William D. Clarke, Sr. Diplomatic Security Fellowship

Multiple Locations,
United States
Term: Academic Year

The Clarke DS Fellowship provides academic funding (up to 42,000 annually for two years), two summer practicums, professional development and mentorship. After successful completion of all requirements, fellows receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as a DSS Special Agent. 

Through the William D. Clarke, Sr. Diplomatic Security (Clarke DS) Fellowship, you will embark on a career path that will take you around the world, providing protection to U.S. personnel, facilities, and information, while supporting diplomacy.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Clarke DS Fellowship is a two-year graduate fellowship program designed for individuals who want to pursue a master’s degree and a career as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agent in the Foreign Service. DSS Special Agents are sworn federal law enforcement officers.

A high-profile State Department diversity recruitment program, the Clarke DS Fellowship aims to attract qualified candidates to the Diplomatic Security Service who represent ethnic, racial, gender, social, and geographic diversity. Women, members of minority groups underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and those with financial need, are encouraged to apply.

As a Clarke DS Fellow, you will receive:

  • Up to $24,000 annually for tuition for a two-year, full-time master’s degree program.
  • Up to $18,000 annually during the two years of graduate study for room and board, books/laboratory fees, and other academic expenses, and travel between your residence and graduate school.
  • Two summer practicums (with stipends, housing, and travel allowances): one at a U.S. Department of State office in Washington, D.C., and one overseas at a U. S. embassy or consulate.
  • Personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities throughout the program.
  • An appointment as a Foreign Service DSS Special Agent upon successful completion of the fellowship program and Foreign Service entry requirements.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 19 years old and no older than 33 years old (except for preference-eligible veterans).
  • Be seeking admission to a two-year full-time master’s degree program at a U.S.-based accredited institution.
  • Be on a timeline to graduate with master’s degree in spring 2025 while enrolled full-time for fall and spring semesters (starting fall 2023).
  • Hold a minimum 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale at the time of application and maintain this GPA throughout the program.
  • Be fit for physical exertion and able to pass the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.
  • Have a valid driver’s license if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Foreign Language Learning, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia Undergraduates, Non-Columbia Undergraduates, Senior, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident
Fellowship Type:
Experiential, Postgraduate Degree-Seeking, Public Service
Multiple Locations,
United States
Academic Year

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2022