Pickering Fellowship

Pickering Fellowship

Funding for 2 years of postgraduate study for two-year master’s degrees in an area relevant to foreign service

The Pickering Fellowship is a collaborative effort between Howard University and U.S. State Department that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The program encourages students from minority groups, historically underrepresented in the Foreign service, women, and those with financial need to apply. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, geographic diversity. The fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world. The award includes funding for tuition, room and board, books and mandatory fees for completion of 2-year master’s degrees in international affairs or a related field to the work of the Foreign Service. Upon successful completion of a 2-year master’s degree, fellows commit to a minimum 5-year service in the State Department of State’s Foreign Service.


  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall for a 2-year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service
    • Public Policy
    • International Affairs
    • Public Administration
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Foreign Languages
  • Have a GPA of 3.2 or higher


  • ~45 per year

Selection Criteria:

  • Community activities
  • Academic excellence
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Leadership skills and potential
  • Demonstrated financial need

Application Material:

  • Pickering Fellowship Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Short essay
  • Financial Need Statement
  • 2 letters of recommendation
    • 1 from a faculty member
    • 1 from a community leader or other individual who can comment on the applicant’s non-academic accomplishments and their potential
  • Student Aid Report
  • Optional GRE or GMAT scores
  • Official Financial Aid Statement from your senior year, if you received financial aid

NOTE: Pickering Fellows who obtain a master’s degree are committed to a minimum of 5 years of service. Candidates who do not successfully complete the Pickering Program and the subsequent 5-year service obligation may be subject to a reimbursement obligation



External deadline: October 21, 2020



October 21, 2020: National deadline

Late November: Notification of finalist selection

Mid-December: Interviews

Late-December: Notification of selection

Length of Scholarship: 2 years

Scholarship Website: https://pickeringfellowship.org/

Contact Information:

Director: Ginger Smoak: ginger.smoak@utah.edu

Advisor: Alison Shimko: a.shimko@honors.utah.edu