Giving UCLA undergraduates invaluable inside-the-Beltway experience through internships in key Washington, D.C., policy entities.
Textbooks and lectures are one thing, but for any student contemplating policy-oriented work in the nation’s capital, the only way to appreciate the pulse of the Beltway is through actual experience.
Each quarter, the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) sends 30 new undergraduates to Washington, D.C., as part of its Quarter in Washington program. Through internships in agencies, on key congressional committees, and in top think tanks and non-governmental organizations, students conduct meaningful research, gain on-the-job experience and learn in an environment that’s like no other. They leave with research papers that can serve as springboards to their service- and policy-oriented careers.
“We place students in internships where they do substantive work that gives them a taste of the excitement and accomplishments that can come from a career in public service,” says Joel D. Aberbach, distinguished professor of political science and public policy, and founder and director of CAPPP. To date, more than 1,500 Bruins have participated in the highly competitive program, which was launched in 1990.
CAPPP promotes research on American politics and public policy, develops programs that educate students about the nation’s political and governmental processes, and provides ideas, scholarship and knowledge to policy makers and other interested parties nationwide.
CAPPP supports graduate student research and teaching in Washington, as well as faculty teaching and research fellowships on the UCLA campus. Each year, a UCLA student earns a prestigious appointment to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellows program. Yearlong fellowships assist UCLA faculty in initiating, conducting or completing research focusing on U.S. politics and/or public policy.
The Quarter in Washington program has placed countless talented UCLA students on a trajectory to a successful Beltway career. The program’s alumni can be found in top federal agencies such as the departments of Justice and Education, as well as in the Peace Corps and other global organizations. CAPPP alumni have assumed positions with the Natural Resource Defense Council Action Fund, the Brookings Institution, the National Education Association and the American Enterprise Institute, and have gone on to cover politics and policy for major news media outlets. These Bruins have followed divergent paths, but all can trace their development to that intoxicating first whiff of the nation’s capital through the scholarships provided by CAPPP.
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