Carnegie Mellon University

Learn and Intern in Washington, DC

Thinking about applying for summer internships in the nation's capital? Consider applying for a Friedman Fellowship to support your experience. 

For more than two decades, the Friedman Fellowships have supported Carnegie Mellon students who obtain low- or non-paying internships in public service, nongovernmental organizations, or other entities in DC. The Fellowships include stipends of up to $5,000 for summer and $2500 for fall/spring, and expose students to leadership events, networking opportunities, and events around the District. Friedman interns work on substantive projects, develop professional skills and benefit from the personal attention of a supervisor at their organization

The Milton and Cynthia Friedman Fellowships were created in 2000 through a generous gift from Cynthia Friedman, a trustee emerita, in memory of her husband, an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon. The grants encourage the participation of undergraduate and graduate students in policy-related internships located in the nation’s capital. They are designed to foster significant work experiences that complement students’ academic work and assist them as they make career and graduate education decisions.

Fall and spring semester Friedman Fellowships are only open to students participate in the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program.

Student Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate or Graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Returning as a full-time student in the fall semester following the summer internship in Washington, DC

Internship Requirements: 

  • Internships must be located in Washington, DC
  • Internships should be policy-related in a public sector or non-profit entity
  • Internships should be 8-12 weeks in length
  • Internships should be unpaid or low-paying
  • Internships should foster significant work experiences that complement students’ academic work and assist them in making career and graduate education decisions
  • Internships need not be confirmed upon application for a Friedman Fellowship

Core Components: 

  • Friedman Fellows are provided with a stipend of up to $2500 for the fall/spring and $5000 for the summer, and a University Pass (UPASS) to use the DC Metro at no cost for the duration of the internship.
  • Friedman Fellows are expected to attend informal in-person seminars on policy topics and organized events while interning in Washington, DC. Seminars and events are coordinated through Carnegie Mellon’s DC office.
  • Friedman Summer Fellows are encouraged to participate in Tomorrow’s Professionals, a six-week remote summer seminar series. The seminar is designed to facilitate students’ deliberate thinking about professionalism, so that they can: begin to practice it upon entry into their respective internships and avoid decisions or behaviors that could hamper their success, build their unique brands, identify opportunities to excel, and ensure overall excellence in their careers.
  • After completing the internship, students must provide a thank you letter summarizing their internship experience that includes reflections on internship learning outcomes, personal growth, professional development, and future career interests.

Applications for the Friedman Summer Fellowship open in January and are due by March 3, 2023.  Students should begin applying to internships prior to selection in the program but an internship need not be confirmed in order to apply. Students must take an active role in the internship search process.

Summer Friedman Fellows are responsible for identifying and paying for their own housing in Washington, DC, although general housing information is provided by the program.

For more information about the Friedman Fellowship during the Fall or Spring semesters, please contact Emily Half, Deputy Director in the Institute for Politics and Strategy.

For more information about the Friedman Fellowship during the Summer, please contact Kelly Voss in the Institute for Politics and Strategy.