Panetta Congressional Internship Program

CSUSB/Panetta Institute for Public Policy
Washington DC

Founded in 1997 by Leon Panetta, who served U.S. Secretary of Defense and U.S. Congressman among other posts, and his wife, Sylvia, the Panetta Institute serves the entire California State University system plus several other schools. Under the direction of the Panettas, the Institute provides a variety of study opportunities in government, politics and public policy, and sponsors a range of other programs.


The internship's goal is for students to learn about policy, practice and procedures of the United States Congress. This program is recognized as one of the leading internship courses in the nation.


Panetta interns must be junior or senior status during their internship, not yet applied for graduation, have demonstrated commitment to the community and public service, and exhibited superior academic achievement and leadership.

The Panetta Institute’s annual Congressional Internship Program, held from August through November, combines a rigorous two-week academic orientation at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, regular seminars in Washington, D.C., and experiential education as a Panetta intern in the Washington, D.C. office of a California member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Upon completion of all requirements, interns will earn up to 20 academic semester units.

All program costs are covered, including academic fees and tuition, food and housing, a modest living stipend, and air and ground transportation.

The Panetta Congressional Internship Program is open to CSUSB undergraduate students who will be enrolled in their junior or senior year during the period of internship. Any academic major may apply and the program is open to qualified students regardless of income.

One student is nominated each year by CSUSB to participate in the program.

For more information, see:

Application Email
Application Link
Application Phone
(909) 537-5793