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Pickering Fellowship

Overview and Introduction

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship aims to attract outstanding students from all ethnic and social backgrounds who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad. The Pickering Fellowships provide up to $40,000 per year for two years to talented students who want to pursue a career in the State Department’s Foreign Service Office.  Pickering Fellows receive mentoring, professional development, and financial support as they prepare to enter the Foreign Service.  Upon successful completion of the Foreign Service examination, Pickering Fellows make a commitment to a minimum of five years of service in an appointment as Foreign Service Officer.

National Deadline: TBD (Late September)


  • Degree Level: Senior or alumni 
  • Academics: 3.2 GPA or higher required
  • Citizenship: US citizenship required

Selection Criteria:

  • Interest in Foreign Service career with the US Department of State
  • Strong academic background and writing skills
  • Leadership skills and commitment to service
  • Cultural sensitivity 
  • Diverse interests in areas such as international affairs and government

Application Deadlines

  • National Deadline: TBD (Late September)
  • Endorsement: U-M Nomination is not required

Instructions for Prospective Applicants 

Review the complete and detailed application requirements, criteria, and guidelines for the online application and essays on the Pickering Fellowship website. 

Application Components 

  1. Personal Statement (600 words or less)
  2. 2 letters of recommendation (one must be from a professor, faculty, or instructor)
  3. Statement of financial need (400 words or less)
  4. Official financial aid award letter from last year of undergraduate studies
  5. Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA)
  6. Transcript(s)
  7. GRE/GMAT scores (optional)