Capitol Scholars Program provides merit-based opportunities for UA System students to intern in the nation’s capital

Capitol Scholars Program logo

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama System is launching a new Washington, D.C.-based student internship program, known as Capitol Scholars, designed to provide exceptional UA System students with merit-based opportunities to work in the nation’s capital.

Capitol Scholars will participate in intensive internships with congressional offices, executive branch agencies and advocacy groups to learn leadership skills and the arts of policy research, analysis and advocacy. The high-impact experiences and professional networking opportunities provided through Capitol Scholars will equip students to succeed in careers in and around government.

“Supporting student success is at the heart of everything that we do at the University of Alabama System, and the Capitol Scholars Program is the newest in a long line of initiatives to help our students thrive upon graduation from our institutions,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John.

In addition to valuable job experience and professional development, students selected to be a Capitol Scholar will receive a stipend to defray the cost of housing and other living expenses while in Washington, D.C., ensuring student participation on the basis of merit, regardless of financial resources.

“We are excited to provide outstanding students with the opportunity to participate in an immersive summer internship experience on Capitol Hill,” said Clay Ryan, UA System Senior Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, who played a key role in creating the Capitol Scholars program. “We understand that some students may be unable to secure these opportunities on their own due to the costs associated with living and working in a city as expensive as Washington. Capitol Scholars was created to allow highly qualified students to enjoy life-changing experiences, regardless of their personal finances or professional network.”

Students at any of the UA System’s three institutions– The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama in Huntsville – who will be a rising junior, rising senior, immediate graduate, or rising second-year graduate student as of June 2024 are eligible to apply. Applicants will be evaluated on merit, including academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to national, state, and local community service.

Carroll Phelps, recently retired from UA, will volunteer as the inaugural executive director of the program, bringing with her 18 years of experience and expertise from her role as an instructor and coordinator of Washington, D.C. internship programs at the School of Social Work. During her tenure at UA, Phelps expanded the college’s single D.C. internship program to include two additional programs, eventually leading all three undergraduate- and graduate-level internship programs and managing hundreds of students at a time.

Applications open Wednesday, Sept. 20, for the inaugural class of Capitol Scholars, which will launch Summer 2024. The deadline to apply is Friday, Oct. 20.

To apply or read more about the program, visit the Capitol Scholars Page.

About the University of Alabama System

Committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, the University of Alabama System includes three doctoral research institutions – UA, UAB, and UAH – and the UAB Health System, a world-class academic medical center. The UA System educates more Alabamians than any other university system and provides transformational research in areas ranging from aerospace to biomedicine to transportation. As the largest employer in the state, the overall economic impact of the University of Alabama System exceeds $15 billion a year.