What is the Pickering Fellowship?

National Deadline:

September 21, 2023 at 11:59 PM

Contact the Office of Fellowships for support at least one month before this deadline.

The Pickering Program typically awards 45 fellowships of up to $42,000 annually for a two-year period, during which a fellow will complete a master’s degree in international affairs in preparation for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

In addition to graduate school funding, fellows participate in an orientation at Howard University to familiarize fellows with all elements of the fellowship and enhance their understanding of Foreign Service Careers during the summer following their undergraduate graduation. Fellows participate in two internships – one at the U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington, DC (during the summer between year one and two of graduate school) and the other at an oversees placement in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (during the summer following graduate school graduation). During the course of the fellowship, fellows receive mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer.

Upon successfully completing the Pickering Program and Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows will receive appointments in the State Department Foreign Service. Fellows must commit to a minimum of five years of service within the Foreign Service.

Special Note: applicants for the Pickering Fellowship are encouraged to apply for the Rangel Fellowship. Both fellowships have the same requirments, but different funding sources.

Award Details

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How do I apply and what do I need?

While institutional endorsement is not required, we enthusiastically encourage seniors and alums to apply with support from the Office of Fellowships! You should review the step-by-step guide that may be helpful as you craft your application.

Information for Recommendations

Recommendations for Pickering are two-fold. First, recommenders are asked to rank the applicant in the following areas: interpersonal skills; oral communication skills; writing skills; initiative; organizational skills; and analytical abilities. Next, recommenders are asked to provide a concise narrative or letter addressing the applicant’s strengths, especially related to characteristics/skills in the guidelines for recommendations. While the rankings you are asked to provide are important, Pickering would also like you to consider the applicant’s interest in public service, integrity, resourcefulness, and composure. You can review the information that Pickering asks you to complete, but note that you will receive an email to submit your recommendation electronically. 

Format and submission: Letters have no word limit but should not exceed two pages (12-point font). You will receive an email directing you to submit your recommendation electronically. 

Have questions? Please contact us.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall

Eric Myers, Associate Director of Fellowships
213 Converse Hall

Physical address: 100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002

Mailing Address: AC #2214, PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002