The 22nd Century Scholars Program provides students with an opportunity to engage in a virtual internship that consists of a public service curriculum focused on Virginia governance, public policy, political campaigns, and history. 

Students will also be introduced to Sorensen themes such as building trust, civil dialogue, respect for different points of view, ethical behavior, and the importance of civic engagement and public leadership.


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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.

2023 application deadline: EXPIRED


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 teamed up to offer a first-of-its-kind virtual public-sector summer internship program to help students who lost summer internships due to COVID-19.

The 2023 program continues with a nonpartisan, fully virtual approach.

Program Structure

  • The internship is five weeks long and in 2023 will run from July 5 - August 4.
  • UVA students may be considered for a limited number of $2,000 stipends; UVA students may also participate on an unpaid basis if they do not receive a stipend; no UVA credit hours are offered.
  • Students who are Virginia residents or attend colleges and universities in Virginia other than  UVA may apply for the program (any stipend or credit must be requested from their college or university).
  • Students will attend virtual sessions (generally 9:15am to Noon) and may be tasked with preparatory readings and a final project consisting of a 5-10 page paper on a topic related to the curriculum
  • During the final week of the program, students will prepare their final reflections and projects to present to the entire cohort.
  • No grades will be awarded

sorensen 22nd century scholars programs

Sorensen’s 22nd Century Scholars program topics have included:

2023    “Virginia – A Two Party Dominion” curriculum focused on common elements of how Republican and Democratic candidates have won gubernatorial elections since 2000 emphasizing themes such as education, jobs, health care, public safety, transportation, energy, and the environment.

2022:    A Comparative Analysis of Public Leadership Programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2021:    “Transportation Policy and Leadership in Virginia” curriculum focused on transportation at the local, regional, state, and federal levels and the impact of transportation and infrastructure development on such public issues as: workforce and access to employment; environmental sustainability; economic development; access to healthcare, food, and housing; and income 
inequality and featuring 80 speakers.

2020:    “Gubernatorial Leadership During Public Crises” curriculum exploring common threads between crises occurring during 2020 with past crises such as budget battles, public protests, threats to public safety, and natural disasters, with speakers that included a former Governor, Chiefs of Staff to seven Governors, legislators, agency heads, and General Assembly staff members.

information about the sorensen institute

The 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 themes around ethics in public service, the power of bipartisanship, and a concentrated study of public policy issues.

important dates - 2023


If you are interested in learning more about the 22nd Century Scholars program, you can visit the Career Center website

  • March 20: Call of Applications
  • April 14: Applications close
  • By April 28: Decisions announced
  • July 5 - August 4: Internship program dates


If you are interested in applying to the 22nd Century Scholars program, you should send a resume, unofficial transcript, and letter of recommendation to Sorensen Director Larry Roberts at larry.roberts@virginia.edu.

  • March 20: Application window opens
  • May 8: Application window closes
  • May 15: Decisions announced
  • July 5 - August 4: Internship program dates


UVA and Non-UVA Students Apply Now

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.