How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school in the fall of 2023 for a two-year program at a U.S. university.  They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies, graduating by June 2023, or they can be college graduates.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.

Note: Applicants are not required to be Howard University students or applying to Howard for graduate school.

Online Application

A completed online application includes the following:

  • Background Information (e.g., name, contact information, international travel).
  • A personal statement (in 600 words or less) that discusses the applicant’s reasons for applying, interest in foreign affairs, commitment to pursue a USAID Foreign Service career and any relevant experience or information.
  • A statement (in 400 words or less) from the applicant that discusses his/her need for financial assistance to attend graduate school, including an explanation of:
    1. The financial assistance received during undergraduate studies
    2. Overall education-related debt
    3. Ability/plans to pay for graduate school independently

Two letters of recommendation:

  • One from a faculty member who is well acquainted with the individual.  If you graduated with your post-secondary degree more than two years ago, you can provide a letter from a professional acquaintance in lieu of a faculty member from your program.
  • One from a community leader or other individual who can comment on the applicant’s non-academic accomplishments and his/her potential to serve as a USAID Foreign Service Officer.
  • Note: In the online application, applicants will identify recommenders, who will be contacted by the program and asked to submit letters electronically. Below is a copy of the recommendation letter for your reference only.

Sample recommendation form (PDF format)

Proof of U.S. citizenship with a copy of: (choose one)

  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of U.S. citizenship
  • U.S. passport
    (Note: This should be uploaded in easy to read PDF format.   Applicants are required to bring originals to the interview, if selected as a finalist.)

Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.  If an applicant received financial aid during the most recent academic year, she/he is required to submit the SAR form.  If an applicant did not receive financial aid during the most recent academic year, she/he must complete the FAFSA to generate a SAR for the  2021-2022 or the 2022-2023 academic year.

  • Note: Applicants will upload this into the application using PDF format.

Official Financial Aid Statement from your senior year, if you received financial aid.

  • Note: Applicants will upload this into the application using PDF format. If you did not receive financial aid, you do not have to submit this.

Official Transcripts from ALL colleges and universities the applicant has attended for credit. Please use a school-generated transcript.  An official transcript is best; a student copy is acceptable if it is in the format of an official transcript.  (If selected for an interview, you will have to bring an official transcript, in a sealed envelope, to the interview.)

  • Note: Applicants will upload this into the application using PDF format.



Apply Here

The program expects to have all documents to be submitted electronically. Should applicants have insuperable problems submitting a document electronically, they can consult with program staff about alternate methods. However, we strongly encourage you to submit documents electronically.
For all inquiries, please contact: