The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship

Funds two years of graduate school for college seniors and graduates committed to joining the Foreign Service.

Rangel Fellowship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizensFourth-year students and college graduates
  • Minimum GPA: 3.2
  • Intent to enter a two-year graduate program at a U.S. university

Selection Criteria:

  • Clear interest in a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State
  • Strong academic background
  • Commitment to service
  • Leadership skills
  • Financial need for graduate school
  • Geographic, ethnic, gender, and social diversity
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Writing skills
  • Ability to overcome obstacles

Candidates for the Pickering Fellowship can affirm the following statements:

  • I have a strong commitment to a Foreign Service career.
  • I can demonstrate extracurricular, community, volunteer, or leadership experiences that would help me succeed in the Foreign Service.
  • I possess adequate academic preparation for the chosengraduate program.
  • I can demonstrate the need for financial assistance to attend graduate school.

What is the Rangel Graduate Fellowship? The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy. The program supports Rangel Fellows through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. 

The U.S. Department of State is committed to promoting a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of America. Therefore, applicants should strive to reflect on their talents, experiences, perspectives and backgrounds broadly, including geographic region, rural, urban, religion, sexual orientation, disability, first generation student, immigrant origin etc. The application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need is encouraged.

Fellowship Benefits: The program awards approximately 45 fellowships of up to $84,000 over two years toward tuition, fees and living expenses for a two-year master’s degree in fields related to the Foreign Service such as Business Administration, Economics, Public Policy, and International Relations at a graduate school that is approved by the Rangel Program.

Internships and Mentoring: Fellows participate in two internships. The first, an internship working on international issues for Members of Congress in Washington, D.C., will occur in the summer after being selected and before the first year of graduate study. The second will be an overseas internship in a U. S. Embassy or Consulate that takes place during the summer between the first and second years of graduate study. The program provides support of up to $10,000 per summer. In addition, fellows receive mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer throughout the duration of the fellowship.

Deadline Information

Deadline: Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Orientation: New Rangel Fellows participate in an orientation at Howard University in mid-May. The purpose of this orientation is to familiarize the Fellows with all aspects of the fellowship and to enhance their understanding of, and skills for, Foreign Service careers.

Service: Each Rangel Fellow who obtains a master’s degree is committed to a minimum of five years of service. Candidates who do not successfully complete the Rangel Program and the subsequent five-year service obligation may be subject to a reimbursement obligation. See more information here.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a US citizen.
  • Seek admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2021 for a two-year program at a U.S. university in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.2.

Application Process

A complete application includes the following:

  • Backrgound information
  • A personal statement (600 words)
  • A short essay (350 words) 
  • A statement of financial need (400 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Student Aid Report 
  • GRE or GMAT Scores (optional)
  • Official Financial Aid Statement from senior year, if financial aid was received
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended for credit

Preparing a Competitive Application: The program seeks individuals who show clear interest in a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State, along with a strong academic background, a commitment to service, leadership skills, financial need for graduate school, diverse interests in areas such as international affairs and government, cultural sensitivity, writing skills, and an ability to overcome obstacles. A good application shows an applicant's unique motivations, experiences, accomplishments, and career goals. Please see application tips here.

UChicago Resources and Support: Please email Sandra Zupan to seek assistance with your application. Next, once you fully develop and write your essays set up a meeting with Sandra at least a month before the application deadline During the meeting you will obtain detailed feedback and suggestions for further revisions.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Sandra Zupan