in the program.

Participants must be able to show outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement relevant to the work of the Department of State, in disciplines such as international affairs, management, communications, history, political science, economics, and modern languages.


Open to U.S. citizens in their junior year of undergraduate study with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Applicants must apply to relevant graduate programs as a senior, and agree to work as a Foreign Service officer after graduate school.