Capitol Pathways Student Info

Through the Capitol Pathways program, interns build relationships with established Capitol leaders (non-partisan staff, lobbyists, and Republican/DFL elected leaders), learn about the legislative process, gain exposure to various careers in policy and build a strong professional resume in the process.

This program follows a cohort model (which includes up to 35 college students of color) and provides students with supplementary legislative and professional development training alongside an immersive hands-on internship experience during the 2020 legislative session (February – May 2020).

Click on the sections below for eligibility, internship details, and more information.

Note: The application period for the 2020 legislative session has ended.


*Before proceeding, please carefully read the application criteria below to ensure you are eligible to apply to the program.

Candidates must:

  • Be a current college undergraduate student in good academic standing (at least a 2.0 G.P.A and not on academic or progress probation) at an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher education in Minnesota
  • Have completed your first year in college or have the equivalent in credits of a full first year student
  • Self-identify as a person of color or Indigenous
  • Have a J1/F1 visa with authorization to work in the U.S. if you are an international student
  • Be available to interview with up to three host organizations during the weeks of:
    • Dates: December 2 – December 16, 2019
  • Be available to be present in the Twin Cities on a regular schedule throughout the spring semester, including the third Friday afternoon (12pm – 4pm) of each month:
    • Dates: February 21, March 20, April 17, May 15 (2020)
  • Be available to attend a mandatory orientation/legislative training on:
    • Dates: January 7 – 11 (2020)
  • We are not accepting High School PSEO students at this time

In the program, Capitol Pathways interns:

  • Are matched with a lobbying firm, nonprofit or government agency working at the legislature for the length of a legislative session. We refer to these internship sites as our host organizations/sites. All host organizations will assign a staff person as the student intern’s direct supervisor. These individuals will be referred to as our host mentors.
  • Are matched with a Capitol Pathways alumni mentor for ongoing support, advising and coaching throughout the internship experience.
  • Work at their internship 10 hours per week (minimum) during the length of session and are compensated $15/per hour (minimum).
  • Internships provide direct experience at the Capitol.
  • Intern responsibilities/duties vary but may include:
    • Attending regular committee hearings with their host mentors
    • Taking notes during meetings; sitting in on conference calls
    • Research and track bills; summarize bills
    • Informational interviews and shadowing opportunities with other professionals working in policy
    • Assist in coordinating meetings and events
  • Attend 4-hour long cohort meetings on the third Friday of every month with their colleagues in the program for networking and skill-building sessions. Topics include subjects such as public speaking, networking, career profiles and others. Cohort meetings are facilitated by program leaders and selected speakers. Cohort meetings are compensated time by the host organization.
  • Are consistently exposed to other job, internship and networking opportunities through programmed social hours following cohort meetings, a closed social media alumni network where opportunities are posted, and ongoing mentorship by program staff and alumni mentors.
  • One professional/academic letter of recommendation
    We accept academic/professional letters of recommendation from professors, employers and supervisors. We will not accept letters of recommendation from family members or close friends. Letters of recommendation need not be longer than 1 page.
  • Resume

There are three phases in the selection process.

Phase One: Pre-selection

Program staff will review host applications to determine their organizational needs. Based on this information and student applications, we will pre-select student applicants to move on to the interview round. Program staff will notify students whether they have been accepted into the interview round by November 29, 2019.

Phase Two: Interview round

Students interview with up to three pre-selected host organizations. Host sites will provide program staff their top two candidates. Not all students who interview will move on to phase 3.

Phase Three: Official acceptance into the program

Program staff will make final selection based on host feedback from interviews along with information from host and student applications. Program staff will notify students of their acceptance into the program and final host site placement. Program staff will also notify hosts of final student-host matches.


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This program is made possible in part by major donors:

Bush Foundation
Dick and Joyce H. McFarland Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation
F.R. Bigelow Foundation
The Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation
McKnight Foundation
Otto Bremer Trust
Roy G. and Naomi Harmon Johnston Family Family Foundation
The Saint Paul Foundation
Sarah Farley and Betty Tisel

Citizens League
400 Robert St N, Suite 1820
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 293-0575