California’s Capital Fellows Programs are nationally recognized public policy fellowships that offer unique experiences in policy-making in each branch of state government.

Capital Fellows are placed at some of the highest levels of California state government and assist state legislators, senior-level executive staff, and court administrators with a broad range of public policy issues and projects and are typically given assignments with a significant amount of responsibility and challenges.

Over 2,000 alumni have participated in the Capital Fellows Programs, and the ranks of former fellows include judges; members of the United States Congress and the State Legislature; state and local government officials; corporate executives; community and non-profit leaders; and university professors, administration and staff.

About the Capital Fellows Programs

Rooted in experiential learning and public service, Capital Fellows spend 10-11 months as part of a cohort working in a Legislative, Executive or Judicial Branch office.

All Fellows receive:

  • a monthly stipend of $2,794, as well as medical, dental and vision benefits;
  • fully-paid enrollment and earn six graduate units;
  • student loan deferment; and
  • upon successful completion of the fellowship, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Policy and Government.

Dates & Deadlines

  • October: Capital Fellows Programs applications open in early October.
  • February: Capital Fellows Programs application deadline: February 3, 2020
  • April: Interviews the last week of April
  • May: Interviews the first week of May.
  • September: Program orientation begins in Sacramento. (Judicial Fellows begin in September. All other programs begin in October.

At CalMatters, Erica Costa writes about her study of the Assembly program.

More than 90% of Republicans and Democrats said the fellowship exceeded their expectations.  Large majorities of fellows from both parties indicated the fellowship sparked increased interest in politics. That portion was actually slightly higher among Republicans.

Additionally, about nine in 10 Democrats and an even higher portion of Republicans indicated the program increased their professional confidence. Nearly all fellows reported collegial office placements.