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Assembly Fellows Program

Assembly Fellowship Program

Assembly brochure


The California State Assembly Fellowship Program, founded in 1957, is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious legislative fellowship programs. In 1987, the program was renamed the Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program to honor California's former Assembly Speaker and State Treasurer. This unique program provides an opportunity for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to directly participate in the legislative process. Each year, 18 individuals are selected to participate in the program. The 11-month fellowship provides an introduction to public policy formation and adoption in the California Legislature through full-time work as a professional legislative staff member.

The Assembly Fellowship Program is co-sponsored by the California State Assembly and California State University, Sacramento, through the Center for California Studies. Assembly Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $2,627, as well as medical, dental and vision benefits.

Applications for the Capital Fellows Programs are now closed.

Assembly Fellowship Brochure

An indepth view of the Assembly Fellowship Program

Graduate Students

  • Assembly fellows receive fully-paid enrollment at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State), and earn graduate units for seminars taught by faculty from the Sacramento State Government Department.
  • Upon successful completion of the Fellowship, fellows earn a Capital Fellows Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government

Office Placement

  • Fellows are placed in the Capitol offices of Assembly Members and perform a variety of tasks in different areas. Some of these tasks may include drafting and staffing legislation, tracking legislation, writing committee analyses, responding to constituent letters, writing speeches, meeting with constituents, or researching policy issues.


  • Applicants must be 20 years of age by the beginning of the fellowship and applicants must have completed their undergraduate degree by September of the fellowship year.
  • Applicants must be prepared for full-time employment, Monday through Friday.

Application Requirements

  • 2016-17 Fellowship Application

  • Personal Statement
    The Assembly Fellowship Program provides a unique opportunity for eighteen individuals to serve in essential roles as legislative staff. Please describe yourself and your future aspirations, and discuss why you are applying to the Assembly Fellowship Program and how your experience, skills, and other attributes make you well qualified to serve as an Assembly Fellow. If selected, what are your immediate goals following the conclusion of the fellowship. Also, please include in your personal statement a brief statement (no more than a short paragraph) about your political philosophy and how you would describe yourself politically. (Two-page limit; typed, double-spaced; 12 pt. font).

  • Policy Statement
    Please answer the following questions- The legislature is facing many pressing issues. If you were an Assembly Member, which policy issue would be your top priority? What change or changes would you propose to address this issue? Describe how your proposed changes would improve California. (One-page limit; typed, double-spaced; 12 pt. font).
  • Three original/current letters of recommendation. It is strongly suggested that at least one of the recommendations be provided by a faculty member familiar with your work and one of the recommendations be provided by a supervisor/employer.
  • Transcripts from each college and university attended

Selection Process

  •   Application Deadline: February 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm PST
  •   April: Invitation to selected candidates to interview before selection committee panel.
  •   Late April/early May: Interviews in Sacramento and Los Angeles.
  •   May: Acceptance letters sent out to selected candidates.
  •   October: Selected class of fellows begin fellowship in Sacramento.

If you have questions regarding the Assembly Fellowship Program please call (916) 278-6906 or e-mail:

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Capital Fellows Programs

Assembly Fellowship Program

California Senate Fellows Program

Executive Fellowship Program

Judicial Administration Fellowship Program


Request Program Brochure

Notable Fellows

Information for Current & Former Fellows


"If you are looking to have an active role in the legislative process and enact actual policy for the State of California, then the Assembly fellowship is the program for you. This once in a lifetime opportunity not only provides you with the skills and access to begin a career in the State Capitol and beyond, but also mentors who are there for you every step of the way."

Ellen Hou
2011-12 Assembly Fellow