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Most U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program opportunities are offered at the bureau level. Students can work in one of the many offices which make up the respective geographic or functional bureaus. There are also opportunities offered at U.S. embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions abroad. Also, a small number of bureaus offer internship opportunities in cities throughout the United States: the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Management Bureau and the U.S. Mission to the United States in New York.

  • Geographic Bureaus: Oversee policies for a given region of the world. Geographic bureaus include African Affairs (AF), East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR), Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), and Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA).
  • Functional Bureaus: Focus on specific issues and are responsible for policy areas which affect all regions and countries. These bureaus include the Bureau of Democracy,
    Human Rights and Labor (DRL), International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), International Organization Affairs (IO), Political-Military Affairs (PM), and Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). Other functional bureaus have responsibility for different critical operations and aspects of the administration of the Department of State, including Administration (A), Consular Affairs (CA), Diplomatic Security (DS), Legislative Affairs (H), Global Talent Management (GTM), and Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO).


To be eligible for the U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
    • If your school does not issue Grade Point Averages (GPAs), please work with your registrar office to understand the markings associated with each course on your transcript to use the GPA Calculation Table. Note, a GPA must be entered for your application to be complete and for you to be considered for an internship with the Department.
      GradeA+AA-B+BB-C+CC-D+DD-F4.0 Scale4. Scale4.
  • Be able to receive either a Public Trust, Secret or Top Secret clearance
  • Be a Undergraduate (juniors and seniors) or Graduate Student
    • A student is an individual who is enrolled in a degree-seeking program in an accredited college or university
    • An applicant is considered a junior if he/she will have completed all sophomore credits (60 or more semester hours or 90 quarter hours) by the time the internship begins and will be entering at least the junior year immediately following completion of the internship
    • An individual is still considered a student if he/she has been out of school, between semesters or school years, for not more than five (5) months and have plans to return to school within five (5) months or less
    • An individual enrolled in school and receiving credit toward their degree for participating in the Student Internship Program is also considered a student
    • Students must be returning to school immediately following the internship in order to qualify for the program. In addition, students must attach an official or unofficial transcript to their application confirming they are a current student.
    • You are eligible to apply for this program if you have not yet completed your registration at a college or university for graduate or post-graduate studies (including law school) or are awaiting an admissions determination for graduate or post-graduate studies (including law school). However, if selected for an internship, you must provide proof that you have registered, or have been accepted for enrollment for studies in the semester or quarter immediately following the internship before you can begin your internship.

Furthermore, you may be required to undergo random drug testing.


The U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to work in U.S. Embassies and field offices throughout the world, as well as in various bureaus located in Washington, D.C. This program is designed to provide substantive experiences in a foreign affairs environment.

  • Unpaid interns will not receive compensation for their internship. Interns are responsible for travel to and from their assignments.
  • Unpaid interns may be able to earn college credit but should coordinate this with their institutions.
  • Unpaid interns assigned to the U.S. qualify for SmartBenefits Metro Transit Subsidy.

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