Public Service & Government

During the first summer of the pandemic in 2020, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, the Weldon Cooper Center/Sorensen Institute, the Miller Center, the Democracy Initiative, the Batten School, and the Career Center teamed up to offer a first-of-its-kind virtual public-sector summer internship program to help students who lost summer internships due to COVID-19. The 2023 program continues with a hybrid approach, offering both in-person and virtual opportunities.

Program Format

The five-week long program includes currently enrolled UVA undergraduate students (rising second, third, and fourth-year students) who are interested in working in the public sector. Each student is assigned to one of three public-sector units of the University: The Center for Politics; the Miller Center and the Sorensen Institute.

Through this innovative program, students gain hands-on experience and have access to additional resources, such as career development sessions led by the UVA Career Center and webinars and networking opportunities with policymakers, non-profit leaders, and other guests.

This program will be conducted both remotely and in person, depending on the unit’s needs. Students will also be invited to a reception in the fall of 2023.


The internship is five (5) weeks long.

During the first four weeks, students will work at their designated participating unit. Programming criteria and internship requirements will vary by unit, but students may be tasked with submitting a final project such as a white paper and/or a digital exhibit and/or a digital conference (open to the public) on themes to be assigned at the unit level.

Student interns will work with supervising units to assist in specific unit-level projects and will also assemble weekly on designated days for, hour-long, day-specific educational programming for all participants.

During the final week of the program, students will prepare their final reflections and projects to present to the entire cohort.


  • Monday, March 20, 2023: Call for Applications
  • Friday, April 14, 2023: Applications close
  • Friday, April 28, 2023: Decisions announced
  • Thursday, July 6 – Friday, August 4, 2023: Internship program dates

Participating Units

Each student will be assigned to a participating unit, based on their indicated preferences on their application.

  • The Center for Politics: The University of Virginia Center for Politics is the nation’s preeminent institution for the study and promotion of civics education and political participation. Founded in 1998 by University Professor Larry J. Sabato, the mission of the Center for Politics is to educate and inspire the public to actively engage in practical politics and other civic affairs through programs that are unique, compelling, and open-minded.
  • The Miller Center: The Miller Center is a national, nonpartisan institute that seeks to expand understanding of the presidency, policy, and political history, providing critical insights for the nation’s governance challenges. Our scholars engage in research and writing that provides unparalleled insight into contemporary public policy debates. We are the sole source in the country of the oral histories of each presidential administration since Jimmy Carter's, and the annotated transcripts of the secret White House recordings made by Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
  • The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership: The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership was founded in 1993 to bring together diverse individuals with a passion for politics and public service. All have a wide variety of viewpoints and backgrounds but want to work together for the common good. Our non-partisan mission is to strengthen and enhance the quality of government at all levels throughout Virginia. At the heart of every Sorensen program are three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.


Amount specific to each individual unit, so please check the postings in Handshake.


To apply, please fill out an application on Handshake. Deadline for submission is Friday, April 14, 2023. Have questions? Reach out to Alfred Reaves IV at [email protected].