Experience D.C. in Summer 2018

College of Agriculture
Public Policy Internship Program in Washington D.C. 

 DC picture    

Meet the 2017 Cohort 


​Summer 2018 Information Coming Soon!


About the Program

Since 2005, the College of Agriculture Public Policy Washington D.C. Summer Internship program has been sending students to Washington D.C., to learn about agriculture policy, obtain professional work experience, and network in their field of interest.

The program selects up to five outstanding undergraduates (rising juniors or seniors) from any major in the College of Agriculture to spend eight weeks in Washington, D.C.  Our nation's capital is one of the most energetic cities in the nation and COA interns have the once-in-a-lifetime experience to live and work there for an entire summer! Students intern in unpaid internship placements that reflect their specific areas of academic or career interests. Internship opportunities abound in our nation’s capital.  From congressional internships on Capitol Hill to positions with think tanks, international affairs associations, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups, there is truly something for everyone.

Past interns have secured internships in the following entities: The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Congressional Research Services, USDA ARS, USDA NRCS, USDA SEL, Smithsonian Institution, USDA APHIS, EPA, on Capitol Hill, Senate Ag Committee, World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC), Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Society for Plastics Manufacturing, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association and Animal Agriculture Alliance.  Program alumni have represented Purdue University and the College of Agriculture in the highest regard, providing a distinguished presence in Washington D.C.

Included in the eight week program are FREE housing accommodations valued at $4,000 in the center of Washington, D.C. Program participants will also receive a stipend to offset miscellaneous expenses during their time in DC.

The COA internship program offers an academic component providing academic credit towards a student's plan of study.  During the following fall semester, students will enroll in an independent study (1-3 credits) with a faculty member to convert your internship experience into an academic project.

The Washington D.C. Internship Program participants emerge from their memorable internship experience with soft skill sets that will distinguish them from their peers. COA interns are transformed personally and professionally after participating in this program.  Program alumni have gone on to become highly successful in their chosen field with many going on to graduate and professional schools.


Comments from program alumni:

“My most rewarding experience could not be summed up very quickly.  I loved every aspect of this internship from the people to the work I did to help farmer issues.  One of my top 10 experiences would be attending Hill visits with farmer cooperative, GROWMARK, Inc.  I had the opportunity to represent the National Council of Farmers Cooperative and help the company lobby Members of Congress from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.  They even let me head up an issue to present during the meeting and introduce the NCFC/GROWMARK, Inc. position."  - Shelby Swain - Summer 2015, interned at the National Council of Farmers Cooperative.

"This was a great internship program.  I know some students that didn't apply because it was unpaid.  The experience for those two months in DC, with paid housing and stipend, were much greater rewards.  You get to meet so many people in DC (federal employees, interns in and out of EPA, even the EPA Administrator) that all have such huge goals that really inspire and push you to seek better opportunities for yourself.  I have also made really awesome friends from all over the US because the intern program in DC is so big."  - Alanie Hooton, Summer 2016, interned at the EPA/Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics/Risk Assessment Division.

"I think one of the most rewarding experiences I had could be deemed a somewhat small one.  During the pandemonium of HR 1599 (The Safe Accurate Food Labeling Act? many callers were thrown into hysteria claiming GMOs cause cancer by requiring a heavier application of glyphosate.  While it is not appropriate to argue with constituents on the phone, there was one woman who asked me if the specific fact was correct.  I was able to share with her that it in fact wasn't but the GMO crops decreased the need for chemicals and explain to her more clearly what the legislation entailed - while I'm not sure that her final opinion changed, her tone changed dramatically and she seemed more well informed.  I was proud to be able to act on behalf of agriculture in this way." - Marshall Perkins, Summer 2016, interned for Congressman Marlin Stutzman.


Program Eligibility 

  • Current sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the college of Agriculture.  Seniors must be returning to Purdue for the fall 2018 semester to be considered.
  • 3.0 Cumulative GPA
  • Returning to Purdue in fall 2018
  • Domestic Students/ Work Authorization

Selection Process

  • The selection committee (comprised of faculty/staff/past interns) will review applicant packets and determine finalists for interviews.
  • Finalists will be selected on the basis of their academic record, maturity, professional goals, and purpose for wanting to participate in the program.
  • Finalists will be notified by the program coordinator and final interviews will be held.


Application Deadline:  Summer 2018 Information Coming Soon!

    Applications should be submitted via e-mail or in person to AGAD 121.  ALL required documents must be received by the application deadline.  Your application should include the following attachments:
    1)     Your completed application​ with essay questions.
    2)     Your resume including education, work history, extracurricular activities, policy interests, volunteer experience and any other information that you believe is relevant for consideration of your application.
    3)     Your transcript. An unofficial copy printed from myPurdue will be accepted.
    4)   A faculty member letter of reference for you accessing your academic capability and personal qualities such as maturity, leadership skills, communication skills, and ability to work with others.  The letter must be received by the application deadline.
    If you have questions regarding the program or the application process, please contact Mary Helen Halsema.

Office of Academic Programs, 615 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053 USA, (765) 494-8470

© Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Agricultural Communication

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at agweb@purdue.edu so we can help.

Sign In