Career Clusters

Yes, You Can Have a Career in International Affairs

Interested in a career in international affairs? Getting experience in an international affairs career can be especially daunting for students from underrepresented backgrounds, given the field’s history of being predominantly white and male. 

To increase representation and allow for greater access, the U.S. Department of State funds two fellowship opportunities administered through Howard University: The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program. Both of these programs encourage applications from underrepresented students, women, and those with financial need. 

The Rangel and Pickering fellowships both incorporate graduate education, internship experience, and guaranteed employment into their programs. Students are eligible to apply to the fellowships as they apply to two-year master’s programs (so if you are applying to grad programs this fall, make sure to submit your fellowship application too!). The graduate program must be related to foreign service, such as public policy, international relations, business administration, economics, history, political science, foreign languages, and more. 

Both opportunities offer substantial funding and employment opportunities as part of their program. In addition to monetary funds, the programs also incorporate mentorship and professional support. The awards for each program are very similar, differing only in the nature of the domestic internship: 

  • $42,000 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees.
  • One internship between the first and second year of graduate school which will be held in Washington, D.C.
  • A second internship during the summer after graduating from their Master’s program at an overseas placement in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
  • Employment by the State Department Foreign Service after successful completion of the program
  • Students must work for the State Department of Foreign Service for 5 years

The application deadline for 2020 is October 14 (Rangel) and October 21 (Pickering). Please check the eligibility requirements to make sure you and your potential graduate program are qualified. We highly recommend interested students start their applications by early October in order to obtain all necessary documents! And, as always, please connect with a career coach to review your applications.

—Katie Osterkamp, LSOEHD ‘22, Graduate Assistant

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