Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship Overview

History and Purpose: Founded in 2002 the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Howard University. The Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program aims to attract and prepare young people for careers in international service. The program is named in honor of Congressman Charles B. Rangel for his long and outstanding support for showing the world the diversity that is the strength of America, as well as his example of global leadership. This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

Award description: The Rangel Program Graduate Fellowship funds two-year masters programs in international affairs, and subjects relevant to careers in the State Department Foreign Service. In addition to funding for graduate school, Fellows take part in an orientation at Howard University in mid-May, participate in two summer internships, and receive mentoring. The orientation familiarizes Fellows with all aspects of the fellowship and seeks to enhance their understanding of and skills for foreign service careers. Before they enroll in graduate school, Fellows participate in a summer internship working on international issues for Members of Congress in Washington D.C.. The second internship takes place between the first and second year of graduate study. This internship is overseas in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Fellows receive up to $10,000 in support from the program during these summers. Fellows are also paired with a Foreign Service Officer who provides mentoring throughout the program.

Fellows who complete the program and meet Foreign Service entry requirements receive appointments in the State Department Foreign Service in accordance with the law and State Department policy. Fellows must obtain medical, security, and suitability clearances to remain in the program. Fellows who complete graduate degrees are committed to five years of service. Candidates who do not successfully complete the program may be subject to a reimbursement obligation. See the Rangel website for more information on program obligations.

Funding details: In 2019 the Rangel Program plans to award 30 fellowships of up to $37,500 annually for a two year period for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master's degrees. These funds are divided into $21,500 per year for tuition and mandatory fees, and an academic year stipend of $16,000. Some graduate schools partner with the Rangel and provide aid in addition to the funds provided by Rangel. See the Rangel list of Graduate School Partners for more information. The program also provides up to $10,000 per summer in support during the two internships.

Eligibility: All applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2020 for a two year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service. Eligible fields include: public administration, public policy, international relations, business administration, economics, history, political science, communications, or foreign languages, at graduate and professional schools approved by the Rangel Program. The Rangel program does not fund the study of law. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. See the Registrar's Grade Conversion Worksheet to convert your grades to a GPA. Awardees must maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher throughout the program. 

How to apply: 

Seniors and alumni must apply directly through the Rangel online application. Applicants apply concurrently to the Rangel Program and graduate programs. Completed applications are due by September 24th. 

Application materials: Applicants provide background information, a personal statement, a statement on their financial need, proof of U.S. citizenship, a Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and all official transcripts. Applicants should request a paper transcript, and scan the paper transcript to create a PDF for upload to the Rangel application. Applicants invited to interview must bring with them an official transcript in a signed, sealed envelope. Applicants may provide GRE or GMAT scores if they wish. Applicants must request two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from a faculty member, and one should be from a community leader or other individual who can comment on the applicant's non-academic accomplishments and potential. Applicants who receive financial aid must also request an Official Financial Aid Statement from Amherst's Office of Financial Aid. 

For more detailed information on the Rangel application please refer to the Rangel Application Requirements page.

For Recommenders

Content: The Rangel Fellowship requests that applicants provide a recommendation from a faculty member, and a recommendation which speaks to the applicant's non-academic accomplishments and potential. Faculty letters generally speak to the applicant's preparation for their chosen course of graduate study, as well as the applicant's potential to succeed in the Foreign Service. Recommenders chosen for their insight into an applicant's non-academic potential often focus more on an applicant's non-academic accomplishments and potential to suceed in the Foreign Service. The Rangel Recommendation Form provides additional guidance. You may also wish to review some general tips on writing recommendations here created by the Fellowships Office. 

Format and submission: Complete recommendations include both a completed Rangel Recommendation Form, and a concise narrative or letter (in 12-point font or larger) providing your assessment of the applicant's strengths and areas for improvement. The narrative should not exceed two pages. You will receive an email from the Rangel Program requesting a recommendation and will submit your recommendation electronically. That email will likely contain a link both to the Rangel Recommendation Form, and to a submission portal. 

Foundation website: Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship

Christine Overstreet
, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall, 413-542-2536,
Carter McClintock, Fellowships Specialist
213 Converse Hall, 413-542-5079,
Office of Fellowships, Amherst College, 213 Converse Hall, Amherst, MA 01002

Amherst's most recent Rangel Fellows are Oscar Baez '08, and Eduardo Garcia '07.