University Career Center

Celebrating 50+ years of DC internships! The largest & oldest DC summer intern program!

Public Service Intern Program

The University Career Center's Public Service Intern Program (PSIP) prepares undergraduate students to obtain summer internships in Washington DC, educates them to build career development skills, connects them with alumni mentors, informs them about career options through speakers panels & employer visits in DC, and supports participants while living in our nation's capitol. The Universtiy Career Center is proud to offer PSIP, the oldest and largest summer intern program in the country!

PSIP engages talented students from any academic department or school to secure internships in policy organizations, congressional support offices, executive offices and agencies, judicial offices, special interest and lobby organizations, non-profits and advocacy groups, think tanks, museums and arts organizations, and print and broadcast media.

This signature University Career Center program works with students throughout the academic year to define what policy area/types of internships to apply to, develop valuable job search skills, build a community with their cohort, and experience life in DC.

Past PSIP participants often report the program is one of their most meaningful experiences at U-M, making lifelong friends and gaining valuable experience while learning from all that a summer in DC has to offer. It has been transformative for many PSIPers, as they got their foot in the door to their career and networked with professionals and U-M alumni working in DC.

2020-21 PSIP:  To express your interest in the program and sign up for email updates, fill out this brief form:

2020-21 PSIP Video:

Application closed

MASS MEETINGS - Attend ONE virtually to find out more about PSIP & the Fall application deadline:

Monday, September 14, 2020
6:00pm      Featuring recent PSIP participants & Student Coordinators

Virtual via Zoom:

Thursday, September 17, 2020
7:00pm     Featuring different PSIP alumni & Student Coordinators

Virtual via Zoom:


The application for the 2020-2021 PSIP cohort opens on Monday, September 14.

The application deadline is Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 11:59pm.                                                     

Interviews will take place October 5 and October 6 remotely with PSIP alumni and staff.           

Decision Day is Friday, October 9, 2020 with approximately 100 students selected for PSIP.


Thinking about applying to the University 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, researching internships, gaining career & job search skills, and building community with fellow PSIPers in both Ann Arbor and DC.

The application process contains two parts. First, a written application is collected. Second, applications are reviewed by staff and interview decisions are made. Applicants selected to interview will engage in interviews at the University 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 – dedicated workers, apply their academic knowledge to their internship, and positively represent the University and PSIP in DC.

PSIP Staff will be at FestiFall to answer questions. 

2020-21 PSIP:  To express your interest in the program and sign up for email updates, fill out this brief form:


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

Unfortunately, because PSIP runs seminar meetings throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, we cannot accommodate students who will be abroad during that time.

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 yourself as the best possible candidate. Students who fully engage in 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 $3,500.00. Students are not required, however, to stay in PSIP sponsored housing. The program works with 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, there are many paid internships and some employers offer general, travel, or housing stipends. Often internships will offer ways to obtain academic credit in lieu of payment. Scholarships are available through PSIP and the University for students with financial need.

Is financial aid available?

Some financial assistance 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 a PSIP Coordinator at the University Career Center . To reach a PSIP Coordinator, e-mail


PSIP maintains connections with many alumni, who we encourage to engage with our program and students. Students are matched one-on-one with an Alumni Mentor, who can offer tips and career information.

 If you are a PSIP / U-M Alum living in the Metro D.C. area and want to connect with the program, contact us. PSIP relies on alum support in a variety of ways. PSIP participants, who are current U-M undergraduate students from any academic discipline, highly value alum engagement. Here are a few ways to get involved: 

* Inform PSIP staff about internship opportunities you hear about in DC. 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

* Offer to be a PSIP Mentor in the summer. 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 May. If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please contact PSIP Supervisor Lynn Halton at

* Take Part in Events - While PSIP participants spend their summers in DC, the program offers several events for them to engage in, many relying on alum participation for career panels, employer visits, or behind-the-scenes tours. 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

* Host a Welcome Reception - When the student cohort arrives in DC, alumni host and attend a Welcome Reception to offer a warm U-M welcome to students.  You can host a reception at your workplace or sponsor it to help cover the cost of food for the interns.

* Donate to the PSIP Scholarship Fund - Spending the summer in Washington DC can be cost prohibitive. Our participants do their best to live economically in DC. We want PSIP to be available to students from all backgrounds. Alums play a vital role in helping offset these costs by giving to the PSIP Scholarship Fund. PSIP funds are also substantively used to provide summer programming opportunities including professional development and intercollege events. Please consider giving to PSIP.


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

For reference, PSIP participants are encouraged to apply for internships by 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 seeking internships at the end of April/beginning of May. 

If you want to post an internship position or have a question about a current PSIP intern, please e-mail