Eligibility Requirements to Apply for the Clarke DS Fellowship

The application for the 2023 cohort is now closed. Applications were accepted October 3, 2022, through November 30, 2022.

The Clarke DS Fellowship is designed as a two-year cohort model. The application for the 2024 cohort will open in summer/fall 2023. Fellows selected for the 2024 cohort will begin their two-year fellowship in fall 2024 (and entering the first semester of a master’s degree program) and will complete the fellowship in summer 2026.

To be eligible to apply for the 2024 cohort, you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 19 years old and no older than 33 years old (except for preference-eligible veterans).
  • Be seeking admission to a two-year full-time master’s degree program at a U.S.-based accredited institution.
  • Be on a timeline to graduate with master’s degree after attending four full-time (fall and spring) semesters during your two years of the fellowship.
  • Hold a minimum 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale at the time of application and maintain this GPA throughout the program.
  • Be able to pass the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.
  • Have a valid driver’s license if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.

As a Clarke DS Fellow, you must:

  • Obtain and maintain a medical clearance specific to DSS Special Agents, a Top Secret security clearance, and meet suitability requirements.
  • Maintain physical fitness standards to ensure you can pass the final PRT prior to onboarding as a DSS Special Agent.
  • Agree to a five-year commitment with the Foreign Service as a DSS Special Agent upon successful completion of the program and the State Department’s requirements.
  • Fulfill the two summer practicum obligations (the first one in the summer after selection, the second one in the summer after your first year of graduate school).
  • Maintain your status as a full-time student (fall and spring semesters) in your approved degree program.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA and stay on the two-year timeline to graduate with your degree.
  • Be prepared to enter the Foreign Service as a DSS Special Agent immediately after successful completion of the fellowship program and Foreign Service entry requirements

Once appointed, DSS Special Agents:

  • Are required to successfully pass a rigorous training program, including firearms training.
  • Are required to carry a firearm and use it if necessary.
  • Are required to take and pass specialized driving training.