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The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships provide funding to participants as they are pre¬pared academically and professionally to enter the United States Department of State Foreign Service. 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.


Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S.citizen.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale (maintained throughout participation in the program).
  • College juniors or seniors seeking admission to a U.S. graduate school, who will enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in public policy, international affairs, or public administration, or in an academic field such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages.


General Information

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Department of State seeks a Foreign Service that represents America in world affairs with citizens who reflect the diversity and excellence of our society.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship program provides funding to participants as they are prepared academically and profession¬ally 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.

There are two types of awards:  The Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship (for junior-year applicants) and the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship (for senior-year applicants).  Each fellowship provides up to $40,000 annually toward tuition and mandatory fees, room and board, books and some travel, pending availability of funding.  Graduate Fellows receive funding during the first and second year of graduate study, while Undergraduate Fellows receive funding during the senior year of college and the first year of graduate study, with participating schools providing financial support in the second year of graduate study based on need.  Fellows must participate in two summer internships, one overseas and one domestic, within the U.S. Department of State.  Students receive a stipend during the internships.  Undergraduate Pickering Fellows are also required to attend a summer institute based at a participating graduate school of public policy and international affairs between the junior and senior years of college.

Consideration will be given to qualified applicants who demonstrate financial need, as well as outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement. The number of fellowships will be determined by available funding.  Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service officer. Candidates who do not successfully complete the fellowship program and Foreign Service entry requirements may be subject to a reimbursement obligation to the Department of State.


Deadline Dates

Late January 2014 Completed application packet, including online application form, must be submitted directly to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.


Application Instructions

Completed application packet, including on-line application form, must be submitted directly to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. All application instructions and materials are available on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation website. UM students are encouraged to notify the Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships about their intention to apply for the fellowship no less than one month before the national deadline so that an advisor can provide application guidance and feedback.