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California State University, Sacramento

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Political Science

College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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The Sacramento Semester Program

Active Learning at Its Best

The Sacramento Semester Program, established in 1976 at California State University,Sacramento, is active learning at its best. As the most populous state in the U.S., California has a large and complex state government that deals with public policy on virtually all the issues that confront the nation.

The Sacramento Semester Program, through the Department of Political Science, provides a CSU wide opportunity for fully immersive experimental learning. Only offered spring semester, program participants enroll in 12 units comprised of the internship and two seminars. Intern placements include legislatives offices, departments in the executive branch, political associations and lobbyists.

Program Resources

For more information you may contact the political science department office on your home campus, or the program director at CSU Sacramento.

Maria Sampanis, Director
Sacramento Semester Program
(916) 278-6673
Department of Political Science
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6089

Program Benefits

The Sacramento Semester Program helps you:

  • Acquire valuable skills, experiences and contacts that will enhance your career prospects.
  • Balance and complement your academic preparation with practical experience.
  • Meet leading personalities in California government and politics.
  • Understand what's behind the news headlines about state government.
  • Contribute to the formation of public policy in California-the fifth largest economy in the world.

Academic Credit

Participants receive 6 semester units (Credit/No credit) for working a minimum of 25 hours per week in an intern placement. An additional 6 semester units (letter graded) are awarded for successful completion of the two seminars.

Academic units are transferred through the CSU IntraSystem Visitor program to the home campus.

Financial Aid

Scholarships are available for students who have unmet financial need, determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visiting students (non-Sacramento State) will receive a housing award to offset the cost of relocating to Sacramento to participate in the program.

Application Process

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply; state government has need of and opportunity for students with training in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Sacramento Semester students must be in their junior or senior year and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Program Calendar

  • October: Applicants must meet with the Faculty representative on their home campus before submitting application.
  • November: Application deadline is the first Friday of November. Applications are submitted on-line. Applicants will receive admission notification by mid to late November.
  • Late November/Early December:  Participants receive required enrollment form(s) and other relevant program information.
  • January: The program begins with the start of the Spring semester in mid January. An orientation is held Tuesday through Friday the week before classes begin. Placement interviews also begin this week.
  • May: The program ends in mid/late May.