Assembly Fellowship Program

Applications for the 2019-20 Capital Fellows Programs are now CLOSED.  Applications for the 2020-2021 fellowship year will be available late fall. 

2018-2019 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 $2,698, as well as medical, dental and vision benefits.

The 2019-20 deadline is Monday, February 11, 2019 at 5:00PM PST

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 Department of Political Science.

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.

Minimum Qualifications

1.   Have a bachelor's degree by September 1st of the fellowship year and either a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher or a GPA of 2.5 or higher in the last 60 (semester) or 90 (quarter) units. 

2.   20 years of age or older by Sept. 1 of the fellowship year

3.   Non-U.S. citizens must provide proof of appropriate immigration status. The Capital Fellows Programs do not meet the requirements for F-1 or J-1 visas, nor any work permits requiring participation in the E-verify system.

PLEASE NOTE: Fellows are prohibited from outside academic studies during the fellowship year (i.e. graduate work outside the fellowship seminar, law school, etc.).  Applicants must be prepared for full-time employment, Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm. 

Application Requirements

2019-20 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: Monday, February 11, 2019 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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