Back to Academic Internships

As a student at the Washington Internship Institute, you’ll obtain practical experience by spending four full days per week at your internship site. Interns have handled a variety of substantive responsibilities, such as attending congressional hearings and briefings for their internships on Capitol Hill, responding to trade inquiries at the US Department of Commerce, composing blog posts and op-eds at the Sierra Club, helping Vital Voices plan an event for women from post-conflict areas, conducting research at the Library of Congress while interning at the US Capitol Historical Society, implementing training sessions at the Smithsonian Institution, and assisting in efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine at the National Institutes of Health.

A wide variety of internships are available in government offices, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies. See our Sample Internships page for more examples; however, you are not limited to these opportunities!

Please note that some government agencies and high-profile organizations have early application deadlines.  For best results, apply early!

Internship Placement Process

The Washington Internship Institute offers an individualized placement process where you play an active role in selecting an internship that’s right for you.  Your internship adviser at WII works closely with you during each step in the placement process.

1. Discuss. After your acceptance, you complete an Intern Profile, and you and your internship adviser discuss your interests and qualifications in greater detail. Based on your written information and your conversations, your internship adviser carefully selects potential internship sites, coordinates the application materials with you, and circulates your materials.

2. Interview. You do phone interviews with potential agency sponsors. (Generally, students complete two or three interviews.) This gives you and the internship site an opportunity to learn more about each other and ensure a good fit.

3. Decide. After learning the outcome of the phone interviews, and in consultation with our staff, your faculty adviser, and potential agency sponsors, you select an internship that meets your educational and professional goals.

What do our students say about the internship placement process? 

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your efforts in finding an internship and for always keeping me in the loop. We were able to find exactly what I was looking for and I am already excited about [next semester]!
— – G.P., Intern at the National Institutes of Health
Thank you for all of your help this semester. I am very happy with my placement. It could not have gone any better! I am so thankful for this experience.
— K.R., Intern at National Museum of Natural History