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How to Apply

Information and details about how to apply to the Pickering Fellowship.

Application Requirements

Completed applications will include the following materials.

Personal background information (e.g., name, contact information, language skills).

A personal statement (600 words or less) that discusses the applicants’ reasons for applying, interest in international affairs, commitment to pursue a career in the Foreign Service of the Department of State, and any relevant experience or information.

Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can explain why you are uniquely qualified for the fellowship.  One letter must be from a professor, faculty member, or instructor.  The other letter may be from someone else familiar with your college, volunteer, work, or community activities.

  • Note: Applicants will include contact information for recommenders in the online application.  Recommenders will be sent an email with instructions to submit letters electronically.
  • Recommendation Form

A short essay (350 words or less) in which applicants can provide an example of relevant planning and organizing skills.

A statement of financial need (400 words or less) that discusses the applicant’s need for financial assistance to attend graduate school, including an explanation of financial assistance received during undergraduate studies; overall education-related debt; and, ability/plans to pay for graduate school independently.

Official financial aid award letter from the applicant’s last year of undergraduate studies if she/he received financial aid.  Applicants must submit a Financial Aid Letter listing grants or loans unless they did not receive aid.

FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) for the 2020-2021 academic year.  If an applicant received financial aid during the most recent academic year, she/he is required to submit the SAR form.  If an applicant did not receive financial aid during the most recent academic year, she/he must complete the FAFSA to generate a SAR for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Proof of U.S. citizenship, which may include a copy of (choose one) a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization.
**Applicants are required to bring originals to the interview if selected as a finalist.

Transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended for credit.  Please upload university-generated transcripts.  An official transcript would be best; a student copy is acceptable if it is in the format of an official transcript (must list your name, institution name, and most recent/final GPA).
**If you are selected for an interview, you will have to bring an official transcript in a signed, sealed envelope, to the interview.

A copy of GRE/GMAT scores report sent to the student (optional).

Dates and Deadlines

Specific dates for the 2021 Pickering Fellowship are included below.

  • Application Closes: October 21, 2020
  • Finalists Notified: Late-November 2020
  • Interviews: December 15 – 16, 2020

The Pickering selection panel will choose approximately 90 finalists by the end of November.  Program staff will communicate decisions by email to both successful and unsuccessful applicants by the end of October.  Candidates selected for final consideration will be invited to interview and complete a written exercise virtually.  Finalists will interview between December 15-16.  The program will complete the selection process and make offers to 45 fellows by late December 2020.