Senate internships offer an excellent opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain exposure to the daily operations of a Senate office, develop professional skills, and build their network on Capitol Hill.
 
Opportunities are available in Senate personal and committee offices as well as through organizations and agencies that support the work of Congress. Although most Senate internship programs are geared toward current students or recent graduates of an undergraduate or professional degree program, some offices may provide volunteer opportunities or other programs for high school students.
 
Please find more information about different student opportunities listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some Senate offices have hosted international students as interns in the past. To be eligible for paid opportunities, individuals must ensure that they meet one of the Senate’s employment eligibility requirements.
 
If you do not meet these requirements, you may still be able to intern in an unpaid or for academic credit position. Since internship requirements and policies are determined by the personal or committee office, it is recommended that you reach out to the Senate office’s Internship Coordinator to inquire.
 
You may also seek congressional internships/fellowships sponsored by outside organizations. Some programs are designed specifically for foreign nationals studying government in the United States.

High School

 There are a number of opportunities available to high school students who are interested in learning or becoming involved in public service. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to read about Senate-sponsored programs, including short-term volunteer/internship programs in Senate offices, the Senate Page Program, Senate Youth Program, and Service Academy nominations. Other Congressional or Legislative Branch opportunities may also be available to high school students.
 

Undergraduate

Senate internships are typically designed for students or recent graduates of an undergraduate or Bachelor’s degree program. Some universities and external organizations may also sponsor and assist with placing semester-long interns in congressional offices.
 

Professional

Senate offices offer internships, fellowships, and clerkships to current students or recent graduates of a professional degree program (e.g. Masters, Doctoral, or Law). Some external organizations may also sponsor and place year-long fellows in congressional offices.
No. Although most student opportunities are based in Washington, DC, each senator also maintains one or more offices in their home state. Many state/regional offices recruit interns to assist with community outreach and casework assistance. Online or virtual opportunities may also be available. Please reach out to your senators’ internship coordinators to inquire.
Students may alternatively be interested in internships or volunteer opportunities with other Legislative Branch organizations and agencies that support the work of Congress. For example, the offices of the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Secretary of the Senate are nonpartisan, and provide operational assistance or direct support to Senate offices and staff in areas including benefits, counseling, cybersecurity, facilities maintenance, finance, graphic design, information technology, photography, security, telecommunications, training, and more.
 
A list of other nonpartisan legislative branch organizations can be found here. Please note, the Senate Employment Office does not conduct employment activities for these organizations.
 
The Congressional Research Service also published a report on Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government.
Many Senate offices advertise current opportunities on the. However, since each office manages their own student programs, prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the personal or committee office’s website or contact the office’s Internship Coordinator to learn about specific application deadlines and requirements.
 
The Senate Employment Office also provides general information sessions and resources for prospective applicants. Join our Early Career Opportunities webinar to learn about Senate jobs and internships or our Resume Workshop to learn how to tailor your resume and cover letter for Senate office opportunities. You may also read Employment FAQ for more information about the Senate work environment and to prepare for future employment.

Undergraduate and Professional Students

Most Senate offices host full/part-time interns and law clerks during the spring, summer, and fall academic semesters. Fellowships are generally full-time and may last up to one year.
 
Note: On this page, we will use the term “intern” or “internship” loosely when referring to general internship, fellowship, or clerkship opportunities offered by Senate offices.
Internships are designed for students or recent graduates of an undergraduate degree program. Washington, DC internships will typically have an administrative, legislative, or press focus, while State/Regional office interns may assist with providing constituent services and casework assistance. Some offices rotate interns throughout the office, allowing them to be exposed to the various departments. Washington, DC internship responsibilities may include: providing administrative assistance to staff, answering phones, processing mail, leading Capitol tours, assisting with research, attending briefings, writing memos, taking photos, compiling press clips, and designing graphics.
 
Fellowships and clerkships are usually geared toward current or recent graduates of a professional or law degree program. Fellows/law clerks typically work with staff on the policy team to draft legislation and amendments, conduct legislative research, write policy memos, assist with hearing preparation, and contribute to other substantive projects. Some offices also offer communications fellowships.
 
While some Senate offices offer temporary fellowships, other opportunities are sponsored by outside professional/trade organizations. Click here to view a list of outside programs that have placed fellows with congressional offices.
No. You may apply to intern for any Senate office that is of interest to you. However, it is highly recommended that you apply to offices where you have a strong state tie connection, through residence, studies, military station, etc.
 
Senate staff and interns often serve as the first point of interaction between constituents and the senator’s office. That is why many Senate offices prefer to hire interns or entry-level staff from their state. Applicants with strong ties to the Member’s state are likely to have shared lived experiences or greater awareness of issues impacting the senator’s constituents at home.
Due to the political nature of the Senate, hiring managers often look for applicants who exemplify the political and ideological interests of their Member. While one’s political preference or background is less important when applying for internships, applicants are encouraged to consider their personal preferences as well as a Member’s policy priorities to find offices where their interests best align. Please keep this in mind: If you intern for a Member of one political party today, it could be difficult to switch to the other in the future when seeking full-time employment.
 
Although a limited number of nonpartisan opportunities may be available in committee offices, most committee staff/internship positions will be under the direction of the Chair, Ranking Member, or other sitting member of the committee
Applicants should submit their application package to the Senate personal or committee office according to the instructions in the vacancy announcement or on the Senate office’s website. The application package typically involves an application or form where applicants can indicate their availability and add attachments, including a resume, statement of interest, and writing sample(s). Some offices may also request a list of references or transcripts. Requests for accommodations should be directed to the Senate office’s Internship Coordinator.
 
Once the application deadline has closed, staff will review applications and will contact applicants that they are interested in interviewing. Once one to two rounds of interviews are complete, offices will notify selected candidates. The timeline for consideration will depend on the hiring office. Unfortunately, not all candidates will be contacted due to the high volume of applications received.
 
Please be aware that the Employment Office is not updated on the status of an application once it is sent to a hiring office.
Yes. Many universities offer “Semester in Washington” programs or partner with other institutions to allow undergraduate students to continue their studies while interning in Washington, DC. These programs are similar to studying abroad.
 
Additionally, every senator has one or more state or regional office locations where staff conduct outreach and provide direct assistance to constituents. Although the responsibilities of a State office intern may differ from those in Washington, DC, State office interns will gain insight into the important constituent services that all Senate offices provide.
 
In addition to answering constituent phone calls and processing incoming mail, State office interns may have the unique opportunity to assist with constituent casework and outreach to Federal agencies, local leaders, and community groups. State office interns may also be tasked with drafting congratulatory letters and other correspondence on the senator’s behalf. Many of the skills and experiences developed in the State office are transferrable to the work that is conducted in Washington, DC.
 
You may also consider applying to intern in the senator’s Washington, DC office during the summer to compare your experiences. This can provide perspective in your future job or internship search and can even help to set you apart from other candidates in the future.
Depending on the program, Senate offices offer part-time or full-time internships. Requirements will typically be included in the vacancy announcement or on the Senate office’s website. Additionally, you should be prepared to indicate your availability in your application.
No. Students in these areas of study may be more inclined to seek a congressional internship, however, there is no requirement that interns declare these majors. Students majoring in Communications, English, Journalism, or Marketing may be interested in communications internships, while individuals studying arts and sciences, engineering, health, technology, etc. may be able to apply their studies to the policy/legislative work conducted by senators and their staff.
Senate offices have the option to pay their interns. You may reach out to the office’s Intern Coordinator for more information.
It may be possible to receive academic credit for your internship. You should check with your academic institution and the Senate office’s Intern Coordinator to verify.
No. Interns must arrange for their own housing. There are a number of short-term housing options available near Capitol Hill and throughout Washington, DC. Additionally, many local universities offer summer intern housing in their dormitories. Information about pricing and additional options can be found online.
Responsibilities of interns will likely be similar across both chambers. However, several considerations should be made in determining where to apply. While Senate offices may be able to accommodate a larger intern class, due to Senate offices being larger in terms of physical space and overall number of desks, be aware that there are fewer personal offices in the Senate than in the House.
 
Do your research on the personal or committee to determine if a particular office would be a good fit for you, and network with past interns and staff to learn about an office’s culture and gain insight from their experiences. This preparation will help you to make an informed decision on which environment may be a better fit for your career interests and goals, and may even help in the application and interview process.
Senate interns have the opportunity to witness history in the making. Before your internship, think about what skill(s) you want to develop or experience while you are at the Senate. During your internship, seek opportunities to achieve these goals. You can ask your Intern Coordinator if you would be able to attend a variety of on- and off-Hill events. These may include committee hearings, briefings, receptions, lectures, seminars, and other formal and informal educational and networking opportunities.
 
The Employment Office created a Senate Intern Bingo card to help you explore and learn more about the Senate. Before attending any of these activities, make sure that you have completed your baseline responsibilities in the office, and be sure to get your Intern Coordinator’s approval.
 
Throughout your internship, schedule networking coffees with staff, and continue to cultivate these professional relationships even after your internship has ended. These contacts may be willing to provide insight into their own careers, and you never know when your paths may cross again in the future.
 
Update your resume with your new Senate experience. Look at our Resume and Cover Letter Guide or attend the Employment Office’s Resume Workshop for tips on how you can showcase your Senate experience. Think about what skills or experience you’ve developed, that may be transferrable to other jobs or internships. If you have written briefing memos, research memos, or letters during your internship, ask your Intern Coordinator whether you may keep these written products to use as writing samples.
 
Once your internship has concluded, thank the office staff/Intern Coordinator and remain in contact. The office/Intern Coordinator may serve as a great professional reference as you apply to future jobs or internships.

High School Students

Internships/Volunteer Opportunities

Some Senate Member offices offer internship or volunteer opportunities to high school students. Interested individuals may contact the their senators’ Internship Coordinators to inquire about potential opportunities.
 

U.S. Senate Page Program

The Senate Page Program offers high school students a unique opportunity to learn about Congress while continuing with their studies in the nation’s capital. Pages learn the value of public service while playing an important role in the daily operation of the Senate. Students who wish to apply for a Senate page position should write to their senators and request to be considered for a position. Senators’ offices may provide additional information online. Click here to read more.
 

U.S. Senate Youth Program

The U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP), is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. Two high school juniors or seniors are selected each year from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity to serve as delegates to Washington Week which generally takes place in March. Student delegates gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government, have the opportunity to meet with their U.S. senators at the USSYP Annual Senate Reception, and receive mentorship from military officers, representing each of the military services and the Coast Guard. Selected students also receive a $10,000 scholarship to the undergraduate college or university of their choice with encouragement to continue coursework in government and history. Click here to learn more about the USSYP.
 

U.S. Service Academy Nominations

Service academy applicants are eligible for nomination by both senators in their state of legal residence. Nominations are made to four U.S. service academies: the Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Military Academy (West Point), and Naval Academy. Congressional nomination is not required for the Coast Guard Academy. Candidates seeking nomination should visit their senators’ websites for information about the nomination schedule, qualifications, and application criteria.

Congressional App Challenge

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a nationwide competition designed to promote innovation and engagement in computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Every year, Members of Congress challenge middle and high school students in their districts to create and submit their original apps for the chance to have their winning app featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the CAC website. Each challenge is district-specific. For more information, please visit the Congressional App Challenge website or contact your Member of Congress.
 

Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. Click here to learn how to enter the Congressional Art Competition.
 

Tour the Capitol

Visiting the Capitol is a great way to learn about the important work and history of Congress. Guided tours of the Capitol are conducted between 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. While at the Capitol, you may also be interested in viewing the Senate and House Chamber galleries and visiting your representative and/or senators’ offices. Tour reservations can be made through Congressional Member offices or on the Capitol Visitor Center’s website. Gallery passes may be obtained from the office of your senators or representative.