Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program

About the U.S. Foreign Service:

Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Department of State are responsible for formulating, implementing and supporting U.S. foreign policy. Their work includes analyzing political and economic events around the world, negotiating with foreign governments, assisting U.S. citizens abroad, educating foreign audiences about American culture and values, and managing an embassy’s operations. They are engaged in foreign policy issues such as conflict resolution, human rights, environmental and health issues, nuclear nonproliferation, and educational exchange.

About the Program:

The Pickering Graduate Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Department of State.

Ideal Candidates:

  • Candidates must be graduating seniors or college graduates.
  • The Program welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need.
  • Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity.
  • Applicants with any undergraduate major are welcome to apply.

Program Benefits:

Selected fellows will receive support for graduate school and will enter exciting and rewarding careers representing the United States overseas. Program benefits include:

  • Employment in the State Department Foreign Service for those who successfully complete the program and meet Foreign Service entry requirements, in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy, with each Fellow committing to a minimum of five years of service
  • An orientation to the Program and the Foreign Service at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in mid-June 2020
  • Two summer internships, one in Washington, D.C. in the summer 2021 and one overseas at a U.S. embassy in summer 2022
  • Up to $37,500 annually toward tuition, fees, and living expenses for a two-year master’s degree in fields related to the Foreign Service such as Business Administration, Economics, Public Policy, and International Relations at a U.S.-based institution
  • Mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer throughout the duration of the fellowship

Eligibility Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Seeking admission to graduate school in fall 2020 for a two-year graduate program in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service at a U.S.-based institution
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application

Program Deadline:

September 17, 2019


For more information on this fellowship program, visit pickeringfellowship.org, email Pickeringfellowship@howard.edu, or call 202-806-4367.


“A Foreign Service career is much more than just a job; it is a uniquely demanding and rewarding way of life. Foreign Service Officers work in Washington, D.C. and in more than 250 diplomatic posts worldwide. As representatives of the United States, Foreign Service Officers have a direct impact on people’s lives, witness history in the making, and help create and implement U.S. policy.”

By Jacqui Cantu
Jacqui Cantu