Frequently Asked Questions
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Before Applying After Applying

Before Applying

How competitive is the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative?
The Federal Diversity Internship Initiative is a very competitive program and there are a limited number of positions available each semester and summer. We strongly encourage you to consider program requirements and your own credentials before applying.

My GPA is lower than a 3.0. Can I still apply?Yes. However, you are very unlikely to receive an internship offer from one of our agency partners.

Are internships through the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative guaranteed?No. The Washington Center cannot guarantee an internship placement through this program. There are a limited number of internships available each term and the selection process is competitive.

What is the start and end date of the internship? How much will I be working each week?Internship start and end dates for each term are listed here. These dates may shift slightly, depending on the agency and the internship position. You generally would be expected to work Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (some agency hours may vary).

How does the stipend work?Stipends are provided in twice monthly increments for the duration of the internship. They help cover food, travel to your internship, and any other living expenses you may have. Amounts vary based on site, but adequately cover reasonable living expenses.

What sort of housing does TWC provide?Housing depends on the location of your internship. If your internship is in Washington, D.C., The Washington Center has its own residential facility and several private apartment buildings at which it houses students in the city. If your internship is regionally located, The Washington Center will provide accommodations near public transportation and other necessities. Each apartment is professionally styled, and fully furnished. Most students share housing with other interns placed in the same geographic area.

Do I have to use the housing provided by The Washington Center?No. You can commute from home, stay with someone you know in the area, or find your own housing. Please keep in mind that The Washington Center will cover the cost of housing if you choose to use its services (but not otherwise).

Will I intern in Washington, D.C.?Maybe. While many of our positions are located in D.C., quite a few are dispersed regionally throughout the U.S. Individual agencies will share location details at the time of an interview and/or offer, should you be considered.

Can I indicate a regional preference?No, but, you will know the location of the internship before you are asked to accept or decline an opportunity.

Are former interns more successful applying for jobs with their host agency after graduation? Many of our partner agencies use internships as a means for development of a talent pipeline for federal employment. This means that you’ll gain hands-on experience and knowledge about the agency that could give you a boost when applying for a job. The Washington Center also provides professional programing during your internship, which will give you helpful insight into the sector and the federal job application process.

After Applying

Can I send an updated resume or personal statement after submitting my application?
Yes. If you have an updated resume or personal statement, please send it to

What should I do if I want to update my email address?
Email with your name and your new email address; we will update your application. If you change your email address, you should continue to check your old email address so as not to miss any communication from prospective agencies or TWC.

What do I do if I am out of the country during the referral process?
If you do not have access to your phone during the referral process, you should update your voicemail regarding your limited availability and share an alternative method for contact (i.e. email address). You should also let The Washington Center know so we can communicate with prospective agencies on your behalf.

Will I be notified when my application has been referred?
Unfortunately, we cannot notify every student whose application has been referred. We recommend students check in on the status of their application by emailing

When will I hear from internship sites?
Students may hear from internship sites anytime from the beginning of the referral process to the beginning of the semester. Timelines vary based on agency process.

When will I be notified if I received an offer?
There is no fixed acceptance timeline for the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative. Students who submit and complete their application can receive an internship offer anytime from the start of the referral process to the beginning weeks of the given semester.

When will I be notified if I do not receive an offer?
TWC will notify applicants once all positions for a given term are filled. However, we are unable to do so before the start date for the program. Many students will not receive a final notification until after the start date has passed.

Is it possible to receive more than one offer?
Most applicants will receive no more than one offer. The Federal Diversity Internship Initiative is very competitive and receipt of an offer is a huge accomplishment. Students who receive an offer should consider that their only opportunity within this program.

Can I apply for the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative multiple times?
Yes. The application allows you to indicate interest in future terms (in the event your initial candidacy is not successful). TWC will invite well-qualified applicants to advance their applications and explain the process at that time. If your application is converted, there will be no need to reapply; you may need to provide updated materials.

Can I participate in the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative multiple times?
Yes. Depending on the term or position, you may need to reapply.

What do I do if I want to receive academic credit for the internship?
The Washington Center does not award academic credit; you will need to make independent credit arrangements with your home institution. TWC can offer some assistance by clarifying details about the program and providing internship evaluations at the end of term.

Would I be allowed to take classes from my home institution during the internship?
It is not recommended. When deciding if you should take courses from your home institution, please keep in mind that this internship will resemble a full time job—you will be working 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is also no guarantee that your internship placement will be near your school.

What if I have to miss one or two days of the internship?
Any adjustments to start or end dates should be discussed with your prospective site. If you need one or two days off from your internship, it is best to ask when you receive your internship offer. Keep in mind that agencies may have limited flexibility in some cases.

Will there be a fee if I am unable to accept an internship offer?
No. You will only be charged a fee if you accept an internship position and subsequently renege on the decision.

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