Legislative Internship Program


Undergraduate Policy Internships: The Washington State Legislature offers full-time internship positions each Legislative session for college and university students. The majority of these positions are undergraduate policy internships, where students work in Olympia as staff for members of the House of Representatives or Senate. We begin accepting applications on September 1 each year.
Click here for more information.


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Legal and Graduate Internships: The Legislature also offers legal and graduate-level internships with House and Senate committee staff. 

Next undergraduate internship runs from January 12 through April 27, 2015.


Undergraduate Policy Internship:

Photo of interns on the floorPolicy interns spend winter quarter or spring semester working in Olympia as staff for members of the Washington State House of Representatives or Senate. In addition to their office work, interns participate in weekly academic seminars and workshops. The seminars include meeting with state officials, as well as panel discussions. In the workshops, interns take part in a budget exercise, mock hearing, and mock floor debate. They learn parliamentary procedure and how to write for the Legislature. Additionally, interns have the opportunity to shadow an elected official or administrator of a state agency and learn about his/her job. Click here for frequently asked questions about the policy internship.


Intern Duties

  • Conduct legislative research
  • Track legislation 
  • Attend committe hearings and legislative meetings
  • Correspond with constituents
  • Assist with daily office tasks


  • Juniors and seniors, of all ages, from four-year universities and colleges in Washington
  • All majors and disciplines
  • Must register for undergraduate academic credit
  • Must comply with school or departmental qualifications and requirements (Some schools have a pre-selection process. Check with your school.)

Desired Qualifications

  • A strong desire to learn about public policy and the legislative process 
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Solid analytical and research skills
  • Professional work ethic
  • Mature judgment
  • Ability to handle a fast-paced environment

School Credit

Students must receive credit from a Washington college or university for the internship. The type and amount of credit and other academic requirements are determined by the school. Check with the coordinator from your school to find out how much credit you arre eligible to receive. 

How to Apply

We start accepting applications September 1 each year.
Photo of intern in floor debate

1.) Download an application in Word or PDF.

2.) A complete application will include the following materials. Please see application for more detailed directions.

  • Written Essay
  • Current Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Faculty Reference Letter
  • Personal Reference Letter

3.) Send (DO NOT E-MAIL) application materials to:

Washington State Legislative Internship Program
John A. Cherberg, Room B-22

P.O. Box 40482
Olympia, WA 98504-0482

All application materials are due in Olympia by October 15th.

One application applies to both House and Senate internship programs. Letters of recommendation should be addressed to "Intern Coordinators." Letters may be emailed by the recommender to civic.ed@leg.wa.gov or sent via postal mail, in which case they must be signed and sealed with the recommender's name across the flap. Please indicate on your application if your letters of recommendation are enclosed or if they are being sent separately.

Applicants must also arrange for a faculty sponsor. Some schools have pre-assigned sponsors and others require the student to find a sponsor. Check with your school’s career development center, internship coordinator, or political science department for specific internship requirements if you have questions. The sponsor and the faculty member writing the letter of recommendation do not have to be the same person.

Applicants are interviewed by House and Senate Coordinators in November. 

 Photo of Deputy Secretary of the Senate helping intern

Duration of Internship

Internships begin in early January of each year. In even-numbered years, session lasts 60 days, and in odd-numbered years, 105 days. Subject to legislative approval, students may be able to stay beyond winter quarter during the 105-day session.


Students are responsible for their own housing. However, Olympia has plenty of housing options during session, and finding reasonable accommodations is usually not a problem. A list of available housing is provided shortly after selection is made and interns may also choose to be on a roommate list. Interns are encouraged to make housing arranements as soon as possible after they've been accepted into the program.


Paid parking is available near campus. Olympia also has a public transportation system and interns are eligible for a monthly bus pass. Carpools are often arranged among interns and other session staff.


The legislative work week is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Occasional weekend or evening work is possible. Legislative staff, including interns, work on official holidays and may only take leave during session under exceptional circumstances.

 For more information, contact:


Judi Best - Judi.Best@leg.wa.gov

Emily McCartan - Emily.McCartan@leg.wa.gov
Senate Intern Coordinators
P.O. Box 40482
Olympia, WA 98504-0482



Paula Rehwaldt- Paula.Rehwaldt@leg.wa.gov

House Intern Coordinator
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600


The Washington State Legislature is an equal opportunity employer. Persons needing assistance with the application process or who need the application in an alternative format should contact:

Senate Intern Coordinator: 360-786-7451

House Intern Coordinator:  360-786-7993