To provide students with an opportunity to view ways they can engage in public service while advancing the themes of building trust, civil dialogue, respect for different points of view, and ethical behavior. We do this in the context of political leadership programs and the study of politics, government, civic engagement, and public policy.

Derek Yang was a rising third-year undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Foreign Affairs & Economics (with a minor in Chinese), when he completed this internship.

Manan was a fourth-year student in the Frank Batten School, studying public policy and leadership, when he completed this internship.

Christine was a second-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Marine Biology, when she completed her internship.

2022 application deadline: april 1

If you are interested in applying, submit an application in Handshake.


In 2020, the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, the Weldon Cooper Center/Sorensen Institute, the Miller Center, the Democracy Initiative, the Batten School, and the Career Center worked together to create the 22nd Century Scholars program. The program is so named because these scholars will make a lasting impact on public policy that extends into the 22nd century. 

Program Structure

  • The internship is five weeks long and in 2022 will run from July 5 - August 5.
  • Students will receive a $2,000 stipend.
  • The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Sorensen Institute can accept two students into the program.
  • How it works:

    The five-week long program will be open to currently enrolled UVA undergraduate students (rising Second, Third and Fourth-Year students) who are interested in working in the public sector. Each student will be assigned to one of three public-sector units of the University including the Center for Politics; the Miller Center; and the Sorensen Institute. 

    Students will have access to additional resources, such as career development sessions led by the UVA Career Center and webinars and networking opportunities with policymakers, non-profit leaders, and other guests. Each student will be paired with a UVA alumnus/a mentor. 

    This program will be conducted in a hybrid fashion. Students will have the opportunity to work remotely, if desired. 

    Students should apply to the unit with which they’re interested in working. You may apply to all three units but will only be selected for one.

    Students will work at their designated participating unit. Programming criteria and internship requirements will vary by unit, but students may be tasked with submitting a final project such as a white paper and/or a digital exhibit and/or a digital conference (open to the public) on themes to be assigned at the unit level.

    Student interns will work with supervising units to assist in specific unit-level projects and will also assemble weekly on designated days for, hour-long, day-specific educational programming for all participants.

internship opportunities

Each student will be assigned to a participating unit, based on the unit to which they apply. You may apply to all three units but will only be selected for one.

  1. The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership: The Weldon Cooper Center's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership was founded in 1993 to bring together diverse individuals with a passion for politics and public service. All have a wide variety of viewpoints and backgrounds but want to work together for the common good. Our non-partisan mission is to strengthen and enhance the quality of government at all levels throughout Virginia. At the heart of every Sorensen program are three central themes: ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.
  2. The Center for Politics: The University of Virginia Center for Politics is the nation’s preeminent institution for the study and promotion of civics education and political participation. Founded in 1998 by University Professor Larry J. Sabato, the mission of the Center for Politics is to educate and inspire the public to actively engage in practical politics and other civic affairs through programs that are unique, compelling, and open-minded. 
  3. The Miller Center: The Miller Center is a national, nonpartisan institute that seeks to expand understanding of the presidency, policy, and political history, providing critical insights for the nation’s governance challenges. Our scholars engage in research and writing that provides unparalleled insight into contemporary public policy debates. We are the sole source in the country of the oral histories of each presidential administration since Jimmy Carter's, and the annotated transcripts of the secret White House recordings made by Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

2022 application deadlines

If you are interested in applying to the 22nd Century Scholars program, you can do so by submitting an application in Handshake. You may direct any questions to Stefanie Georgakis Abbott at sg9mj@virginia.edu.

  • April 1: Applications close
  • By April 22: Decisions announced
  • July 5 - August 5: Internship program dates

More Stories from 22nd Century Scholars

Thomas was a third-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying History and Foreign Affairs, when he completed his internship.

JaVori was a fourth-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Government and Studio Art, when she completed her internship.