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. WISE prepares future leaders of the engineering profession who are aware of, and who can contribute to, the increasingly important issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy in the United States.

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 decision-making.

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.

    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.

Connecting Engineers & Scientists with Public Policy Since 1980
Washington Internships for Students of Engineering