- Contact students directly for interviews
- Seek confirmation of acceptance of an internship offer
All offers, made via phone or e-mail, directly from the bureaus/posts are considered tentative
until verified by the central Student Programs Office.
• Student Programs Office: Reviews and clarifies the bureau/post selections and coordinates
the official notification to students selected
• Primary/Alternate Selections: The Student Programs Office first notifies selected candidates
via e-mail, informing them of whether they have been selected as a primary or alternate
and initiating the security clearance process. Primary selectees are the bureau’s or post’s
first choice. An alternate is chosen to replace a primary selectee in the event that a primary
declines the offer or does not receive his/her security clearance.
• Conditional Offer Letters: The Student Programs Office sends both primary and alternate
selectees conditional offer letters, providing the specific selecting bureau/post. The letters
also provide students a bureau point of contact.
• Security Clearance Process: Students tentatively selected for the program must undergo a
background investigation and receive a security clearance. The clearance process generally
takes approximately 60–120 days to complete from the time the forms are received by the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS). Investigations may take substantially longer than 90 days
if a candidate:
- has had extensive travel, education, residence and/or employment overseas
- has dual citizenship, foreign contacts, immediate family or relatives who are not citizens of
the United States
- has a foreign-born spouse
- has a security, suitability, or medical issue to resolve
These issues could include current or a past history of drug or alcohol abuse, as well as a
recent history of credit problems.
Further information regarding issues of dual citizenship and foreign influence is available at
careers.state.gov. Although these problems will not necessarily preclude you from receiving
a security clearance, they will lengthen the time required to complete the clearance process.
A candidate’s preliminary notification of acceptance will include instructions on how to initiate
the security clearance electronically. When this letter is received, please complete the online
clearance process by the date indicated. This is important! Diplomatic Security may be
unable to process your security clearance request if you fail to meet that deadline.
• Dual Nationality/Close Family Ties: Dual nationals, recently naturalized citizens, and
applicants who have significant and close family ties to a particular country are encouraged
NOT to seek an internship in that country. In such cases, there is a strong possibility that
the applicant will either not receive the clearance in time to participate in the program, or be
denied clearance altogether.
• Random Drug Testing: All interns serving in positions that require a clearance for access
to information classified as “Secret” or above will be subject to the Department’s random
employee drug testing program.