Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship


February 9, 2011


The Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship program provides funding to participants as they are prepared academically and professionally to enter the United States 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.

The Pickering Undergraduate 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 program develops a source of trained men and women from academic disciplines representing the skill needs of the department, who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.

In 2010, financial support of up to $50,000 annually towards tuition and mandatory fees (excluding health insurance), living stipend (based on the institution’s room and board rate), reimbursement for books, and some travel may be paid during the senior year and during the first year of graduate study, pending availability of funding. Participating schools provide financial support in the second year of graduate study, based on need.

Two Summer Internships

Fellows must participate in one overseas and one domestic summer internship within the U.S. Department of State. Students receive a stipend during the internships.

Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. Candidates must be able to obtain medical, security, and suitability clearances in order to remain in the program. Candidates who do not successfully complete the fellowship program and fail to meet Foreign Service entry requirements may be subject to a reimbursement obligation to the U.S. Department of State.


  • Only individuals who are United States citizens at the time of application will be considered.
  • Applicants must be in the junior year of undergraduate study.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale must be maintained throughout participation in the program.

Apply To

A completed application for the Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship includes both an online application form, which requires secure registration at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation website, and a series of hard-copy supporting documents, as follows:

  • Certification of U.S. citizenship: copy of U.S. passport, birth certificate, or U.S. citizen naturalization papers
  • Copy of SAT or ACT 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. The number of fellowships will be determined by available funding.

In addition:

  • 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), which indicates the Estimated Family Contribution number. The SAR is generated from the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.
  • Send all supporting documents to:

Dr. Richard O. Hope
Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
P.O. Box 2437
Princeton, NJ 08543-243

  • Finalists will be invited to an interview session in Washington, D.C.

Past IUP Pickering Fellow 

Contact Information

Pickering Fellowship website 

For any questions or for interested applicants, contact Sylvia Sheridan, assistant director, at