What to Know About the Internship Search

No matter what level of government you are aspiring to work in, you should always have the following on hand to help with the process.

  • Resume
    Current college transcript with GPA
    Letter of Recommendation
    Writing Sample (optional)

Before you start the search, you should:

  1. Think about where you want to intern (see Opportunities below).
  2. Research opportunities in that area.
  3. Contact offices.

    Pro tip: You will always have an inside track with your own representatives. In your search, put an emphasis in offices representing districts where your relatives live.

This website is one great place to start! Explore all the resources talked about here, but also no that internships can really be found anywhere. Do not be afraid to reach out to others and different offices and ask about opportunities.

Some opportunities offer compensation, but most do not. You will often have to identify and supply your own transportation, accommodations, and other necessary expenses. Internships typically last 4-6 weeks, but the length and timelines can vary greatly. If you do not get an offer initially, feel free to call intern coordinator.


  • Most popular option for students
  • You always have an inside track with your own representatives
  • Apply to Congressmen representing districts where your relatives live
  • If you do not get an offer, feel free to call intern coordinator or chief of staff
  • Internships typically last 4-6 weeks
  • Most of the work does not have strong ideological or partisan content
  • Some Congressmen and Senators offer compensation, but most do not
  • Apply early. Very early if the agency deals with national security or law enforcement.
  • Internships will likely last much of the summer.

Good Places to look:

The White House

  • Applications will be reviewed by the White House
  • Internship Program team on a rolling basis during the application window; completed applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to submit their applications sooner rather than later in the application period.
  • The application portal usually opens mid-October and closes mid-November.
  • Selected applicants will be notified the following spring.
  • The Summer program is typically a 10-week program, beginning in June and ending in mid-August.

The White House Historical Association

  • The Association occasionally has internship availability in individual departments. This is on a sporadic basis, depending on the season.
  • All internship opportunities will be posted on the website linked above when they are available.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the issues that a group works on is very helpful
  • Much of the work will have strong ideological content
  • Internships often last for the entire summer
  • Many groups offer limited compensation


There are a number of organizations that do work for various political parties (Democratic National Committee, Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, College Democrats of America, Young Republicans, Libertarian Party)
  • Helps to be registered and active with a political party
  • Organizations differ regarding length of internship and compensation

  • Popular option for students interested in public policy
  • These internships tend to be pretty competitive
  • Commitment to both the ideology and the issues of a given think tank is helpful
  • Demonstrated ability to do research is often helpful
  • Internships often last the entire summer
  • Most think tanks offer limited compensation
  • Alabama connections at Van Scoyoc, Barbour, Rogers, and Griffith, and Balch and Bingham
  • Compensation and work responsibilities vary
  • Washington, DC Media, Capitol Hill Media, Ideological Publications located in Washington, DC
  • Some previous experience as a writer or reporter is usually helpful
  • Some organizations are willing to offer training to aspiring journalists (National Journalism Center, American Journalism Center)

There are many good websites that advertise all sorts of internships in Washington.  Simply enter search terms of relevance to your interests and see what you can find (e.g. politics, political science, public policy, Republican, Democrat, Congress, research, etc.).


finding a civic internship takes time and effort, but the rewards can be significant. By following these tips and staying committed to your search, you can find an internship that is right for you and make a meaningful impact in your community!