In 1999, University President Donald Haragan established a scholarship program to
allow Texas Tech students to travel to Washington, D.C. to learn firsthand how federal
policy is formulated in our nation's capital. The program's objective is to provide
students who have an interest in government and public policy the opportunity to participate
in public service by observing and contributing to the legislative process. The internship
experience helps students understand the challenges and rewards of public life and
helps develop their leadership skills.
More than 180 Texas Tech students have traveled to Washington D.C. as a part of this program. Many have used their internship experience as a springboard into careers in our nation's capitol. Others have chosen to continue their education by entering into graduate or law school or have began careers in other fields with a greater knowledge of the workings of our federal government.
The President's Congressional Internship Program is offered every Fall and Spring
semester, as well as during the Summer in conjunction with the regular summer school
sessions. Each semester, approximately 10 students are chosen to participate as interns
in the program. Interns live and work in Washington, D.C. for the duration of the
semester-long internship for which they are chosen to participate. Interns are placed
in either a Congressperson or Senator's office based on the intern's interests in
issues, personality, hometown, and abilities. They work full-time, 40-50 hours per
week based on the individual office, and the internships are unpaid.
Before leaving for Washington, D.C., interns will attend orientation sessions to help prepare them for the experience and familiarize them with guidelines and responsibilities expected of interns. They also attend socials to get to know their fellow interns.
Texas Tech interns are given the option to live in the "Tech House,” located two blocks away from the Capitol, during their stay in Washington D.C. The Tech House is located within walking distance of both the House and Senate Office Buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the National Mall. The Tech House is also located across the street from the Capitol South Metro stop, which allows for easy travel throughout Washington D.C.
During their time as interns, students are encouraged to get the full “D.C. experience” by exploring the city and surrounding areas and traveling along the East Coast. Interns will have the opportunity to discover the Smithsonian museums, tour the White House and visit our National Monuments. Additionally, the Dupont Circle area, Old Town Alexandria, Adams Morgan, Georgetown and Eastern Market provide entertainment for interns when they are not working in the office. Traditionally, interns have traveled to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, Atlantic City, Boston, Gettysburg, Manassas and many other areas. There are also ample receptions, Texas State Society and Texas Tech Alumni Association events, and various festivals to attend while in D.C.
Each undergraduate intern will be enrolled in a minimum of six hours at Texas Tech University while interning in Washington, D.C. Undergraduates will be enrolled in POLS 4398 – a political science practicum class. Each graduate student will be enrolled in a minimum of three hours of IS 5000. These credit hours are earned through the intern’s work on Capitol Hill. Both the undergraduate and graduate classes are a complement to the work being completed in the congressional offices. Interns are considered full-time students at Texas Tech while they are in Washington, D.C., due to the number of hours they work each week and the assignments they fulfill while interning.
Through the internship, undergraduate interns, who are not already majoring in political science, have the opportunity to earn a political science minor. For the minor, students will earn nine hours of political science credit while in Washington, D.C. With completion of the internship and in addition to the six hours of political science core curriculum required of all undergraduates, students may choose between a TTU International Politics or Comparative Politics class to complete the minor. This is an excellent opportunity for knowledge base-expansion and continued resume building.
Each intern will receive up to $4000 in TTU scholarships to help defray the costs associated with the internship and living in Washington, D.C. The scholarship covers all housing costs, and any remaining amount may be used to cover day-to-day expenses while in D.C. Interns are responsible for their tuition (students receive an off-campus waiver for most fees), travel to-and-from Washington, D.C., and entertainment.
To participate in the program, it is preferred that undergraduate students have a
minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and have completed a minimum of 60 semester
credit hours before the semester they wish to participate in the internship. Graduate
students with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 are also eligible to
No particular major or disciplinary background is required to apply for an internship. Students will acquire skills and experience through the program that will serve them well no matter what career or field of study they choose.
To apply for the internship, click here.