Internship Process

The internship is an integral part of the UC Davis Washington Program. While the Washington Program does not supply you with a list of internships from which you will choose, the resources available to program participants such as one-on-one resume and cover letter review, group professional development workshops, and individual internship search assistance help contribute to the long history of success that the program and its participants have enjoyed over the years. Participants in the Program work alongside Program staff to ensure their ultimate success as they secure an internship in their area of interest prior to arrival in Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. hosts thousands of interns every year from across the country. UC Davis students have interned at over 1,000 organizations throughout the D.C. metro area, and they’re not just on Capitol Hill. Students have interned at international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific and medical institutions, museums, regulatory agencies – and the list goes on.

The most important part of the internship search process is to start strong. Make sure you know what you want to do, where you can look for positions in your field of interest, and get your experiences aligned with your interests. 

How does the internship search work?

Students who applied and are accepted into the Washington Program can begin their internship search immediately.

Finding an internship is an integral part of the Washington Program. The staff at the UC Washington Center in D.C. work closely with program participants to help them find an internship that fits their educational goals and interests.

Students are expected to:

  • Research Internships that are available during the quarter they are registered to go to D.C.
  • Work with staff throughout the internship search
  • Prepare and send out applications
  • Prepare for the interview (practice, practice, PRACTICE!)
  • Accept an internship offer

For a more comprehensive look on how to search for internships, check out our Finding an Internship page.

Search Engines

Most research can be completed using Google, internship search engines, and organization websites, though you may have to call or email the organization to learn more about the internship.

Internship Responsibilities

Interns carry a variety of responsibilities, including researching, writing, attending, and reporting on congressional hearings. Furthermore, students may be responsible for general office organization and upkeep, database management, meeting attendance, and note-taking, and much more. The most successful interns are competent at working individually or in group settings, and are committed to learning as much as possible from the experience.


During the academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring), students are required to earn academic credit by interning at an organization for three to four days a week (24-32 hours). In addition to the internship, students are expected to complete academic and research obligations in the form of the required 4 credit research seminar during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters

During the summer, students can choose to earn academic credit by interning at an organization 4 to 5 days a week (32-40 hours). They can also choose to do the internship for NO academic credit, but the time commitment remains the same.

Most internships are unpaid. Any stipend or other financial agreements are the responsibility of the student to negotiate with the internship supervisor.

Internship Programs with Early Deadlines

Because of criteria such as security clearance and background checks, some internship deadlines occur before the Washington Program deadlines. These organizations include the Department of State, Department of Defense, and the White House.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – 12 months in advance of start date
U.S. Department of State – Jan-Feb (Fall), May-June (Spring)
The White House – April-May (Fall), July-August (Spring)
The Supreme Court – June 15 (Fall), October 15 (Spring)