The Office of Government and Community Affairs (GCA) provides assistance to Columbia undergraduates interested in spending the summer interning in either the local or Washington, D.C., office of a U.S. Member of Congress.
Limited GCA stipend funds may be available to students eligible for financial assistance. In order to be eligible, applicants must be students of Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, or the School of General Studies. Barnard College offers assistance to students pursuing unpaid internships through the Beyond Barnard Internship Program. More information, including deadlines and requirements, can be found via their website.
Summer 2024 Government Internship Information Session
Please join us for an information session to learn about the 2024 Summer Internship season in Washington D.C. We will review internship opportunities for Congress, the White House, and other Administrative offices as well as discuss state and local opportunities. The session will be held on November 14th at 1PM in 555 Lerner and lunch will be provided. Registration can be found here.
Recording of a Past Information Session
Watch this recording of a Congressional Internship Information Session on February 4, 2022.
If you have additional questions, and wish to receive advice and guidance from GCA, please register your intention to apply to a congressional office by emailing Audrey Litvak, assistant director for government relations, with your contact information, home state, and the offices to which you intend to apply.
Choosing an Office
Summer internships in Washington, D.C., afford students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the inner workings of the federal government. While interns are often not directly involved in policy-making, they gain valuable exposure to the procedure, politics, agenda setting, and policy of the nation’s capital. Unlike Washington, D.C., offices, district offices do not usually concentrate on policy-making, but provide students with valuable experience in constituent services and casework.
The responsibilities of an intern may vary from office to office. In general, an intern will:
Washington D.C. Internship
Perform general office duties
Have an opportunity for involvement in one or more of the following:
- Attend committee hearings and prepare reports
- Research policy and legislation
- Draft correspondence, articles, and speeches
- Represent the office at meetings and briefings
- Lead tours of the Capitol for visiting constituents
- Answer constituent mail
District Office Internship
Perform general office duties
Have an opportunity for involvement in one or more or the following:
- Perform casework for constituents
- Record constituent sentiment on policy issues
- Answer constituent mail
Columbia does not grant students academic credit for completing Congressional Internships.
For more information on the Columbia University Congressional Internship Program, please contact Audrey Litvak, Assistant Director of Government Relations at (212) 853-2482 ([email protected]).
Washington, D.C., Housing Resources
While Columbia University does not provide summer housing for students in Washington, D.C., a number of local colleges and universities operate summer housing programs tailored to student interns, regardless of their home institution. Here is a brief list of available university summer housing programs along with contact information:
Internship Stipend Program
GCA is happy to announce the 2023 Congressional Internship Stipend Program for Columbia College, SEAS, and GS students. It is important to note that the application must be complete before handing it in. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please review the application and direct any questions you may have to Audrey Litvak at 212-853-2482 or [email protected].
Please note the following items:
- Stipend funds are intended for students who will be interning in Washington, D.C. (as opposed to district offices).
- The stipend is need-based. Precedence will be given to students who have received Pell Grants during the academic year.
You will still be considered for a summer stipend, even if you have not received final acceptance from a Congressional office, however, stipends will only be distributed once GCA has received confirmation that you have been offered and have accepted an internship position.
For an application, please email Audrey Litvak at 212-853-2482 or [email protected].
For more information about Congressional internships, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
Other Internship Opportunities
United States Department of Transportation Summer Internship for Diverse Groups
The Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and skills that will complement your academic pursuits. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate tomorrow's leaders, strengthen their understanding of the transportation industry, and prepare them for future public service opportunities.
The STIPDG is a paid internship program open to all qualified candidates without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical, or mental disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by state or local law.
For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation website.
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internships
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation offers internships throughout the year that enable students to work in Congressional offices or in federal agencies. There are three programs: the Congressional Internship Program, the Emerging Leaders Internship Program, and the Communications Internship program.
Program participants receive housing and stipends.
For more information and to apply, please visit the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation website.
Internships Through the Columbia University Center for Career Education
The Center for Career Education has several summer internship programs for Columbia students that cover international and domestic positions available in a wide variety of industries.
Government Relations Quick Links
Want to know when Congress is in session? View the U.S. House and Senate Congressional Calendars.
Want to search for a piece of federal legislation? Use THOMAS, the Congressional Legislative Search Engine
Want to know when your New York legislators are in session? View the New York State Legislative Calendar.
Interested in engaging elected officials or other policy makers on legislative matters? View our Policy Governing Lobbying Activities.