Panetta Congressional Internship Program

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s annual Congressional Internship Program held August 4 to December 6, 2024,  provides real-world engagement in the exploration of Congress, civic leadership, community and public service. Open to juniors or seniors from all majors, the program includes a two-week training session at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, followed by eleven weeks in Washington, DC. Students earn 20 units of credit during this full-time internship. 

The cost of the program is fully covered by the Panetta Institute and includes program courses, travel and lodging.

Cal State East Bay can nominate one student to be considered for this opportunity, with the final decision made by an interview with the Panetta Institute.

Complete application packets due Monday, April 8, 2024 at noon.

Watch this recording of the March 22 virtual workshop and hear 2023 Panetta Intern Karrington Hendrix talk about her experience working in Washington DC.

See the Congressional Internship Program Description


The Panetta Institute requires the following:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be a California resident
  • provide proof of a government issued photo identification card
  • provide proof of full vaccination including booster for COVID-19
  • complete interview at the Panetta Institute the week of May 8

See Checklist of Required Criteria


Application Timeline

April 8, 2024 – Application packets due to the Office of the President by 12:00pm 

Week of April 15 - Preliminary interviews 

Week of April 17-18 - Finalist interviews with President Sandeen

See Important Deadline Dates


Application Information

Email complete application packets to Andrea Lum (insert by noon on Monday, April 8.    

The Panetta Institute requires the following electronically submitted documents (no exceptions):

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Email Andrea Lum or call (510) 885-3877 with any questions.


Program Expectations

If selected, students must:

  • make a total commitment to the program (e.g., no pursuit of other employment, no enrollment in LSAT, MCAT, GRE or other graduate school preparation classes and/or exams during the internship)
  • work full-time in a congressional office
  • attend required Panetta Institute seminars in Washington, D.C.  
  • submit a brief weekly report to the Panetta Institute
  • maintain a journal
  • and write a twenty-page research paper.

See Internship Position Description


Interview process

Qualified applicants will interview with the campus Panetta committee to assess clarity of speech, overall demeanor and character, leadership potential or experience, and commitment to community and public service. Selected finalists advance to interview with President Sandeen, who makes the final determination on the campus nominee.

Cal State East Bay’s nominee will interview in person with the Panetta Institute team. The nominee will also meet with the CSU Monterey Bay campus police department to begin the process for a background investigation. The Panetta Institute may not accept students who fail to meet participation standards or due to the findings of the background investigation.

See Request for Live Scan Service

The Panetta Institute makes the final determination for all program participants.