Skip to main content

Villanova DC Public Policy Society Internship Program

Imagine YOU Spending the Summer in DC as an Intern!

Think an internship in DC is beyond your reach? Unattainable? A pipe dream? Think again!

The Villanova DC Public Policy Society (PPS) Internship Program provides summer internship and other experiential educational opportunities for Villanova University students who seek to explore and experience careers in the U.S. Capitol.

Gaining real-world and relevant work experience in Washington, D.C., prior to graduation is vital for students who seek to build a career in DC. Internships allow students to develop professionally and build professional relationships that they can leverage to identify and secure future opportunities. In a town that thrives on the power of relationships and values interpersonal connections, spending quality time in DC working and networking before graduation can help students launch their careers.

Public Policy Society members have generously raised funds to support a limited number of summer stipends for unpaid internships. Additionally, leaders of the Public Policy Society are available to serve as mentors to students seeking internships in Washington, D.C., through the CLAS One-to-One Matched Mentoring Program. For information on how to get a mentor, please contact Kate Szumanski.

Students who would like to participate in the program are asked to follow the application instructions on Handshake for the organizations listed below. Final hiring decisions will be made by the supporting organization that offers the internship.


How to Search for a DC Public Policy Internship


How to Search for a Public Policy Summer Internship in DC


I)               Handshake


Handshake is an excellent resource for Villanovans searching for professional opportunities. There are a few ways you can search for public policy opportunities on Handshake. It is recommended to try several of these filters since the results provided in each filter will not display a full list.


1)     Search by keyword, “public policy”


2)     Search by location, “Washington DC”


3)     Search by job function. Common job functions might include (but are not limited to): community and social service, education/teaching/training, fundraising & event management, political organizing/lobbying, writing/editing


4)     Search by industry. Common industries might include (but are not limited to): government – local, state & federal, international affairs, legal & law enforcement, NGO, non-profit, politics, research, social assistance


5)     Search by label “public policy ops” – specifically identified by Villanova through a relationship




II)              Company’s website


Research organizations that offer internships in public policy including think tanks, government agencies, and corporations involved in governmental/political affairs.

                    A few examples of these organizations include American Express, AALU,                     Bipartisan Policy Center, Democracy Fund, Thorn Run Partners and US                         Travel.


If you find an organization who works in a policy you are interested in, go to their website and search their careers page. You can also Google “[name of organization] internships”.




III)            NovaNetwork’s Public Policy Society Group


Go to Nova Network to connect directly with members of the Public Policy Society, who are alumni or friends of Villanova who work in key public policy roles and seek to support students as they explore meaningful careers in Washington, D.C.


Once logged in, click on “Groups” and search “Villanova Public Policy Society”.


Review the discussion board for job/internship announcements.


Connect with members by reaching out to them through the NovaNetwork and requesting a brief conversation, or “informational interview” to learn more about public policy, how they got started, industry trends, and how to search for an internship.



If you have secured an internship and require financial support, you may be eligible to receive funding through the generosity of a number of donors. Funding is limited, and all student requests might not be honored. We strive to meet the needs of all students, but sometimes, we cannot due to lack of funds or late requests. Please complete the application form for consideration. 


If you would like more assistance on searching for public policy opportunities, contact the University Career Center or OUS.





1. If I apply, interview, and am accepted into the program, where exactly will I intern?
Excellent question! Based on the internship description (listed in the above section), you will select the opportunity that resonates with you. You will complete the application process as stated in the description, and you will be interviewed by the hiring organization.

2. DC is an expensive place to live in the summer. Is there any funding available for living expenses?
Yes, point well taken! DC and its surrounding areas are expensive places to live. 

If you have secured an unpaid internship in Washington, D.C., in the fields of public policy and/or public service, then you might be eligible to receive funding from generous University donors to help alleviate some of the expenses that you’ll face. Please complete this form for funding consideration by Monday, April 1.

If the internship is paid, then the student intern will be responsible for securing housing. Thousands of students flock to DC to work summer internships and successfully find housing. You can, too. Check out this link for some information on housing.

3. Do I have to earn academic credit for the internship?
No, you don’t have to earn academic credit for the internship, but we encourage you to explore the option, which will give you the opportunity to reflect on your internship experience in meaningful ways. Check it out here.


The Villanova DC Public Policy Society is comprised of University alumni who work in key public policy roles, and Villanova faculty and staff, who seek to support students as they explore meaningful careers in Washington, D.C. For more information on the society, please contact Rebecca Rebalsky, Assistant Dean of External Relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


* The New You - a Career Development Guide.pdf
The New You - a Career Development Guide for students of all years