Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides financial support for a two-year master’s degree as well as mentoring and professional development, thereby preparing Fellows academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. 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.

Fellows receive up to $37,500 annually for tuition, room and board, books, mandatory fees and some travel expenses for a two-year master’s degree in fields related to the Foreign Service such as business administration, economics, public policy, international affairs, and other relevant fields.


  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Candidate must be seeking admission to graduate school beginning in the fall of 2022
  • Applicants must enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program, at U.S. based graduate institutions only, in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service (public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages) and be prepared to enter the Foreign Service in Summer 2024.
  • Applicants must be available to fulfill the summer internship obligations
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.  Please note, a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale must be maintained throughout participation in the program.
  • Qualified applicants demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, academic achievement in programs relevant to the work of the U.S. Department of State, and financial need.

Application Process

University nomination is not required.  Students interested in applying should contact the Center for Research and Fellowships at for more information and begin their online application.


Pickering Fellows in the News