Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups

Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups

Turning a unique summer work experience into a career with the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Help make the U.S. home to the safest, most efficient and convenient transportation system in the world. The Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) internship program is a unique opportunity for undergraduate, graduate and law students like you to get hands-on experience in public service while learning more about transportation challenges and advancements in the U.S.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, this program is a critical part of the agency's employee recruitment efforts. Build your network, develop skills and learn about open positions. And if you love your internship experience, consider applying at to pursue a career.

Students from underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. STIPDG is held in-person at Department of Transportation 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

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation at or register for one of the upcoming STIPDG information sessions or application tips webinars.


My exposure to the endless career opportunities in transportation with the Federal Highway Administration all started with STIPDG!

Tracy Duval
Summer 2011 STIPDG Intern
Now Working at the Federal Highway Administration


To be eligible to participate you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (dual citizens are also eligible)
  • 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 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 STIPDG 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.
  • 3.0 GPA or higher desired.
  • Be available onsite and able to participate through the duration of the 10-week program.
  • Former STIPDG interns may apply but will not necessarily receive preferential consideration.

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 U.S. Department of Transportation, with the exception of some optional program opportunities such as field trips throughout the summer. Your internship placement may be at the Washington, D.C. DOT headquarters, 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. STIPDG internship work is substantive and may include projects in data analysis, data management, research, article and report writing, presentation preparation and delivery, policy analysis and stakeholder outreach. Each intern is supervised and supported by a DOT mentor, and professional development workshops are provided by DOT and The Washington Center.

Learn More

Program Benefits

Compensation includes a pre-tax stipend of $5500 for undergraduates and $7500 for graduate and law students. Sponsorship covers the cost of the program, plus fully-furnished housing and roundtrip travel to your assignment location if your permanent residence is more than 50 miles away. You will be responsible for living expenses and local transportation.

Housing and Living

STIPDG is held in-person at Department of Transportation offices in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Housing for eligible interns (whose permanent residence is more than 50 miles away from the assigned work site) is arranged in proximity to work sites, both in Washington, D.C. and in regional locations across the United States. Interns of all ages and academic levels who reside in housing may be placed in shared bedrooms with a fellow intern. 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 each university. TWC does not grant credit, but can support you administratively in documenting your work or performance if needed. 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.

Dates and Deadlines

Summer 2024

  • Applications Accepted: October 2, 2023 – January 31, 2024
  • Decision Notification: February – April 2024
  • Program Dates: June 3, 2024 – August 9, 2024 (subject to change)

How to Apply

Applications for Summer 2024 have closed. If you are eligible to participate in STIPDG in summer 2025, we welcome your application once the portal re-opens this fall. If you have any questions, please contact

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


Application Documents

You need to submit the following documents along with your application:

  • Official Transcript/Grade Report/Report: 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 is 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. You must enter the recommender’s email address directly into the online application so they can submit their letter directly to TWC; please ensure you have their up-to-date email address. Please inform your recommender that their letter must be received no later than the application deadline for your application to be considered. TWC cannot accept Letters of Recommendation that are submitted by applicants.
  • Resumé: Submit a resumé reflecting work experience and any volunteerism, awards, leadership, extra-curricular activities and publications; if possible, highlight the type of transportation experience you are seeking.
  • Writing Sample:
    • Undergraduate Students: Submit an essay (one page maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font) focused on your transportation interests and how participation in STIPDG will enhance your educational and career plans and goals. Do not submit an essay written for a class or on another topic.
    • Graduate Students: Submit an essay (two pages maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font) focused on your transportation interests and how participation in STIPDG will enhance your educational and career plans and goals. Do not submit an essay written for a class or on another topic, or an academic publication.
    • Law 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.
  • 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.


I'm a senior and will graduate in the Spring. Can I still participate?

You may participate only if you've applied to graduate school for the upcoming Fall Semester and can provide proof of enrollment (not just proof of application) if you receive a STIPDG offer.

What are the admission requirements for Law Students?


Law students must be entering their second or third year of law school in the Fall Semester following the summer of the program.

I have been a STIPDG intern before. Am I eligible to participate again?


Yes, you may apply again so long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Please note that previous participation does not mean you'll get preferential treatment in the selection process.

If selected, when will I be notified?


Selections will begin in late February. All applicants will be notified of their status in writing via email no later than May 1st. If you are selected to participate, you'll have a set number of business days to reply by e-mail to the offer before the offer is extended to other qualified applicants.

How is my internship placement determined?


Assignment is based on numerous factors, the most important being the applicant's major, preference for a particular U.S. DOT Operating Administration and interest area and geographic preference, to an extent. STIPDG program officials and mentors attempt to match these preferences with available assignments based upon further consideration of the applicant's skills, background (like courses taken in a particular area of study), and interests. Submitting complete, accurate and detailed Application Documents will ensure the review and rating of your application.

May I choose to secure my own housing and have the STIPDG program reimburse me for my housing costs?


You may secure your own housing. However, you will not be reimbursed nor provided a housing allowance by TWC, U.S. DOT, FHWA, or sponsoring offices.

Is transportation provided to my assignment location?


If you live more than 50 miles (one-way) from your assigned location, we'll provide you with transportation from your home to the assignment location the weekend prior to the start of the program. Should you choose to drive to your assignment location, we'll reimburse travel costs for your privately-owned vehicle.

Daily commuting expenses will be your responsibility. Public transportation is the preferred method of daily commuting. We will always consider easy access to public transportation prior to assigning your housing accommodations.