Federal Transit Administration Diversity in Federal Transit Internship Program (DFT)

Federal Transit Administration Diversity in Federal Transit Internship Program (DFT)


Seeding FTA’s pipeline for the future.


Program Description

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) which administers federal funding to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the United States. The Diversity in Federal Transit (DFT) Internship Program helps deliver on the FTA’s targeted diversity and inclusion strategies for its future workforce.  

Interns in the DFT program work on meaningful projects that will strengthen their professional networks and skills and will have an enduring impact in areas of public mass transit systems. Undergraduate, graduate, and law students from backgrounds underrepresented in federal policymaking are strongly encouraged to apply. DFT is held in-person at FTA offices in Washington, D.C. and across the country. 

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about this program, please contact fta.dft@twc.edu

Click here to read more about FTA, or check out this video to learn more about dynamic public service career paths from current FTA professionals. You can also register for one of the upcoming DFT information sessions or application tips webinars.



  • Be a U.S. citizen. 
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program (AA/AS, BA/BS, Masters, JD, MD, or PhD) at an accredited higher education institution during the internship (visit ed.gov/accreditation to verify your school and/or program of study). Students pursuing only a credential or certificate program will be considered ineligible. 
  • Have completed your freshman year of college before the internship begins. 
  • Law applicants must be entering their second or third year of law school in the upcoming fall semester. 
  • Applicants who are scheduled to graduate during the spring or summer semesters of this academic year are not eligible for consideration for FTA DFT unless: (1) they have been accepted for graduate school enrollment, or other enrollment at an institution of higher education for a degree program; or (2) their acceptance is pending. There will be no exceptions. 
  • 2.5 GPA or higher required. 
  • Be available to work onsite at FTA offices in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere in the United States for the duration of the 10-week program.

Candidates will be evaluated based on the completeness of the application and required Application Documents. 

Upon acceptance into the program, participants are required to go through employment eligibility verification and a background investigation to determine suitability to work for U.S. DOT. Participants will also be required to sign a Code of Conduct and a Participant Agreement. 


Program Components

During this 10-week program, you will intern five days per week at the Federal Transit Administration. Your internship placement may be at the Washington, D.C. FTA office, or in one of several regional locations across the United States. Daily tasks will vary depending on your background, your skills, and the office in which you’re working.

DFT internship work is substantive and may include projects in data analysis, data management, research, article and report writing, presentation preparation and delivery, policy analysis, stakeholder outreach, or transit planning. Each intern is supervised and supported by an FTA mentor, and professional development workshops are provided by DOT and The Washington Center (TWC). 


Program Benefits

This is a fully funded program. Sponsorship covers the cost of the program, housing (if needed), and roundtrip travel to and from the internship site city (if eligible). You will be responsible for living expenses and local transportation. However, a stipend of $6,100-$8,100 for undergraduate interns and $8,100-$10,100 for graduate and law interns will be provided to help alleviate these expenses. The final stipend amount is based on your decision to accept or reject TWC-organized shared housing. 

Housing and Living

DFT is held in-person at Federal Transit Administration offices in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Fully furnished housing near the internship site is provided by TWC for all participants who need it. Housing accommodations typically require shared-living arrangements with other interns (direct roommates). Every effort is made to arrange housing near essential amenities like grocery stores, public transit and medical facilities. 


Academic Credit

You may be eligible to receive academic credit for your participation in this program. However, credits are determined and awarded by the university that the participant attends. You are responsible for arranging any academic credit through your college or university. You should discuss arrangements with your institution prior to starting the program and let TWC know the specific requirements of your university. 


Dates and Deadlines

Summer 2024 

  • Applications Accepted: December 5, 2023 – February 18, 2024 
  • Decision Notification: March 2024 – April 2024 
  • Program Dates: June 3, 2024 – August 9, 2024 (subject to change) 


How to Apply

Applications for Summer 2024 have closed. If you have any questions, please contact fta.dft@twc.edu

Interested in applying for a future semester? Want updates on webinars and application openings? Register your interest using the form below.


Application Documents

Below are the documents you’ll need to submit with your application. Please note that all documents must be saved as MS Word documents or PDFs in order to upload them.

  • Resumé: Submit a 1-3-page resumé reflecting work experience and any volunteerism, awards, leadership, extra-curricular activities, and publications. 
  • Transcript: Submit your most recent transcript. Both unofficial and official transcripts are accepted, but should clearly display your first name, last name, and school logo. Please ensure that your Social Security Number and birthdate are redacted or crossed out on the submitted document. 
  • Letter of Recommendation: This should be a substantive letter in support of your academic or professional qualifications from a department chair, professor, advisor, mentor, or employer. It should not come from a family member or friend. 
  • Proof of Citizenship: Proof of Citizenship includes either a scan of your U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate or certificate of naturalization. All applicants must be U.S. citizens. 
  • Law (JD) Students: Submit a legal writing sample (five pages maximum). Please choose an excerpt of a longer piece if you do not already have a short legal writing sample. Applicants who are enrolled in other types of degree programs (AA/AS, BA/BS, Masters, MD, or PhD) should not submit a writing sample.