Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program

Multiple Locations,
United States
Term: Academic Year

Provides financial support and professional development for graduate students to prepare them for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service

Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them 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.

Program benefits include:

  • The Pickering Program plans to 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.
    • Fellows must obtain graduate degrees in international affairs or a related subject such as public administration, public policy, international relations, business administration, economics, history, political science, communications, or foreign languages at a graduate school approved by the Pickering Program. Law degrees do not satisfy this requirement. Fellows are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 throughout their period of study. Applicants apply to two-year graduate programs at U.S.-based universities simultaneously with their application to the Pickering Program.
  • Fellows will participate in two internships. The first, an internship working at the U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington, DC, will occur in the summer in between their first and second year of graduate study. The second internship will be an overseas placement in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that takes place during the summer after fellows’ graduation. The program provides additional support for summer travel, housing, and other related expenses.

  • Fellows will receive mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer for the duration of the fellowship

  • Employment in the Department of State Foreign Service for those who successfully complete the program and Foreign Service entry requirements, including a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service. The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service.


Pickering applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens;
  • hold a Bachelor's degree at the start of the award year for the graduate fellowship;
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.2;
  • participate in all aspects of the program

Fact Sheet

Foreign Language Learning, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia Alumna/us, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Senior, U.S. Citizen
Fellowship Type:
Postgraduate Degree-Seeking, Public Service
Multiple Locations,
United States
Multiple Regions
Academic Year

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Thursday, September 21, 2023