United States Department of State

We’re America’s leading foreign affairs agency that works to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and fosters conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. Our employees contribute to strengthening American diplomacy and use their knowledge and experience in everything from architecture to engineering and technology to medicine to achieve success as they serve with integrity and professionalism. Contribute your different perspectives, life experiences, and innovative thinking to support and advance U.S. interests worldwide. Visit careers.state.gov to learn more. U.S. citizenship is required. An equal opportunity employer.

A message from Diplomat in Residence, Sherry Sykes

Dear Fellow Americans,

Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Department of State. I’m the new Diplomat in Residence for the new Allegheny region covering Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As such, my role is to serve as a recruiter, provide guidance, and basically serve as your link to the U.S. Department of State as you pursue our fascinating careers. If you’d like to schedule a 1:1 meeting with me during my office hours (Tuesdays 3-6pm, Wednesdays 8-11am, and Fridays 9am-12pm) feel free to book an appointment here: DIR Allegheny Office Hours calendar

Our careers site is the best place to start exploring possibilities for a career in foreign affairs. To get an insider’s perspective, be sure to watch our employee videos. We’ve also got opportunities for current students.

America’s foreign policy is designed to amplify the nation’s voice and extend its reach in areas critical to the daily lives of U.S. citizens.  We work to ensure our country’s diplomatic leadership enhances our national security and reflects American values. You can become part of America’s leadership, contributing your skills, innovative thinking, and global perspective to support our efforts at home and abroad.

Here’s some additional information that you may find useful:

Foreign Service Information:

As a Foreign Service Officer, you can use your background and analytical skills in the following career tracks: consular, economic, management, political, and public diplomacy. Those studying STEM fields may find the economic career track where you can sub-specialize in energy or environment, science, technology, and health (EST&H) rewarding. Or promote U.S. business, entrepreneurship, and trade as an economic officer. Have a background in public relations, media, education, or the arts, then the public diplomacy career track might be for you. If you’re passionate about human rights, refugees, or security issues, you may enjoy the political career track. Want to manage and mentor large teams and ensure the efficient running of systems while supporting diplomacy, then consider the management career track. Interested in legal issues with a desire to help people and put your customer service skills to use then take a look at the consular career track. These are just a few examples of the many ways you can find a fulfilling career in the Foreign Service. Take our quiz to see which one(s) may be a good fit for you!

The Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) is typically offered three times a year in February, June, and October. The next available test is in February with testing locations across the country. Take our practice test to confirm your readiness or identify areas you need to strengthen. Applicants will need to submit their six personal narratives to finalize registration for the FSOT. Learn more about the application process here and consult resources on writing personal narratives and changes to the FSOT. Consult the 13 dimensions or skills we seek in candidates. Create a list drawing from your work, academic, and/or personal life to assess how you have developed and demonstrated these skills. This exercise will help you craft the personal narratives and prepare you for next steps in the application process.

Based on the results of the practice FSOT and your 13 dimensions self-assessment, you can develop a strategy and timeline to prepare yourself for the application process.

As a Foreign Service Specialist, you can use your education and experience to begin a career with the U.S. Department of State. There are opportunities in financial management, human resources, general services, office management, construction, maintenance, IT, English language learning, information resources and library outreach, law enforcement and security, and medicine and health. Learn more about the various career tracks here. Consult resources on writing personal narratives and the 12 dimensions or skills we seek in candidates. Create a list drawing from your work, academic, and/or personal life to assess how you have developed and demonstrated those skills.

Civil Service Information:

You may also want to consider a career as a Civil Service professional, serving in a rank-in-position structure. Civil Service professionals help to drive diplomatic principles and initiatives worldwide through conscientious work from their location in the United States. You’ll work on everything from improving trade opportunities for U.S. businesses, to helping American couples adopt children from overseas, to monitoring human rights issues. A career with the Civil Service means that you can make a difference in the world. Learn more about the various job categories. Follow the application steps and get advice on crafting a Civil Service resume on USAJobs. You always have access to open Civil Service positions with us here. Students can also pursue the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) or Pathways Recent Graduates programs as a means to enter the Civil Service.


Here are our student programs and general application deadlines for your consideration:

Opportunity Application Deadline
Pathways Internship Programs (Internship Experience Program and Internship Temporary Program) Open periodically, Check USAJOBS.gov and careers.state.gov
Boren Fellowship January

2L Internships (Law Students)

September 1 (Summer), June 1 (Spring), January 31 (Fall)

State Department Student Internship Program

Fall Internships (February), Spring Internships (May), Summer Internships (September)

Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship


Boren Scholarship


Charles B. Rangel Summer Enrichment Program


Gilman Scholarship

March and October

Council of American Ambassadors International Affairs Fellowship


Virtual Student Federal Service

End of July

USFSIP (US Foreign Service Internship Program)

Third week in August

Veterans Innovation Fellowship


Fulbright Student Program


Presidential Management Fellowships


Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program


Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship Program


Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program


Critical Language Scholarship


Intern with the U.S. Department of State 

U.S. citizen college rising sophomores and juniors can apply to the paid U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program Sep. 6 (but don’t wait until the deadline to apply!) This is both a merit-based (minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA) and need-based program. Selected students intern one summer domestically and the following summer abroad with the U.S. Department of State. Interns also receive housing and flights to/from the internship location. Watch the webinar on the Recorded Events page of our careers website for details and testimonials from past interns.

Applications for the summer 2024 cycle of the Student Internship Program will open in early October 2023. Interested students can visit the program page to review the detailed requirements and sign up to receive notifications when the application cycle starts.

Get Your Master’s Study Funded and Join the Foreign Service 

Three graduate fellowships are currently open for U.S. citizens who want to earn a master’s degree and start a career in the Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State. These programs encourage the application of historically underrepresented groups in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need. Applicants must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA.

For those interested in becoming Foreign Service Officers, Pickering Graduate Fellowship applications close Sep. 21, and Rangel Graduate Fellowship applications close Sep. 28. Interested students can apply to both these fellowships!


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