Washington DC Apprenticeship

The highlight of the MSPPM-DC program is the apprenticeship that takes place during the second year of study. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and serves as a catalyst for students looking to launch and enhance their public interest careers. The unique features of the apprenticeship include:

Significant work experience: The requirement to work almost full-time (30 to 32 hours per week) for at least eight months results in our students quickly being seen as full-time employees, allowing them to take on serious responsibilities and make significant contributions to their organizations.

Sense of support and community: Students appreciate the support from faculty, staff and fellow classmates in finding and excelling in their apprenticeships.

Building networks for a job: Students are here on the ground in DC building contacts and connections for future employment.

Ability to secure employment upon graduation: To date, 60 percent of our students received full-time job offers from their apprenticeship sites and all students were able to secure full-time employment offers within months of graduating.


Apprenticeship Compensation

Pay for apprenticeships is dependent on the employer’s ability to pay and availability of funding which can fluctuate from year to year. Most apprenticeships, with few exceptions, have been paid as the employers recognize the value of the Apprentice's contributions. Any salary earned by the DC students can be used to offset the additional expenses incurred in the second year of the DC track (moving expenses, cost of living in DC, etc.). Salaries vary depending on the organization and sector, and some positions offer benefits and other perks. Positions are NOT guaranteed to be paid, and many students accept unpaid Apprenticeships that can offer unique and valuable experiences and exposure, as well as opportunities for career advancement that they would not otherwise obtain.

Since the inception of the MS-DC track, over 90% of students in the program earned a salary as part of their apprenticeship experience. The average amount earned from the Apprenticeship during the second year of the program is approximately $21,000, with federal government and nonprofit pay ranging from $10,000-25,000 and private sector pay ranging from $12,000-45,000.

During their second year in the MSPPM-DC program, US Federal-aid-eligible students may apply to participate in the Federal Community Service Work Study (FCSWS) program if the nonprofit or government agency for which they want to work is unable to pay the full recommended salary ($15/hour).

  • US Federal-aid-eligible students in the MSPPM-DC program may be awarded a federal work study award of up to the maximum amount of $14,440 for the second academic year.
  • US Federal-aid-eligible students in the MSPPM-DC program with less than $14,440 in financial need may be awarded a federal work study award of up to the amount of their financial need.

For more information on FCSWS, please visit: http://heinz.cmu.edu/financial-aid/student-employment/work-study-eligible-students/index.aspx


Recent Apprenticeship Placements

Federal Government


Private Sector

Capitol Hill  Council on Foreign Relations  American Continental Group
Department of Commerce  Focus DC B&D Consulting
Department of Education Enterprise Community Partners  Deloitte Consulting
Department of Energy  Heinz Center for the Environment  Neustar, Inc.
Department of State  Hudson Institute  
Environmental Protection Agency  Institute for Defense Analyses  
Government Accountability Office  The Mitre Corporation  
Library of Congress  National Academy of Engineering  
National Science Foundation  National Alliance to End Homelessness  
Naval Criminal Investigative Service  Urban Institute  
Office of Management and Budget Woodrow Wilson International Center  
Peace Corps  World Bank  

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:  Paid opportunities for international students are very limited in Washington, D.C. given that many positions require U.S. citizenship and/ or native English speaking ability. International students should be prepared to accept unpaid internships or apprenticeships during their second year in this program. Our international students have worked at a wide variety of organizations including the:

  • International City/County Management Association
  • National Academies Council on Foreign Relations
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • Woodrow Wilson Institute