Many people trying to become a U.S. Diplomat, often like to know how long it takes.  Below is my chronological path to becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO).  Keep in mind that many people go through this process several times, stalling at any certain point.  I consider myself fortunate to have gone completely through on just the second try.


Took the FSOT the first time in Baltimore, MD.   Failed                               Summer 2010

Signed up for the Foreign Officer Test (FSOT)                                     18 December 2014

Took the FSOT in Columbia, Maryland                                                     2 February 2015

Found out I passed FSOT                                                                        26 February 2015

Submitted personal narratives (PN)                                                             19 March 2015

Received email stating I passed PNs                                                                8 May 2015

Studied all summer with DC group                                                                 Summer 2015

Took and passed Oral Assessment (OA)!!                                         10 September 2015

Received World Wide availability medical clearance                               2 October 2015

Received Top Secret Security Clearance                                                        March 2016

Passed final suitability                                                                                         March 2016

Received letter stating I was on hiring register                                                 1 April 2016

Received email offering me a slot at A-100!!!                                     26 September 2016

Begin A-100                                                                                 9 January 2017

To give you an idea of how many people attempt this each year, here is an online source of the numbers: In an average year, 20,000 people apply to be Foreign Service Officers, with an average of only 300 – 400 people being accepted into recent A-100 classes.  This site also explains the process much better and tips on how to navigate it.

I encourage you to pursue this career if you know it is what you want.  You can start today here!

Category : FSO

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