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DC scholar in front of the Jefferson Monument


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Washington DC Internship Program


2020 Spring and Summer Information Sessions

Spring applications due in September
Summer applications due in December

Date Room Time
Tuesday, March 12th H-113 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Tuesday, March 12th H-113 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19th H-113 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19th H-113 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20th H-113 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9th H-113 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.



Since 2006, the Cal State DC program has offered students opportunities to study and intern in our nation's capital. Through our program, students earn academic credit while interning in Washington. Internships can be with nonprofits, advocacy groups, congressional offices, executive agencies, museums, security firms, business groups, political parties, artistic organizations, news and media companies, and a variety of other offices in and around Washington, D.C.

Juniors, seniors, and graduate students from ALL MAJORS are encouraged to apply. Students from other CSU campuses are eligible to apply for the Summer program only). The program is neither partisan nor ideological and welcomes students from all political persuasions.

Below you will find information and links to additional information about the application process, the courses, internship opportunities, financial aid, and housing information.

Program and Housing Costs

The primary costs include tuition, room and board, and transportation to and from DC. Housing for Spring semester is approximately $4,000, while housing for Summer is approximately $3,000. Tuition for Spring is exactly the same as if you were taking the classes on the CSU Fullerton campus. Living expenses vary according to your lifestyle; recent past DC Scholars have reported between $1,500 (summer) and $2,000 (spring). In summer, all students must register and pay tuition and fees through Cal State Fullerton Summer Session or Open University (for other CSU student participants). Round-trip airfare is approximately $450-$550. For more details, see the student budget sheet for each program.

Similar programs often charge thousands of dollars more. Student should contact for exact information about costs, available scholarships, and financial support. Although financial assistance is available, interested students are encouraged to prepare and save for such a program and treat it as an investment in their future.




Classic DC Row Housing

Cal State DC student housing is contracted through Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) for reasonable prices and in convenient locations close to transportation, nightlife, and work locations where many of you will be interning. 

WISH is a provider of housing for interns from all over the country and all over the world.  You will be housed with other students and be able to enjoy special networking events sponsored by the housing agency and will include people from various career paths in DC.  The residential experience of living with and near interns from many different schools adds to the overall DC Internship experience.

Short term housing is an expensive proposition in Washington, D.C. However, our program negotiates group discount rates and provides a partial subsidy to help offset the cost for students participating in Cal State DC.




Program and Scholarship Application

Begin your Spring 2020 Application by clicking here

Begin your Summer 2020 Application by clicking here


Program Requirements:

The Cal State DC Scholars program is open to all CSUF students in good standing. Other CSU students may participate only in the Summer program. Typically, students must have attained Junior standing (60 earned units) prior to enrolling for Cal State DC classes. Normally, a 3.0 GPA is required for admission to the program. However, students with lower GPAs are encouraged to apply if they also have strong references and relevant experiences and activities.

Application Deadline

Applications for 2020 are accepted on a rolling basis; however, students are encouraged to apply to the program as early as possible.

SPRING 2020 – Friday, September 6, 2019

SUMMER 2020 – Monday, December 6, 2019

Applicants applying after these dates must consult with the program staff concerning available space in the program.


Important Reminder

This application is ONLY for the Cal State DC Scholars program. By completing this application, students are eligible for inclusion in our program and will be considered for financial assistance. This application is NOT for an internship, or other scholarships, or financial aid.  If accepted into the program, students must:

  1. Work with the program director and staff to identify and secure an internship;
  2. Register for the appropriate Spring or Summer courses;

  3. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation briefings (dates to be determined).

For assistance in obtaining an internship contact to arrange an appointment with the program director.

Applications will be reviewed by the program director and staff. Files are evaluated based on GPA, letters of recommendation, writing ability, and extra-curricular activities. Acceptance into the program will be determined on a rolling basis and decisions about acceptance will be announced in September for spring semester and November for summer.

Students from other CSU campuses should consult with their campus representative.  Program staff will work with your campus representative to evaluate your application.



Internship Opportunities

Opportunities for Students

There are many nonprofits, cultural centers, advocacy groups, businesses, political organizations, lobby firms, think tanks, and other organizations that offer internships. Opportunities are limited only by your imagination!  We strongly encourage students to identify potential areas of interest and possible internship sites or organizations before applying, and to discuss their internship interests with an advisor in the Cal State DC Program.

INTERNSHIPS PAGE LINK Opens in new window

Students interested in a DC internship should:

  • Attend an information session and application workshop;
  • Apply online via the Cal State Fullerton Study Abroad application portal;
  • Develop a list of internships that interest you;
  • Check internship application due dates;
  • Draft a cover letter, resume, and obtain letters of recommendation.


Through the work of many at Cal State Fullerton and the support of our alumni network here and in Washington, we have developed relationships with a number of internship offices. CSU Fullerton students who are interested in exploring these opportunities should contact the Cal State DC office at to discuss such opportunities.


Opportunities in Congressional Offices

Applications and information about Congressional internships are available at the web pages of each individual member. Senate web sites can be found at, and U.S. House web sites can be found at Members of Congress prefer students from their districts but do take students from all over the country. If you have questions about applying, contact the internship coordinator for that office or the Cal State DC office.


Examples of past Internships by College

The Arts

  • Ford's Theatre
  • Sirius Satellite Radio
  • Kennedy Performing Arts Center
  • PBS & NPR

Business and Economics

  • Import/Export Bank
  • NPR Finance
  • Center for Economic Justice


  • Fox News DC
  • CNN
  • National Geographic
  • Washington Post


  • U.S. Department of Education
  • White House Initiative for Hispanic Excellence in Education
  • Achieving the Dream

Engineering & Computer Science

  • NASA
  • Imagine One Technology and Management
  • Aerospace Industries Association

Health and Human Development

  • American Red Cross
  • The One Campaign
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Coalition for the Homeless

Humanities & Social Sciences

  • National Coalition for the Homeless
  • U.S. Congress
  • Secret Service
  • Smithsonian Museum

Natural Science & Mathematics

  • Earth Day Network
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


  • Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH)
  • Kyle House Group



Classes in Washington, D.C.

Cal State DC Classes Group Photo

students in DC

Our program offers students an opportunity to earn college credit on-site in Washington, DC from courses taught and supervised by CSU faculty. These courses are designed to help students get the most out of their experiences while still progressing towards graduation.

In the Spring Semester, students must enroll in 12 units, which include 6 internship units and two specially designed upper division courses that incorporate the culture, history, and professional networks available only in DC.

Students in the summer program enroll in 6 units, including 3 units of internship.

Prior to finalizing participation in the program, students must meet with their major advisor to discuss whether and how Cal State DC courses can be used to meet major requirements.  All students may use the Cal State DC courses as general electives to meet the 120 unit requirement for a bachelor’s degree.  (Graduate students will be enrolled in a section of HUM 599 instead of POSC 322.)


Spring Courses

HUM 495: Internship
POSC 498: Internship
POSC 322: Leadership for Public Service (GE D.5)
POSC 402: Cal State DC


Summer Courses

POSC 498: Internship
POSC 402: Cal State DC


 "The best feature of working in DC was the variety of tasks I was given. There was hardly a dull moment on the job and I would rarely end up doing the same thing twice. My internship far exceeded the expectations I had and I would not have changed a thing about it."


Video Resources


 A Day in the Life of a Cal State DC Scholar

 Click on a name below to view a brief video about what it's like to be an intern in D.C.


Vincent Gonzalez Opens in new window – Office of Congressman Mark Takano


Oralia Aldaco Opens in new window – Office of Congressman Lou Correa (alumnus)


Marco Sanchez Opens in new window – United Nations Foundation


Jacqueline Camuy Opens in new window – Office of Congressman Ken Calvert


Leah Milhander Opens in new window – U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee (Majority)


Elizabeth Rojo Opens in new window – Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement – U.S. Dept. of Interior


Peter Rossi Opens in new window – Patriotic Millionaires


Esmeralda Orozco Opens in new window – Office Senator Kamala Harris


Joseph Morales Opens in new window – Office of Congressman Darrell Issa




Information for Students at Other CSU Campuses

Throughout the history of the program, Cal State Fullerton has welcomed students from other Cal State campuses into the program, and we work with people on your campus to ensure a smooth transition of academic units and financial assistance to help students participate in this life-changing experience.

Students from other campuses should contact the Program Director and their campus representative.  Applications will be evaluated by the program staff and by your campus representative.  If you do not see a representative from your campus listed below, please contact the program so we can get in touch with the appropriate person from your campus.

CSU Chico

Professor Diana Dwyre

CSU Dominguez Hills

Lisa Mastramico, Internship Coordinator
College of Arts and Humanities LIB 5532

CSU San Bernardino

Dr. Pamela J. Schram
Associate Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
909.537.5255 (office)

Sonoma State University

Professor David S. McCuan





Support the Cal State DC Scholars Program

Cal State DC Group with Ed Royce

CSU Fullerton's Cal State DC program is not possible without the support of many friends of the program. The often life-changing opportunity such as this is invaluable to our students and click here to go to a secure giving site Opens in new window .

Gift Opportunities

Gift opportunities are available for individuals, corporations, or organizations interested in supporting students participating in the CSUF D.C. Internship Program. The average cost per student to attend the program is around $5000. Financial support will be used for housing, course registration, travel or other program expenses. Gifts of any amount are appreciated and can be awarded to students accepted into the program. Named scholarship opportunities are available for donors making a four-year commitment of $10,000 or more, $2500 per year for four years.

For additional information about supporting the D.C. Internship program, please contact Alina Mircea-Trotz, Associate Director of Development for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at (657) 278-2559 or




Owen Holmes, Director
Program Email
2019 Faculty

Professor Kathryn Buechel
Dr. Rob Castro


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