Timeline & FAQ
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2018 Pickering Fellowship Timeline


Pickering Application Deadline:

Pickering Selection Interviews:

Notification of Selection as a Fellow:

Deadline for Accepting Fellowship Offer:

Orientation for 2018 Pickering Fellows:

Begin first Pickering-funded year of school:

Domestic Internship:

Begin second Pickering-funded year of school:

Overseas Internship:

Enter Foreign Service:


January 12, 2018

April 2018

April 2018

April 2018

June 2018

August 2018

Summer 2019

August 2019

Summer 2020

September 2020



If you would like to download a PDF with these FAQ, click here.




What are the eligibility requirements?

At the time of application, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and already have or expect to receive a bachelor's degree in time to enroll in a U.S. master's degree program beginning Fall 2018.


Can I apply as an undergraduate freshman, sophomore, or junior?

No. While in the past the Pickering Fellowship was offered to both undergraduates and graduates, the program is now offered only for Graduate Fellows. You must at least be an undergraduate senior to apply to the Fellowship.


Can I apply if I've already completed my undergraduate studies?



Can I do a one-year master’s program?

No, applicants must enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program.


Can I study…?

Programs that are not eligible include online master’s programs, or degrees in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, accounting, computer science, health, criminology, cybersecurity, theology and library science. For those who are interested in master's programs relating to public health or environmental studies, we recommend researching the Donald M. Payne Fellowship.


Are dual degree master’s programs eligible?

Yes, but only under the following circumstances: 1) both degrees must be in a field related to the work of the Department of State's Foreign Service; 2) the applicant must complete both degrees and all Pickering fellowship requirements within the designated two year period and 3) the applicant must enter the Foreign Service in the first available class after completion of the fellowship requirements.


Are current graduate students eligible to apply?

No, applicants must intend to begin a new two-year, full-time master’s degree program after being awarded the fellowship.


Can I apply if I have already obtained a master degree?



Can I round up my 3.19 GPA?

No. The GPA limit is strict and does not allow rounding.


Are naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to apply?



I am in the process of pursuing citizenship but have not yet received it. Am I eligible?

You must be a citizen at the time you submit your application and provide proof of citizenship.



What are you looking for in a candidate?

Competitive candidates are those who demonstrate strong leadership and academic excellence, have an interest in working as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and representing the U.S. around the world and a passion for public service. We recommend that interested applicants familiarize themselves with the 13 Dimensions of a Foreign Service Officer and be able to articulate and provide examples of these dimensions from their life experiences.


How do I apply?

Those interested must apply online. In addition to the online form, the application asks for a copy of unofficial transcript(s), proof of U.S. citizenship, a personal statement, a statement of financial need, a personal resume, most recent financial aid award letter, most recent Student Aid Report, two letters of recommendation, and GRE/GMAT scores.


Do I have to submit GRE or GMAT scores even if my intended graduate programs do not require them?

Yes. Please upload a copy of your GRE scores or screenshot of your scores from the ETS website (including your name, date of exam, and all scores) into the application; please do not mail or email your scores to us.


When is the application due?

The application deadline for both the Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowship is January 12, 2018. All letters of recommendation are also due on that date.


Who is my campus liaison?

The Pickering Fellowship program does not require your application to be sponsored or validated by a university liaison.


Do I need to submit an official transcrip(s)?

No. While you do not have to submit an official transcript, unofficial transcripts must contain your name, the name of your university, dates of attendance, the names of classes taken, grades received, any degrees awarded and your current cumulative GPA.


Do I have to submit transcripts from my previous degree, study abroad university, transfer school etc.?

Transcripts are required from any university/program you attended for at least one full academic year.



Which year FAFSA/SAR should I use?

You may use 2016-2017, 2017-2018, or 2018-2019. Note: This item is required. If you do not have a current FAFSA completed, we strongly beginning this process now as it can take some time for the necessary documents to be produced. If you are not currently enrolled in school, fill it out as if you are enrolling for university this upcoming year.


I am unsure on how to fill out my parents' information on the financial section of the application.

Please visit: https://studentaid.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info. This includes links to determine if you are considered dependent or independent of your parents as well.


Do I have to submit a financial aid letter?

No. Financial aid letters are only helpful if they show scholarships or grants that you have been awarded. The financial aid letter must include your name and the name of your university.


What should I include in my state of financial need?

Use this area to give a holistic picture of your financial status. Give context to the information presented in the financial section, and add any details that could not be captured by it.



Do I have to attend a school in Washington, DC?

No. There is no preference for any particular school or location, provided that the program you are pursuing adheres to the above eligibility requirements.


Must I have been accepted to a graduate program at the time of application?

No. We do ask about the programs you are applying for to get a sense of what programs you’re interested in exploring for your graduate studies, but you do not need to have been accepted at the time of application.Because of our timeline, the vast majority of applicants have NOT been accepted to a graduate school by the time they submit their Pickering application.


Do you have specific universities that you partner with?

There are many universities that work with the Pickering Fellowship to further support Fellows in the course of their graduate studies; this is not an exhaustive list of schools that offer additional benefits to Fellows and it will continue to be updated over time. Please note that these benefits can vary greatly from school to school and each individual applicant.

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