USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Diversity Fellowship Program (FDFP)




The Foreign Agricultural Service Diversity Fellowship Program (FDFP) is a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that identifies and prepares individuals interested in careers in USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. Those who successfully complete the program enter into the FAS Foreign Service, a uniquely rewarding career of international service. The program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in USDA and those with financial need. It is open to students and alumni of all universities and with any major. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in U.S. engagement with the world, the program values candidates representing a wide range of backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity.


The FAS Diversity Fellowship Program will…

  • provide graduate fellowships to qualified individuals who will attend two-year graduate programs in Agribusiness or Agricultural Economics at U.S. universities,
  • provide two summer internships – one domestic and one overseas,
  • offer mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer,
  • and provide professional development activities.

Eligibility criteria

This is a highly selective program. To be eligible to participate, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Be seeking enrollment into a two-year graduate degree at a U.S. university for the Fall 2023 in a program relevant to the work of the FAS Foreign Service such as Agribusiness or Agricultural Economics.
  3. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Award requirements

Upon accepting the fellowship, the selected finalists will sign a contract with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service that outlines the benefits and responsibilities of a Fellow.  Fellows must be able to obtain and maintain security and medical clearances in order to remain in the program.  Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of Agriculture FAS Foreign Service.  The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service.  Failure to meet the contractual obligations, including obtaining and maintaining required security and medical clearances, may result in your disqualification from the fellowship program and repayment to the U.S. Government of education-related financial assistance.

Application Process

The below items are the basic needs of the application. For more information and details, please see the website here. Applicants will need to register an account on that website in order to apply.

  • Background Information (e.g., name, contact information, international travel).
  • A personal statement (in 600 words or less)
  • A statement of need (in 400 words or less)
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • One from a faculty member
    • One from a community leader or other individual who can comment on the applicant’s non-academic accomplishments and his/her potential
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship 
  • Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • GRE or GMAT Scores (copy of the report sent to the student) (Optional)
  • Official Financial Aid Statement from applicant’s senior year, if they received financial aid.
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended for credit, including study abroad.
Foreign Agricultural Service Diversity Fellowship Program banner


  • Funding for Graduate Study
  • Government Service
  • Professional Development


  • Environment and Sustainability
  • International Affairs
  • National Security
  • Public Service

Eligible applicants

  • Fourth-year+ Undergrads
  • Undergraduate Alumni


  • First-gen College Students
  • High Financial Need
  • Historically Excluded/Underrepresented
  • Veterans
  • Women

Citizenship status

  • US Citizen

ASU Nomination required

  • No