Pre-Professional Programs and Specialized Advising

Foreign Service

The United State Foreign Service is the primary personnel system used by the diplomatic service of the United States federal government, under the aegis of the United States Department of State. Members of the Foreign Service are selected through a series of written and oral examinations. They serve at any of the 265 United States diplomatic missions around the world, including embassies, consulates, and other facilities. Members of the Foreign Service also staff the headquarters of the four foreign affairs agencies: the Department of State, headquartered at the Harry S Truman Building in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Commerce; and the United State Agency for International Development.

Look to the Future

Students interested in Foreign Service should take courses in politics, international relations, history, government, and economics. A well-rounded liberal arts education is a great preparation for foreign service. While no particular majors are required, a major in international relations is a popular major for those interested in foreign service. Engaged learning opportunities such as internship and study abroad experiences can be an asset in preparing for graduate programs. Learning to speak a language, or languages, other than English can also be an asset.

Students should explore graduate programs in which they are interested to find out about course preferences for those programs.


For further information contact Dr. Daniel Whelan in the Politics and International Relations Department.