Experience a paid internship in the New York State Legislature

For wherever your policy interests may be— higher education, healthcare, environmental conservation, economic development, or elsewhere— Cornell offers the unique opportunity to help students begin careers in public service, public policy, politics and government.

Experience a paid internship in the New York State Legislature, earning at least 12 credits (12 internship credits plus additional credits from an Intergovernmental Relations course). Please contact your college and program for specific credit requirements and for information about the Intergovernmental Relations course, PADM 5162.

Capital Semester students are full time Assembly or Senate interns who spend the Spring semester living in Albany and working in one of the most vibrant and student-centered cities in New York State. Opportunities are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major.

As part of either the Senate or Assembly, students learn through direct experience and formal instruction how the New York State Legislature functions. The Capital Semester Internship Program offers students a type of real-world experience unparalleled by any other program at Cornell.

Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for internships in the New York State Assembly. Applicants for New York State Senate internships must be U.S. citizens.

Please see individual applications for more information on eligibility requirements and internship details.

While interning in the New York State Senate, I got to work closely with a Senator and play a critical role evaluating policies and providing recommendations. I met with lobbyists, special interest groups and concerned constituents on behalf of the Senator on practically a daily basis. I also assisted in writing briefings and conducting policy research. My experience in the Senate was rewarding, substantive and very 'hands on.' I highly recommend this internship opportunity for students who want to experience and be part of policy decision-making in an exciting work environment— it was, by far, the best experience for me.

Joshua Mbanusi '12

Undergraduate Students:

Undergraduate students will be placed in an Assembly member or Senator's office. Responsibilities may include conducting research, responding to constituent correspondence, tracking legislation, and attending and reporting on a variety of meetings with legislators, lobbyists and other interest groups. The Cornell Capital Internship Liaison will make every attempt to ensure interns are working in offices that support their policy interests.

In addition to daily duties, both the Assembly and Senate each have their own program expectations and unique events, such the annual Mock Legislative Session. Please see individual applications for program descriptions.

Undergraduate interns receive a $5,850 stipend. Note that if you are receiving financial aid, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) remains the same for the academic year and aid is adjusted according to the higher or lower costs of the program. Students participating in an off-campus program should sign up for direct deposit through the Bursar’s Office.

Apply Now for the New York State Assembly Session Internship (Undergraduate Students Only).
Applicants must contact campus liaison, Zoë Nelson, before applying.

Apply Now for the New York State Senate Session Assistants Program (Undergraduate Students Only).
Applicants must contact campus liaison, Zoë Nelson, before applying.

Applications and all supporting materials for Senate and Assembly Undergraduate (Session Internship) positions are due by October 25th, 2017 by mail to contact below. For additional detailed information, see NYS Assembly website and NYS Senate website.

This program not only enables one to learn about the functioning of a state legislature and the inner-workings of state politics, but also to immerse into a community that is more than Cornell - the opportunity to work with more than 100 interns from different universities, backgrounds and even countries. Coupled with the chance to work closely with a real-life politician and his or her political team, this semester-long program is indeed a unique offering even within an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.

Isaac Lee '12

Graduate Students:

Graduate interns serve as policy analysts and staff researchers. Responsibilities may include analyzing proposed legislation, drafting legislation and memos, and preparing reports. Examples of office placements include the Majority Leader's office, Ways and Means Committee, Majority Press Office and Senate Finance Committee. The Cornell Campus Liaison will make every attempt to ensure interns are working in offices that support their policy interests. 

In addition to daily duties, both the Assembly and Senate each have their own program expectations. Please see individual applications for program descriptions. 

Graduate interns receive a $15,000 stipend. Note that existing financial aid packages are unaffected by Capital Semester Internship Program participation.

Apply Now for the New York State Assembly Graduate Internship (Graduate Students Only).

Apply Now for the New York State Senate Fellowship (Graduate Students/Post-Graduate Students Only).

Both New York State Assembly and Senate applications for graduate students should be sent directly to the appropriate Intern Committees (not the Cornell Capital Internship Liaison). Please see individual applications for deadlines and sender information.  For additional detailed information, see NYS Assembly website and NYS Senate website.

Resources

Cornell in Albany
Located just one block from the Capitol, Cornell’s Office of State Government Relations represents the university before the executive and legislative branches of state government and among other stakeholders to secure state funding and otherwise advance university priorities. The Office of State Government Relations also administers the Capital Semester Internship Program. Interns are highly encouraged to use the office as a resource throughout their time in Albany. 

Housing

Capital Semester students live in Albany, an energetic and student-friendly city. Although Cornell does not provide designated housing, Cornell students are given guidance in establishing their residence in Albany. Rent is significantly less expensive in Albany compared to Ithaca, and many interns quickly find housing typically at nearby universities within walking distance of the Capitol and Empire State Plaza.

snow storm in Albany

Questions?

Questions? 

Zoë Nelson
Cornell University
Office of State Government Relations
126 State Street, Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207-1637
(518) 434-4157
zmn2@cornell.edu