Schaeffer Fellows FAQ

Eligiblity and Application
Internship Details and Stipends

Eligibility and Application

Are all USC students eligible to apply?

USC undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year with a cumulative USC GPA of a 3.5 or higher are invited to apply.

This will be my first internship in government.  Am I qualified to apply?

The intention of this program is to support students that are curious about working in public service and interested in gaining firsthand experience.  There is not a prior public service record requirement; however, competitive candidates will be able to demonstrate transferable skills from other experience that can easily translate into their internship.

I’ve submitted my application.  What happens next?

Applications will be reviewed and exceptional candidates will be invited to interview with a faculty panel in early spring.  Top candidates will be forwarded for consideration to the local, state, or federal office for further review and possibly a second interview.  Final placements will be confirmed later in the spring.

Once selected, Schaeffer Fellow candidates will be awarded a formal offer letter to confirm their placement, internship details, and compensation details.

Internship Details and Compensation

How can the stipend be used?

Schaeffer Fellows have complete discretion over their stipend.  Stipends vary slightly based on placement location and cost of living.  They are intended to support air travel (if necessary), housing, and some discretionary expenses.

Will the stipend cover all of my expenses?

Schaeffer Fellow stipends are intended to make a high-level public service internship accessible to any qualified applicant.  Schaeffer Fellows should expect to have some out of pocket expenses.  Students with demonstrated need may be eligible for additional funding and are encouraged to contact USC Academic Honors and Fellowships at to discuss additional financial assistance.

Is housing pre-arranged or do I need to find my own accommodations?

Housing is not pre-arranged for Schaeffer Fellows; however, those placed in DC and Sacramento will be offered assistance to secure housing when requested.


What does a typical summer timeline resemble?

  • Early May:   Kick-Off Luncheon with Mr. Schaeffer and Schaeffer Fellow alumni
  • Mid-May:    Schaeffer Fellows Move-In and Orientation
  • Late May:    First Day of Internship
  • June-July:   Schaeffer Development Series & Regional Events
  • August:        Assessment Report
  • Early Fall:   Schaeffer Fellows Closing Luncheon at USC

Beyond my internship, how should I expect to spend my time?

In addition to their full-time internship, Schaeffer Fellows participate in a series of organized educational programs, cultural events, weekend outings, and gatherings with local Schaeffer Fellows from Harvard University, Princeton University and University of California, Berkeley.  Additionally, Schaeffer Fellows are paired with a USC alumnus in a related field who serves as a mentor during their experience.

Back to Top