Legislative Interns

Harlan Fellows: Texas Legislative Internship

The Gateway Legislative Internship Program provides an opportunity for two social sciences students to spend the spring semester assisting and supporting Texas representatives. The Legislative Internship is offered every odd year, while the Texas legislature is in session. Students will engage in an intensive semester-long opportunity with an elected member of the Texas legislature, where they can see up close and in depth how policy is made in Texas.

The internship requires relocation to Austin for the entire spring Texas legislative session (Odd years: early January - end of May) and students should be prepared to take online classes, or accept a temporary leave of absence from Rice. There is no course credit associated with the internship, however, selected students will be given a $4,000 stipend to cover expenses while in Austin.

All awards are considered taxable income and will be subject to annual IRS reporting.


Open to all social sciences majors who have completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in their major.
Applications will open in October preceding each odd year.

Please contact Mecia Lockwood, Program Administrator in the School of Social Sciences, with any questions or to discuss your interest: mecia.lockwood@rice.edu, 713-348-2181.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which offices will interns work for?

The Gateway program will work to pair the two selected students with various offices. The program is non-partisan, but interns will be asked what subject areas are of most interest to them. The program will work to find the best match possible for each intern.

What are the duties and work hours?

Duties will be determined by the supervisor in the legislative office each selected student is paired with, but have revolved around legislative analysis in the past. Work hours during legislative sessions vary, particularly as the session gets closer to ending. Because of the full-time commitment often expected, selected students should be prepared to enroll in virtualclasses or take a leave of absence from Rice for the entire Spring semester.

Where do interns live and eat?

Selected students will receive a $7,000 stipend to assist with lodging and meals.The intern is responsible for finding housing. Meals are the responsibility of the interns as well, but during legislative sessions, there are usually opportunities for free food.

What does Rice expect of legislative interns?

Even though the internships do not carry academic credit, the selected students are expected to treat their time in Austin as an opportunity for a unique learning experience. Interns should possess a commitment to successfully represent the School of Social Sciences and Rice University.

Past Texas Legislative Interns

Spring 2023

Roberto Morales Quintero (State Rep. Diego Bernal)

C.J. Pfanstiel (Senator Brandon Creighton)

Spring 2021

Ben Baker-Katz (State Rep. Dan Huberty)

Valencia Shuler (State Rep. Armando Walle)

Spring 2019

Sarah Rosenthal (State Rep. Tom Oliverson)

Ben Alers (State Rep. Evelina Ortega)