Executive Fellowship Program

Applications for the 2019-20 Capital Fellows Programs are now OPEN.  2019-20 fellowship year applications are due by Monday, February 11th, 2019 by 5:00 PM PST.



2018-2019 Executive Fellowship Brochure

The Executive Fellowship Program is sponsored by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) and the Office of the Governor to provide an experiential learning opportunity in California state government. California’s executive branch is one of the most dynamic in the United States.  Executive Fellows function as full-time professional staff in executive offices at various levels of California’s executive branch which includes the office of the governor, constitutional offices, cabinet secretaries, commissions and departments. Click here to read more about the origins of the Executive Fellows Program.

Executive 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 Executive Fellowship Program

Graduate Students

Fellows attend weekly university graduate seminars and earn graduate units in Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State. Seminars provide an academic perspective on policy and administrative issues that are relevant to the public sector.

Upon successful completion of the Fellowship, fellows earn a Capital Fellows Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government

Office Placement

Fellows are placed in offices throughout the executive branch. Placement assignments are made based on a combination of the fellow’s interests, skills and preferences, and the mutual matching between the fellow and mentor.

The type of work assignments vary depending on the role of the office and the skills of the fellow. Often fellows have the opportunity to gain experience in policy development, legislation, communication and program implementation during their fellowship year, as well as a host of other opportunities.

The Executive Fellowship Program offer a diverse set of office placements within the Administration and the Executive Branch.


  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.
  4. Applicants must be prepared for full-time employment, Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m.- 5:00p.m.
  5. The depth of the Executive Branch creates opportunities to utilize individuals with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including advanced degrees as well as, degrees in science, technology, business and others  (e.g. JD, Ph.D., MPA/MPP, MBA). 

PLEASE NOTE: Fellows are prohibited from outside academic studies during the fellowship year (i.e. graduate work outside the fellowship seminar, law school, etc.).

Application Requirements

2019-20 Fellowship Application

Personal and Policy Statement

Please answer the following two questions separately using no more than two pages for prompt #1, and one page for prompt #2 (typed; double-spaced; 12 pt. font). The selection committee will not read more than three pages total.  Keep in mind the selection committee is interested in learning about you, your interest in California government and public policy, and why you are applying to the Executive Fellowship Program.

  1. Please discuss your background and why you would make a great addition to next year's class of Executive Fellows. (2 pages max)
  2. Imagine you are working in the Governor’s Office, preparing to brief your boss who is a senior policy advisor to the Governor. Please identify the most important challenge you feel the state of California faces, and why. Then propose a solution to this challenge for your boss and the Governor to consider. (1 page max)


Three original/current letters of recommendation

Include at least two original letters of recommendation from persons NOT associated with the Executive Branch. 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 begins in Sacramento.

 If you have questions regarding the Executive Fellows Program please call (916) 278-6906 or e-mail: brian.aguilar@csus.edu.

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