Eligibility Requirements to Apply for the Clarke DS Fellowship

The Clarke DS Fellowship is designed as a two-year cohort model. Applications for the 2024 cohort are being accepted July 18, 2023 to October 1, 2023 at 11:59 pm (EDT)

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 32 years old (except for preference-eligible veterans).
  • Be planning to begin a two-year full-time master’s degree program starting in fall 2024 at a U.S.-based accredited institution.
  • Be on a timeline to graduate with your master’s degree after attending four full-time (fall and spring) semesters during your two years of the fellowship.
  • Hold a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale (from college/university-level courses) at the time of application and maintain this GPA throughout the program.
  • Pass the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.
  • Have a valid U.S. driver’s license if selected as a finalist for the fellowship.

As a Clarke DS Fellow, you must:

  • Meet a minimum medical qualification standard, including supplemental physical qualification standards specific to Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agents; receive and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI); pass a Physical Readiness Test (PRT), and pass a Suitability Review.
  • Maintain physical fitness standards to ensure you can pass the final PRT prior to onboarding as a DSS Special Agent.
  • Agree to a three-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.