Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship seeks to recruit talented students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. The goal is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The Pickering Fellowship is available to both undergraduate and prospective graduate students.

The fellowship award includes funding of up to $50,000 annually toward tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees during the senior year of college and during the first year of graduate study OR during the first two years of graduate study. Undergraduate fellows must commit to pursuing a graduate degree in international studies at one of the graduate schools participating in the program. Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer.


  • Applicants must be US citizens at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be in the junior year of undergraduate study. (for the undergraduate fellowship only)
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher at the time of application and they must maintain this GPA throughout participation in the program.
  • Applicants must be seeking admission to graduate school for the following academic year. (for the graduate fellowship only)

Fellows must participate in one domestic and one overseas summer internship.


Applicants must submit an online application form. The supporting documents listed below must be received in hard-copy. All applicants who receive(d) financial aid must also provide a copy of their most recent financial aid letter that lists grants or loans. They must also provide a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR).

  • Certification of U.S. citizenship: copy of U.S. passport, birth certificate, or U.S. citizen naturalization papers
  • SAT or ACT scores OR GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official academic transcripts from every undergraduate school attended
  • Two page resumé

Consideration will be given to qualified applicants who demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement in programs relevant to the work of the U.S. Department of State, such as international affairs, management, communications, history, political science, economics, and foreign languages, and also to whether a candidate demonstrates financial need.


Applications are due in February of 2019 on a TBD date. Finalists are invited to Washington, DC for an interview and successful candidates will be notified in the late spring.


Arthur D. Casciato, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Distinguished Fellowships
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey