The Cox-State Department Diplomacy Seminar is a competitive, fully funded professional exploration program for undergraduate students from groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service who want to gain a better understanding of the role of diplomats in promoting diplomacy and to learn about the educational, internship, and career opportunities in the Foreign Service and Civil Service at the Department of State. The seminar promotes professional development through doing, offering participants the opportunity to learn about the Department through direct engagement with distinguished ambassadors, Foreign Service Officers, and Department employees.

Professional Development Benefits

  • Learn how the Department leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety, and economic prosperity
  • Personally engage with Foreign Service Officers and others in international facing careers
  • Learn about the education and career opportunities available through the Department of State
  • Discuss career goals and strategies
  • Build your resume by sharing knowledge and opportunities with your peers as a Student Ambassador


Applicants must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen, 
  • Be 18 years of age or older by October 16, 2021,
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program, or demonstrate intent to return by Spring 2022 if not currently enrolled,
  • Have an established grade point average of 3.2 or above, and 
  • Be able to participate in all aspects of the program for the full duration of the program: virtually from 12pm-5pm ET, October 17-21, 2021.

Students of ALL MAJORS are welcome to apply! The Department actively seeks to recruit and hire American citizens with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and problem-solving skills in many fields, including international relations, medicine, IT, engineering, law enforcement, and foreign languages. Applicants should demonstrate an interest in global citizenry and public service.


The Cox Foundation will cover tuition for all program participants. 


For questions about the program, please contact us at diplomacyseminar@CloseUp.org

Learn More


Hear from our 2020 cohort about why they applied, what they learned, and their experience exploring careers and opportunities at the Department of State:


Read about the experience of Katherine Torres from our 2019 cohort, and the importance of diversity and a Foreign Service that reflects all Americans.

Read about our students’ experiences during our 2019 Seminar, and how this program encourages undergraduates to explore careers in foreign affairs.


Read about our students’ experiences during our 2018 Seminar, and how the Seminar exposes students from HBCUs and HSIs to careers in diplomacy.

Read about how this program helps students Demystify and Discover the U.S. Foreign Service in this article by Mariette Boutros from our 2018 cohort.

The Cox-State Department Diplomacy Seminar was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, with 40 years of dedication to a strong, professional Foreign Service, and the CloseUp Foundation, with 40 years of experience bringing students and teachers to Washington, D.C. and fostering civic engagement.