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Department of Education Internship Opportunities

A Wide Range of Internships Available in Government & Educational Policy


Department of Education Seal
DonkeyHotey / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
About The Department of Education:

The Department of Education (ED), recreated and signed into law under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, is the smallest Cabinet-level department that exists within the United States government.


The internship program with Department of Education is designed to expose students to what it’s like working for a wide-range of departments on educational policy within the Department of Education as well as gaining experience working for the U.S. federal government.

Interns applying for the Department of Education Internship Program have an opportunity to request specific work assignments as well as a specific department that they’d like to work in. Listed below is a list of the types of internships and departments where students have interned in the past:

  • Evaluation and Research
  • Project and program management
  • Finance
  • Public Affairs and communications
  • External Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Legislative Affairs
  • New media
  • Legal work

Some of the offices where students have worked in the past include:

  • Office of the Secretary
  • Office of the Deputy Secretary
  • Office of the Undersecretary
  • Office of Communications and Outreach
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Office for Civil Rights
  • Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs
  • Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Office of Early Learning
  • Office of Management
  • Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development
  • Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • International Affairs Office
  • Office of Innovation and Improvement
  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • Office of English Language Acquisition
  • Office of Vocational and Adult Education
  • Office of Postsecondary Education
  • White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
  • White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
  • White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
  • White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities


Department of Education interns have an opportunity to participated in events that are geared towards their internship. The weekly brownbag lunches with top ED officials that are provided for students is one of the most valuable benefits they have since it gives them an opportunity to network with professionals currently working in the field. Students also get a chance to participate in White House tours, softball games (staff vs. interns), and a trip to a DC public school.


  • Students must be granted permission to participate in the program by the institution they are currently attending.
  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time in a course of study related to the work they will be doing.
  • Students must be attending an accredited educational institution, such as: high school, trade school, technical or vocational institute, junior college, a four-year college or university.
  • Students agree to do the work without any compensation by the designated agency or department.
  • All students must sign a written document of agreement between themselves, The Department of Education, and their educational institution.
  • All applicants must be a minimum of 16-years-of-age.

To Apply:

All interested students must submit the following 3 documents to apply:

  1. Application Form
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Resume

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but it’s recommend that students apply several months prior to their desired start date.

Students may then be selected for a first and second round of interviews prior to being notified of their acceptance into the program. Students who are selected for an interview then have a week to either accept or decline the internship offer.

Although interns may start at any time of the year as negotiated between supervisor and student, there are basically four terms where the bulk of internship programming actually occurs (summer, fall, winter, and spring).

To obtain more information on how to apply and to view the Student Fact Sheet, Application Form, and Student Volunteer Service Agreement, please visit the Department of Education website. To get your questions answered, you can contact the Student Program Coordinator via email @ StudentInterns@ed.gov.

Be sure to review any specifics in regards to the resume and cover letter required to apply for the program. Below is some information that might be helpful in preparing your cover letter and resume.

When applying for internships be sure to check out The 5 Ways to Improve a Resume and Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Cover Letter prior to submitting your documents.

5 Steps to Improve a Resume:

  1. Organize your information
  2. Highlight your qualifications
  3. Use bullet points to display important information
  4. Include only relevant information and remove any clutter
  5. Make sure your resume is error free

5 Steps to Improve a Cover Letter:

  1. Address your cover letter to the right person
  2. Capture the reader's attention
  3. Make your cover letter stand out
  4. Make sure your cover letter is error free
  5. Ask for an interview at the end of your letter

By following these 10 steps you will be well on your way to getting yourself noticed by employers in hopes of getting called for an interview. The sole purpose of a resume and cover letter is to land an interview, so the effort it takes to improve your documents is well worth the effort. Be sure to check out Alison Doyle's, About.com's Guide to Job Searching, website to pick up some valuable internship and job search tips.

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