The Sacramento Semester Program

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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 offers students the opportunity to work with members of the legislature, departments in the executive branch, or with political associations and lobbyists during a four and one-half month internship. Typically, Sacramento Semester students conduct legislative research, monitor bills, correspond with constituents or grassroots membership, prepare press releases and newsletters, and participate in budget work and campaign planning.

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

You receive 6 semester units (Credit/No credit) for working 25 hours per week in your 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 your 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 in the amount of $1,500 to offset the cost of relocating to Sacramento to participate in the program.

Application Criteria

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.

There is a representative in the political science department on your campus who can help with questions and application procedures.


Applicants must meet with the Faculty representative on their home campus before submitting application.

Application deadline is Friday, November 2, 2018. Applications are submitted on-line. Upon submission, students will be prompted to submit the following within 3 days: unofficial transcripts, typed statement describing primary desire regarding the internship experience, sample of written work (such as a short term paper), current CV/resume.

Applicants will  receive admission notification by mid-November. 

Late November/Early December: 
Participants receive required enrollment form(s) and other relevant program information.

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.

The program ends in mid/late May.

For more information you may contact the political science department office on your home campus, or the program director at CSU Sacramento. Applications are available on-line at this site.

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