Frequently Asked Questions
About WISE & the Application Process
Q. WHAT ARE THE DATES FOR THE PROGRAM?
Generally, WISE runs from the first Sunday in June until the first Saturday in August. Once the dates are set for each year, they are not flexible and all interns are expected to participate in the entire nine (9) weeks of the program.
Q. MY COLLEGE QUARTER/ SEMESTER WILL NOT BE FINISHED BY THE WISE START DATE. CAN I START THE PROGRAM LATE?
No. Past Interns who have faced this situation have been able to work out an arrangement with their professors to leave school early. Some have been allowed to take exams early or as "take home" exams while participating in WISE.
Q. HOW MANY INTERNS PARTICIPATE IN WISE EACH YEAR?
The number fluctuates but in the past, anywhere from 8-15 students participate in the program each summer.
Q. HOW DO I APPLY?
Complete the application for one of the sponsoring societies and send it to representative listed for that society.
Q. MUST I BE A US CITIZEN?
All WISE interns must be either citizens of the United States or legal permanent residents. You may not apply to the program if you are not already in the US, residing as a citizen or under a permanent resident visa.
Q. WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING MY APPLICATIONS?
Application materials must be post-marked or e-mailed on or before December 31st of the year prior to the summer during which you would like to participate.
Q. IS THERE A SALARY?
No, this is an internship and like the majority of internships in Washington, DC, participants are not paid a salary. WISE does however provide a stipend of $2,100 to each student chosen to participate in the program. The stipend is paid in three installments: the first at the beginning, the second in the middle of the program, and the final payment is given to you after you have turned in your paper.
Q. WHERE WILL I LIVE?
In addition to the stipend, WISE pays for your housing costs for all nine (9) weeks that you will be in DC for the program.
You and your fellow WISE students will live in the dorms at George Washington University. The dorms are within walking distance of the offices of the sponsoring societies.
Housing consists of apartment style rooms, each unit with its own bathroom and kitchen. You will share the unit with either 2 or 3 of your fellow WISE interns. There is no option for a single, private room. Should you want different housing arrangements, you will be responsible for all of your own housing costs, and for ensuring that you are able to travel back and forth the your sponsors' offices, to arranged meetings, and to field trips at your own expense. For reference, one bedroom apartments in the downtown DC area rent for an average of $2,500 a month.
Q. WHO PAYS FOR MY TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, DC?
You do. Each student is responsible for all travel costs and for ensuring that they arrive in DC prior to the beginning of the program.
Q. DO I HAVE TO BELONG TO ONE OF THE SPONSORING SOCIETIES?
Yes. Consider joining to make yourself eligible for the WISE program.
Q. ARE GRADUATE STUDENTS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
The program is open to recent engineering and computer science graduates beginning study in a technology policy-related Master’s program or law school.
Q. ARE FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORE STUDENTS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
No. Students must have completed their freshman and sophomore years of college. Applicants must be fully committed to an engineering or computer science major. The program sponsors believe that a solid background in engineering/ computer science coursework is required to give you the grounding needed to relate your engineering training to public policy.
Q. WHEN WILL I HEAR IF I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED?
The sponsoring societies begin reviewing applications in mid-January. Once the choices are made, students are contacted with sponsorship offers, usually in mid-February.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I ACCEPT A WISE INTERNSHIP OFFER AND ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY COMES ALONG LATER?
If you think you are likely to accept another internship or anticipate some other contingency that would prevent you fulfilling your commitment to the WISE program, you are asked not to apply and/or accept a WISE sponsorship offer. It is very difficult to fill vacancies that occur within a month or two of the start of the summer program. Certain costs (e.g. the cost of the reserved dorm room) are not refundable if you change your mind and then elect not to participate
If by some circumstance you accept a WISE Internship, but are forced to withdraw from the program, you are strongly encouraged to give notice as soon as possible of your withdrawal so that an attempt can be made to fill the vacancy. You may be liable for housing costs incurred that cannot be refunded to the WISE sponsors.
Copyright © 2015, 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.