About the Program

See below for more information about the program.

The Policy Internship Program (PIP) is a unique combination of coursework that focuses on communication and policy analysis skills and real, hands-on internships with top science and technology policymakers in Washington DC. 

The program begins with a spring course in Science and Technology Policy (STS 3020), which provides preparation to the summer through an introduction to policy analysis. The course also examines critical national and international science, engineering, and technology issues, cultivates critical thinking and networking experiences, and fosters listing, speaking, and writing skills.

In the following summer, students are placed in Congressiononal offices, committees, and organizations, federal agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Past placement organizations include: 

  • Senators' and Representatives' Offices;
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense; 
  • Embassy of France, European Union Delegation, World Bank Pan American Health Organization;
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Electronic Privacy Information Center, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

During their placement, students work on a wide variety of science and technology policy issues in which they often tap their engineering skills. Students have written policy papers on space tourism, mine detection technologies, innovation policy, STEM issues, emerging technologies such as synthetic biology and blockchain, fracking, bioterrorism, privacy and intellectual policy, biomedical ethics and many, many others.

The internship lasts ten weeks, during which students live in the George Washington University apartments with students from the PIP sister program, based out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When students aren't working, they participate in a speaker series with high-ranking policy makers such as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States. Students also engage in a variety of social activities including canoeing and camping, attending concerts, touring museums, going to baseball games.