Skip to Main Content
Capital Fellows Programs logo

Capital Fellows Programs

About Capital Fellows Programs

The Capital Fellows Programs are public policy fellowships in California state government, administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. These nationally renowned programs include the California Senate Fellows, Executive Fellowship Program, Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program and the Judicial Fellowship Program.

64 Capital Fellows are selected annually - 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, and 10 Judicial Fellows - to work 10-11 months as full-time staff-members in the California State Assembly, California State Senate, California Executive Branch or within the California Judiciary. All fellowship assignments are in the Sacramento area, with the exception of the Judicial program, which has placements throughout California, including Los Angeles, the Bay Area, San Diego and Sacramento.

Capital Fellows are placed at some of the highest levels of state government. They act as assistants to members of the California Assembly and Senate, senior executive branch staff, court administrators and other top-ranking state government officials. They work on a broad range of public policy issues and projects and are directly involved in the policy making process. They help to draft and analyze legislation; coordinate projects; work with constituents and special interest groups; write grants, speeches and press releases; conduct policy briefings; and work with court project development and implementation. Participants are well prepared for government and public service careers and many are offered positions within California state government upon completion of the program.

The Academic Program

The programs also include academic seminars, and fellows earn graduate credits in Political Science or Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State. Each program pays for the fees for the graduate units earned by the fellows. Upon successful coompletion of the fellowship, Capital Fellows receive a Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government.

The Fellowship Year

The fellowships begin in September and October with an orientation that provides a working knowledge of state government structure and the legislative process, with key people including legislative members, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists and state government officials.


Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $2698/month; medical, dental and vision benefits; and student loan deferments.


The only prerequisite for the programs is a bachelor’s degree in any major and a demonstrated interest in state government and public service. Applicants must be at least 20 years of age or older by September 1 of the fellowship year and all qualified applicants are welcome to apply. Fellows come from all economic, cultural, career and educational backgrounds, and no previous legislative or political experience is required. Applicants from outside of California are welcome to apply. Fellows are not required to be U.S. citizens, but they must provide proof of appropriate immigration status. The Capital Fellows Programs do not meet the requirements for F-1 or J-1 visas.

Capital Fellows Programs

Claire Bunch, Outreach Coordinator
Center for California Studies, Sacramento State
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6081
Phone: 916-278-6906


Number of Interns: 51 to 100
Compensation/Benefits: Academic Credit, Stipend
Duration: 6 to 12 months
Academic Level: Recent College Graduates, Graduate Students, Business School Students, Law School Students


Sacramento, CA