Washington Internship for Students of Engineering, USA

Publish Date: Sep 27, 2016

Deadline: Dec 31, 2016

Event Dates: from Jun 04, 2017 12:00 to Aug 04, 2017 12:00

Connecting Engineers & Scientists with Public Policy Since 1980

Each year, the WISE sponsoring societies select outstanding engineering students from among their memberships to participate in the nine-week WISE program in Washington. Students discover how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues, while at the same time, learning how engineers and scientists can contribute to the legislative process and regulatory decision-making.

About the WISE Program

Founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) has become one of the premier Washington internship programs. The WISE goal is to prepare future leaders of the engineering profession in the United States who are aware of, and who can contribute to, the increasingly important issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy.

Each summer, the WISE societies select outstanding 3rd or 4th year engineering/ computer science students, or students in engineering/ computer science graduate programs, from a nation-wide pool of applicants. The students spend nine (9) weeks living in Washington, D.C. during which they learn how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues, and how engineers can contribute to the legislative process and regulatory public policy decisionmaking.

Questions regarding the WISE program and how to apply should be directed at your appropriate WISE sponsor. However, please first review these webpages since most questions can be answered here.



Sunday, June 4th - Friday, August 4th
Applications Due @ 12pm Eastern
31 December 2016

WISE seeks applications from exceptional engineering students who display evidence of leadership skills and have a keen interest in public policy.

Applicants should select a sponsoring society from the list below, fill out an application form, write two (2) brief essays in response to questions provided, arrange for two (2) faculty references, and forward an official transcript.

WISE applicants should apply directly to their desired sponsor using the contact information provided below. Send all application materials to your chosen sponsoring society.


During the 9-week program, WISE students work with a faculty-member-in-residence (FMR) who creates a schedule of meetings, field trips, and events where the WISE interns interact with leaders in the U.S. Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies, industry, and prominent non-governmental organizations.


In addition to the meetings and field trips mentioned above, each student is responsible for independently researching, writing, and presenting a paper on a topical engineering-related public policy issue that is important to the sponsoring society. WISE applicants should ideally choose their research topics prior to arriving in Washington, DC. Review the WISE journal for the topics chosen by past WISE interns.

The WISE students work under the guidance of a prominent engineering/ public policy professional who serves as the Faculty-Member-in-Residence (FMR). While writing their papers, WISE students will also interact with, and are  mentored by representatives of their sponsoring societies.

Stipend and Housing

The WISE Internship is not a paid internship. Students receive a stipend of $2,100.00 to assist with living and travel expenses.

Additionally, the WISE sponsoring societies provide housing for the students, costs of which typically run approximately $4,000 per student. Students are housed in triple or quad rooms - singles are not available - in a dormitory on the campus of George Washington University in the heart of Washington, DC. If a WISE student chooses to not live with the group in WISE-sponsored housing, the student must fund their own housing arrangements.

Here are some examples of what others have had to say about the WISE program:

"As a Congressman and engineer, I am very pleased to see the engineering societies help future leaders of the engineering profession learn about the role of public policy in science and technology. WISE is a truly outstanding program." -- Joe Barton, U.S. Representative, Texas

One of American's Top-100 Internships--The Princeton Review of Internships, 1994

And here are what some WISE Alumni have to say about their own experiences:

"WISE was the most intensive, stimulating, broadening, and fun-filled ten weeks I've ever spent. It also had a major influence on my career goals." -- Paul E. Faeth, Former WISE Intern

"Almost fifteen years after the fact, WISE still stands out as a highlight of my engineering education. I now work in alternative fuels, and much of what we do is highly influenced and/or directed by government policy. The how's and why's of public policy would have been a complete mystery had it not been for the WISE experience." -- Dean Case, former WISE Intern (now with Nissan North America)

"The WISE program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I strongly urge any eligible candidates to apply. I learned more in the WISE program than I did from any internship in industry." -- Keith White, former WISE Intern (now with General Motors Corporation, currently attending Harvard Business School)

I had a really great summer, however, the WISE experience does not end in the summer. I have made lasting (so far) relationships not only with my fellow WISE guys, but also professional contacts that I am trying to use to get a job in Washington. You hooked this engineer." -- Joshua Charm, former WISE intern.


For questions about the application forms and the application process not covered in the FAQ, please contact the designated society coordinator for your sponsoring society.

NOTE: Some of the WISE societies - AIChE, ANS, ASME, IEEE and SAE - will sponsor only individuals who are members of their societies at the time of application. If you are a member of a society that does not sponsor a WISE intern - for example, ASCE which does not participate in the WISE program - please consider joining one of the sponsoring societies.

To qualify for consideration:

You MUST BE a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. You may not apply for the program if you are not already a permanent resident of the United States.
You must be a junior, senior, or entering your final year of undergraduate studies in engineering (or computer science). WISE will also accept applications from engineering grads who are beginning Masters level study in a technology policy-related degree.

PLEASE NOTE: The dates of the WISE program are not flexible. Due to the short nature of the WISE program, students MAY NOT MISS DAYS by arriving in Washington late, leaving early, or taking vacations during the program. You MUST BE present for all nince (9) weeks.

In addition to the eligibility guidelines for participation in the WISE program, each sponsoring society uses its own criteria in determining which students to select from its applicant pool.

To APPLY click "Further official information" below.

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