The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding young people who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). If you want to work on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times — poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict and violent extremism – the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development provides an opportunity to advance U.S. foreign policy interests and reflect the American people's compassion and support of human dignity.
The Payne Fellowship encourages the application of members of minority groups who have historically been underrepresented in international development careers and those with financial need. The fellowship is named in honor of longtime development champion, the late Congressman Donald Payne. The initiative is funded by USAID and administered by Howard University. Fellowship recipients can use the award to attend U.S. graduate programs throughout the country; they will join the USAID Foreign Service upon completion of the program, as long as they successfully complete the Payne Program and USAID entry requirements.
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
- Applicants must be seeking admission to enter graduate school the following fall for a two-year program at a U.S. university. They can be in the senior year of their undergraduate studies 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.
Period of Study
This award covers a two-year degree program and two summer internships.
Fellows must obtain graduate degrees in international affairs or a related subject such as development, economics, history, political science, public administration, communications, public policy, business administration foreign languages, agriculture, environmental sciences, or urban planning at a graduate or professional school approved by the Payne Program.
The award includes up to $22,000 per year toward tuition and mandatory fees for completion of a two-year master's degree at a U.S. institution; a $16,000 stipend for each academic year for room, board, books and other education-related expenses; and up to $10,000 per year in stipend, housing, transportation, and related expenses for summer internships.
- Background Information (e.g., name, contact information, international travel).
- A personal statement
- A financial need statement
- Two letters of recommendation
- Proof of Citizenship
- A student aid report
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Official Financial Aid Statement from your senior year
- Official Transcripts
Deadlines are typically in Mid-January. Specific dates, additional information, and application materials are available on the Payne Fellows website.
- Recent Graduate
- International Affairs
- Public Affairs/Government
- Social Sciences
- Graduate Study
- Tuition Aid
- North America