Designed to train future Foreign Service workers by funding their Master's degree programs.


Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Quick facts

Academic Discipline

Government, Law, and Policy
Humanities and Research
Social Justice and Responsibility
Social Science Research
Social Sciences


US Citizen


Senior, Entering Graduate



Endorsement Required


Award Amount

The Pickering Program plans to award 45 fellowships of up to $42,000 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees.  This includes up to $24,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees and an academic year stipend of $18,000.

Age Limit

The fellowship has no specific age requirements. However, the State Department Foreign Service has an upper limit of 59 years old for entry, and the period between application to the fellowship and Foreign Service is normally around three years.




If you have ever considered a career serving the United States’ interests abroad, the Pickering Fellowship offers a truly unique opportunity to impact the world.  Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers, serving in Washington, DC, or at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe.

The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people, based on financial need, who represent ethnic, gender, social, and geographic diversity and have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State.  The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.


Applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens;
  • be seeking admission to enter graduate school for a two-year program at a U.S. based university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service;
  • have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.