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Intern with us

The Center seeks highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students (including law), as well as recent graduates, in the following areas for full-and occasionally part-time paid internships: Media, Federal Legislation, Health Policy, Housing Policy, Food Assistance, National Budget and Tax Policy, Outreach Campaigns, State Fiscal Project and Welfare Reform and Income Support Division (see internship descriptions).

Bringing diverse perspectives to state and federal policy debates

To expand the diversity of voices that speak with authority in state and federal policy debates, the program identifies highly motivated candidates – with particular attention to candidates from communities that are underrepresented in state and federal policy debates – with a demonstrated interest in public policies that affect low-income and diverse communities and have implications for racial equity.  



Internships are available for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. However, not all positions are available every semester. The typical length of an internship is one semester (approximately 10-12 weeks). Individuals interested in a second internship may qualify upon a review of Center needs at the end of the first internship.

The positions are designed to reflect an intern's interests in conjunction with the Center's needs and the legislative climate. Applicants should have research, fact-gathering, writing, analytic, and computer skills and a willingness to do administrative as well as substantive tasks.

“This internship surpassed my expectations! I developed good relationships and felt like I was able to make positive contributions to the team on a regular basis.”

Katherine Bailey, 
University of Virginia

International students are welcome to apply. The Center does not provide financial sponsorship for visas or work permits. You must have documentation of work authorization for the U.S. AND a U.S. Social Security number to be employed by the Center. (Please indicate that you are an international student on the application form.)
The Center's offices are located at 820 First Street NE, one block from Union Station (on Metro's Red Line) near Capitol Hill.



  • Doctoral students may receive between $15.25 - $18.25, depending on progress towards completion of degree requirements, relevant coursework and research.
  • Students with a Master’s or Law degree receive $16.25 per hour.
  • Graduate students receive $15.25 per hour.
  • Students with a Bachelor's degree receive $14.25 per hour.
  • Undergraduate students receive $13.25 per hour.

These amounts of compensation are effective as of May 21, 2018.

For interns with significant work experience that is relevant to their internship, some adjustment may be made to these wage levels.

Interns are eligible for 1 personal day and 2 sick days per semester, and health insurance. 

How to Apply

To apply for an internship, please complete our online application form. Applications are only accepted through this form.  Please do not mail or email application materials.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 

Cover Letter Tips

Your cover letter gives you a chance to go beyond what’s included in your résumé and help us learn more about you. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your cover letter’s impact.

  • Tell us why you want to work here. Demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the Center before deciding to apply.
  • Be specific about which programs interest you and why. Even if you’re equally excited about all of our programs, take a sentence or two to highlight why you find them appealing.
  • Tie seemingly unrelated work experience into your cover letter. If you worked in food service or retail for a year, for example, talk about what you learned from it.
  • Use personal experience to explain your motivation for wanting to work on policies that affect low- and middle-income families.

Application Deadlines

(early applications encouraged)

For summer internships, February 1

For fall internships, priority given to applications received by June 1

For spring internships, priority given to applications received by October 1

In most cases, hiring decisions are made within six to eight weeks of the application deadline. We acknowledge all applications, but only those selected for interviews will be contacted by Center staff

Note: Because we receive a very large number of applications for Summer internships we do not accept any applications submitted after the deadline. Fall internships are generally expected to begin in late August/early September. Spring internships are expected to begin in January.


Please no phone calls. Only candidates who will be interviewed will be contacted. If you have read all information on this website about the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Internships and still have an inquiry about the application process, please email:



“Everyone at the Center is super smart and busy working on important things. But they are also super approachable and full of advice.”

Liam O’Connor,
University of Notre Dame