Terms and Dates:

  • Spring 2019


Zoe Nelson


Opportunity Description

Cornell offers the unique opportunity to help students explore careers in public service, public policy, politics and government.  Students have the opportunity to work for a Member of the Assembly. The application process is flexible, affording students the ability to work for a legislator with shared policy interests, such as:

Health Care • Environment • Social Sciences • Children and Families • Agriculture • Education • Taxation and Economic Policy • Labor • Urban Planning • Energy • Ethics • Science and Technology • Mental Health • Alcoholism and Substance Abuse • State-Federal Relations • Crime, Incarceration, Justice • Human Rights

This program offers a paid internship in the New York State Legislature, earning at least 12 credits (12 internship credits plus additional credits from an Intergovernmental Relations course). 

Work with Zoe Nelson to determine how you can enroll for the academic section of this experience.  (CALS and HumEc students:  enroll in IE3920/ALS3920 for the 12 base credits and contact the program for information about the Intergovernmental Relations course.)

As part of the Senate students learn through direct experience and formal instruction how the New York State Legislature functions. The Capital Semester Internship Program offers students a type of real-world experience unparalleled by any other program at Cornell.

Compensation: Stipend
Undergraduate interns receive a $6,200 stipend.  Graduate interns receive a $15,000 stipend.  Note that existing financial aid packages are unaffected by Capital Semester Internship Program participation.

Undergraduate Students:
Undergraduate students will be placed with a Member of the State Assembly’s office. Responsibilities may include conducting research, responding to constituent correspondence, tracking legislation, and attending and reporting on a variety of meetings with legislators, lobbyists and other interest groups. The Cornell Capital Internship Liaison will make every attempt to ensure interns are working in offices that support their policy interests.

In addition to daily duties, the Assembly program has its own expectations and unique events, such the annual Mock Legislative Session. Please see application for program descriptions.

Graduate Students:
Graduate interns serve as policy analysts and staff researchers. Responsibilities may include analyzing proposed legislation, drafting legislation and memos, and preparing reports. Examples of office placements include the Majority Leader's office, Ways and Means Committee, Majority Press Office and Senate Finance Committee. The Cornell Campus Liaison will make every attempt to ensure interns are working in offices that support their policy interests. 

In addition to daily duties, the Assembly program has its own expectations. Please see application for program descriptions. 

Applicants MUST contact Zoe Nelson before applying:

Zoë Nelson 
Cornell University 
Office of State Government Relations 
126 State Street, Suite 200 
Albany, NY 12207-1637 
(518) 434-4157


For information about state-relations, go to Cornell in Albany
Located just one block from the Capitol, Cornell’s Office of State Government Relations represents the university before the executive and legislative branches of state government and among other stakeholders to secure state funding and otherwise advance university priorities. The Office of State Government Relations also helps administers the Capital Semester Internship Program. Interns are highly encouraged to use the office as a resource throughout their time in Albany. 

Capital Semester students live in Albany, an energetic and student-friendly city. Although Cornell does not provide designated housing, Cornell students are given guidance in establishing their residence in Albany. Rent is significantly less expensive in Albany compared to Ithaca, and many interns quickly find housing typically at nearby universities within walking distance of the Capitol and Empire State Plaza.