About the WISE Program

WISE Sponsors

WISE Alumni

Journal of
& Public Policy

Intern Orientation




American Ceramic Society (ACerS)

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

American Nuclear Society (ANS)




Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

SAE International


wiseheader.gif (8532 bytes)



Founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program has become one of the premier Washington internship programs. The WISE goal is to prepare future leaders of the engineering profession in the United States who are aware of, and who can contribute to, the increasingly important issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy.

Each summer, the WISE societies select outstanding 3rd or 4th year engineering/ computer science students, or students in engineering/ computer science graduate programs, from a nation-wide pool of applicants. The students spend nine (9) weeks living in Washington, D.C. during which they learn how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues, and how engineers can contribute to the legislative process and regulatory public policy decisionmaking.

Questions regarding the WISE program and how to apply should be directed at your appropriate WISE sponsor.  However, please first review these webpages since most questions can be answered here.


During the 9-week program, WISE students work with a faculty-member-in-residence (FMR) - a prominent engineering/ public policy professional - who creates a schedule of meetings, field trips, and events where the WISE interns interact with leaders in the U.S. Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies, industry, and prominent non-governmental organizations.



In addition to the meetings and field trips mentioned above, each student is responsible for independently researching, writing, and presenting a paper on a topical engineering-related public policy issue that is important to the sponsoring society.

IMPORTANT NOTE: WISE applicants should choose their research topics prior to arriving in Washington, DC. Review the WISE journal for the topics chosen by past WISE interns.

The WISE students work under the guidance of the FMR. While writing their papers, WISE students will also interact with, and are mentored by representatives of their sponsoring societies.


The WISE Internship is not a paid internship. Students receive a stipend of $2,100.00 to assist with living and travel expenses.

Additionally, the WISE sponsoring societies provide housing for the students, costs of which typically run approximately $4,000 per student. Students are housed in triple or quad rooms - singles are not available - in a dormitory on the campus of George Washington University in the heart of Washington, DC. If a WISE student chooses to not live with the group in WISE-sponsored housing, the student must fund their own housing arrangements.

Here are some examples of what others have had to say about the WISE program:

"As a Congressman and engineer, I am very pleased to see the engineering societies help future leaders of the engineering profession learn about the role of public policy in science and technology. WISE is a truly outstanding program." -- Joe Barton, U.S. Representative, Texas

One of American's Top-100 Internships--The Princeton Review of Internships, 1994

And here are what some WISE Alumni have to say about their own experiences:

"WISE was the most intensive, stimulating, broadening, and fun-filled ten weeks I've ever spent. It also had a major influence on my career goals." -- Paul E. Faeth, Former WISE Intern

"Almost fifteen years after the fact, WISE still stands out as a highlight of my engineering education. I now work in alternative fuels, and much of what we do is highly influenced and/or directed by government policy. The how's and why's of public policy would have been a complete mystery had it not been for the WISE experience." -- Dean Case, former WISE Intern (now with Nissan North America)

"The WISE program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I strongly urge any eligible candidates to apply. I learned more in the WISE program than I did from any internship in industry." -- Keith White, former WISE Intern (now with General Motors Corporation, currently attending Harvard Business School)

I had a really great summer, however, the WISE experience does not end in the summer. I have made lasting (so far) relationships not only with my fellow WISE guys, but also professional contacts that I am trying to use to get a job in Washington. You hooked this engineer." -- Joshua Charm, former WISE intern

Here are additional testimonials by WISE program alumni.


Copyright 2017 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering. Users are encouraged to link to this page and are permitted to copy and make use of its contents for the exclusive purposes of publicizing the WISE program. The WISE home page is hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) for the benefit of the WISE sponsoring societies.