The Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship, a program funded by the United States Department of State, is a path to a career in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist. Whether you are thinking about pursuing an IT-related master’s degree for a career change, or you are a student at a community college or four-year institution, you may be eligible to apply for this “opportunity of a lifetime.”
As a FAIT Fellow, you’ll receive up to $37,500 annually for your junior and senior years in an IT-related undergrad program, or a two-year master’s program. That’s a total of up to $75,000 for the two years that would be applied toward tuition, room and board, books, mandatory fees and some travel expenses. Plus, you’ll receive stipends, housing and travel allowances for the two summer internship experiences – one that will bring you to Washington, D.C., and another that will take you to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
The FAIT Fellowship is a two-year cohort model, which means that you’ll be completing two years of full-time studies as a FAIT Fellow (your junior and senior years of a bachelor’s degree program or a two-year master’s degree program).
For the upcoming 2022 cohort, you would begin the FAIT Fellowship program in fall 2022. The academic funding is provided for your junior and senior years of an IT-related undergraduate degree program, or a two-year IT-related master’s degree program. Your first internship take place in D.C. in summer 2023 after your junior year of college, or after your first year of a master’s program. Your second internship will take place overseas in summer 2024 after you’ve earned your undergraduate or graduate degree. When you return from your last internship and you’ve completed the State Department requirements, you will receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as a full-time Information Management Specialist. You’ll have a minimum five-year commitment with the Foreign Service – but hopefully it will be a life-long career.
The application for the 2022 cohort will open in September 2021 and close in January 2022. Here are the basic requirements to be eligible to apply. You must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program relevant to Information Technology and entering the junior year in fall 2022, OR seeking admission in an IT-related master’s degree program beginning in fall 2022. (These programs must be at a U.S.-based accredited institution).
- Be on a timeline to graduate with your bachelor’s or master’s degree in May 2024;
- Hold a minimum 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale at the time of the application, and maintain this GPA through participation in the program.
- Be able to obtain and maintain medical and security clearances and suitability requirements.
So what type of degree program should you be pursuing to be eligible for the Fellowship?
Because there are so many different degree programs that are related to information technology, the State Department doesn’t have an exhaustive list of degree programs that are eligible. The agency is looking for diversity in technology skills, so most IT-related programs are desirable, including computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, computer engineering, IT services administration, information science, computer systems networking and more. You can also be in an online degree program, as long as it is from an accredited online college or university.
If you’re not sure whether your degree program would meet the requirements or whether you are on the right timeline, send an email to FAITFellowship@twc.edu. You can even send us a link to the specific degree program that you are enrolled in (or planning to enroll in), and we’ll take a look and let you know if you’ll be eligible to apply.
When you are ready to apply, go to https://www.faitfellowship.org/how-to-apply/ to view the timeline, eligibility and application documents.