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Download the Hawai‘i Legislative Intern Program information and application (pdf).

What Applicants Need to Know


Higher education provides many opportunities that can offer students an academic orientation to various aspects of the organization of state government. Students frequently enter public service with little or no exposure to the dynamics of governmental organizations. While classroom instruction provides one perspective on elective politics, experiential learning provides the student with the opportunity to observe first-hand the dynamics of legislative decision-making. Internship serves two purposes: (a) it provides an office with additional qualified personnel who assist the agency in fulfilling its objectives by performing meaningful tasks, and (b) it provides the student with an applied learning environment with opportunities to validate previously learned academic concepts.


The Hawai‘i Legislative Intern Program places students on the staff of legislators in both the House of Representative and the Senate. Assignments are made by the Office of the Speaker of the House and the Office of the President of the Senate. The legislator to whom an intern is assigned may be the chairperson of a committee or someone who fills a leadership role where additional staff assistance is valuable. The Legislative Intern Program is a full-time effort while the State Legislature is in session and covers a period from early January to the middle of May.

Application Process

This program is limited to full-time juniors and seniors at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) who are in good academic standing (i.e. a minimum grade point average of 3.0). Students are expected to be at these class levels by the starting date of the program in order to be eligible.

The complete application procedure involves:

  1. Your resumé.
  2. An essay – see essay topic below
  3. Two letters of recommendation from (1) a faculty member and (2) an employer (past or present). We do not ask for specific information from your instructors but we would ask your employer to comment on the following:
    1. Work ethic
    2. Maturity and judgment
    3. Ability to work with others
    4. Office skills

Please be sure to complete your application, including complete telephone numbers and indicating whether it is a home, dorm, or business number. In the case of dorm numbers, provide any information that will facilitate reaching you. In completing the class and college categories, list the college and class level you expect to be when the program begins.


After the recruitment deadline, you will be contacted to come in for an informal interview. Twelve intern applicants will be selected on the basis of the interview, written work submitted, and grade point ratio. The names of these students and their applications will then be sent to the Office of the Speaker of the House and the Office of the President of the Senate. Actual placement of the interns rests with the leadership of the Legislature.


The names of the selected students will be sent to Outreach College. The College's staff will notify all applicants of their status at this point.


The Hawai‘i Legislature Intern Program provides a $5000 scholarship for the program. The program covers the period while the State Legislature is in session.

Essay 1 Topic

How does this internship fit in with your past experiences, your future goals and your plans? (600 words)

Complete application must be received by September 15, 2011. (Spring Only)
For addition information, call 956-2026.

The Hawai‘i Legislative Intern Program is supported by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Department of Political Science and Outreach College.

Updated 08/10   

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