Career Center


For over 40 years The University of Michigan Career Center's Public Service Intern Program (PSIP) prepares undergraduate students to obtain summer internships in Washington DC, and supports participants while living in DC.

PSIP engages talented students from any academic department or school in securing internships in congressional support offices, executive offices and agencies, judicial offices, special interest and lobby organizations, non-profits and advocacy groups, museums and arts organizations, and print and broadcast media.
This Career Center program works with students throughout the academic year using iPlan to define what kind(s) of internships to apply to, develop valuable job search skills, build a DC community, and experience life in DC.
Past PSIP participants often report the program is one of their most meaningful experiences at UM, where they make lifelong friends while experiencing all that a summer in DC has to offer. 
For more information about the Public Service Intern Program please attend one of our mass meetings:

Monday, September 21, 2015
6:00pm, 4701 Haven Hall

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
6:00pm, 1120 Ford School, Annenberg Auditorium

The application for 2015-2016 opens on Monday, September 21st, and can be found on Handshake. The application deadline is October 4th at 11:00pm

Apply Now


Prospective PSIP Participants

Thinking about applying to The Career Center's Public Service Intern Program (PSIP)? Here's what you need to know. 

PSIP is a competitive program. Each year more applicants apply than are admitted. We are looking for students willing to make a firm commitment to obtaining a public service internship in Washington DC by attending meetings, completing assignments, participating in office hours, etc.


The application process contains two parts. First a written application is collected. Second after applications are reviewed interview decisions are made. Applicants selected to interview will engage in their interviews in The Career Center with PSIP alums. In both aspects of the application process we are looking for demonstrated interest in public service and a commitment to obtaining an internship in Washington DC, a willingness to follow instructions, a desire to be part of the PSIP community, and enthusiasm for PSIP. 


We are looking for students who will be exceptional interns – strongly and positively representing the University and PSIP in DC.


Generally the PSIP written application opens when the Fall semester begins and is due at the beginning of October. For current application details please access Handshake.

PSIP Frequently Asked Questions

Can I participate in PSIP if I am planning to study abroad?

Unfortunately because PSIP runs throughout the Fall and Winter semesters we cannot accommodate students who will be abroad.


How many students do you admit each year?

The number of students selected is largely determined by the number and strength of received applications. While there is no pre-set number of participants, generally anywhere from 80 to 100 students are selected. While sophomores and juniors typically comprise the majority of participants, first year students and seniors are welcome to apply.


Are internships guaranteed?

PSIP is an internship preparation program, not an internship placement program, so participation in the program does not automatically guarantee an internship. Rather the program is focused on ensuring you learn how to identify internships that are strong fits for you, and you develop the skills to present you as the best possible candidate. Students who fully engage the program have tremendous success in obtaining summer internships in Washington DC. 


How long are the internships?

Because PSIP enables you to select your own internships how long you stay in DC is up to you. Most students opt to spend the end of May through the beginning of August in DC. However, some internships are shorter. Even past PSIP participants who stayed a month in DC still report a rich and exciting experience as a summer intern.


Does PSIP pay for housing? If not, how much does it cost?

Housing costs are your responsibility. For those participants who stay with the PSIP sponsored housing option the cost is around $3500.00. Students are not required, however, to stay in PSIP sponsored housing. The program works will all participants to educate them on the cost of living in DC and ways to maintain a cost effective budget. 


Are internships paid? 

While paid public service internships are less common, several paid internships are publicized as are internships with general, travel, or housing stipends. Often internships will offer ways to obtain academic credit in lieu of payment. 


Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is available to students who qualify for need based aid as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. If you are concerned about financial limitations you are encouraged to speak with the PSIP Coordinator at The Career Center . To reach the PSIP Coordinator please e-mail

UM PSIP and DC Alumni

Are you a PSIP and/or UM alum living in D.C. and want to connect with the program? PSIP relies on alum support in a variety of ways. PSIP participants, who are current UM undergraduate students from any academic discipline, highly value alum engagement. Here are a few ways to get involved: 

Alums provide useful information on and sometimes internship opportunities for PSIPers. If your organization is looking for summer DC interns or if you want to publicize a summer internship in DC to the PSIP cohort please e-mail


Each year PSIP participants may select to be matched with a PSIP Mentor. Mentoring is a small time commitment but has a substantive impact on a Michigan student by offering advice on career paths, making your way around the District, and sharing your story. Mentors often report this a great way to meet other Wolverines in DC. Mentors and mentees are matched largely by career interest. Matching takes place each April/May. If you are interested in becoming a mentor please complete our mentor interest form. 


While PSIP participants spend their summers in DC the program offers several events for them to engage in. Many of these rely on alum participation in the way of career panels, employer visits, etc. If you are interested in serving on a panel, hosting a group of PSIPers to your place of employment, or want to donate your time in another way please e-mail


Spending the summer in Washington DC can be cost prohibitive. Our participants do their best to economically live in DC. Alums play a vital role in helping offset these costs by giving to PSIP. PSIP funds are also substantively used to provide summer programming opportunities including professional development and intercollege events. Please consider giving to PSIP.

PSIP Employers

Students in the Public Service Intern Program (PSIP) represent a wide range of academic disciplines, interests, and backgrounds. Selection for the program is highly competitive and students in PSIP are chosen based on their strong academic standing, engagement in campus activities and the community, and above all, a demonstrated commitment to public service and living in Washington DC for the summer. 


Many DC offices enjoy long-standing relationships with PSIP and expect strong internship candidates from the program each year.


If you are interested in publicizing a DC summer internship opening(s) in your office or would like to receive applications from PSIP participants for a summer DC internship(s), please e-mail with a description of the position(s), required application materials, and your hiring timeline. 


For reference PSIP participants are encouraged to submit their materials for internships between late February and mid-March and ideally have secured internships by the end of April. However, we are happy to work with you if your timeline differs from this, and often have at least a handful of PSIP participants who are still internship seeking at the end of April/beginning of May. 


If you have a current PSIP participant interning in your office and need to contact the program please e-mail