The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State.  

The Pickering Fellowship award includes funding toward completion of a two-year master’s degree at a U.S. institution. Pickering Fellows also participate in one internship working on international issues in Washington, DC, and one overseas internship in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy, serving in Washington, DC and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service.



The Pickering Fellowship welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with a demonstrated financial need for graduate school. Review complete eligibility requirements on the program website.  

  • Class year: Graduating seniors and alumni seeking admission to enter graduate school for a two-year program at a U.S. university. 
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizenship required
  • GPA: Minimum 3.2 at the time of application

Applying & Guidance

Eligible applicants may submit applications directly to the Pickering Fellowship program. Review application tips and resources in the Pickering Fellowship Application Toolkit (Davidson login required). 

Schedule an Office of Fellowships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Director of Fellowships, to discuss your candidacy.


Davidson Pickering Fellows

2023 - Ryland Pitts ‘20

2007 - Richmond Blake ‘09