OURS National Scholarships

Pickering Fellowship

Next Deadline: September 26, 2024, 11:59 pm (EST) – application now open!

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State that prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers. Each year, 45 Fellows receive up to $42,000/year toward completion of a two-year master’s degree at a U.S.-based institution in a field related to the Foreign Service. They also participate in two summer internships: one at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one overseas at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Upon successful completion of the degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows have a five-year commitment to work as Foreign Service Officers, serving in Washington, D.C. and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe, where they promote human rights, assist American citizens overseas, enhance prosperity and development, deepen ties between the U.S. and people around the world, and support U.S. global values and interests. The program welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need.

Prospective applicants should make an individual advising appointment with Keila Diehl in the OURS National Scholarships Office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application
  • be seeking admission to a two-year, full-time, on-campus, master’s degree program at a U.S.-based graduate institution to begin in the fall of 2025 in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service (public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, management science, organizational development/leadership, sociology, or regional studies)

Selection Criteria

The Pickering Fellowship review committee seeks outstanding individuals who:

  • represent ethnic, gender, social, and geographic diversity
  • have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State

Application Requirements

  • Personal background information
  • Personal statement (600 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation (one must be academic) – Letter of Recommendation form
  • Statement of financial need (400 words)
  • Official financial aid award letter from the applicant’s last undergraduate year, if applicable
  • FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) for the 2024–2025 academic year, if applicable
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended for credit
  • Copy of GRE/GMAT scores report sent to the student (optional)


For more information about this opportunity, visit the Pickering Fellowship website (opens external site).