McCarthy Fellows in San Francisco

In this semester program, a select group of Fellows have the unique opportunity to study San Francisco political economy and culture through a part-time internship with a local government office with the City & County. Students take a parallel academic course and build the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be informed participants in democratic life while also contributing to local policy-making, administration, and politics aimed at shaping San Francisco into a more inclusive and equitable city. 

Program Details

  • Leo T. McCarthy staff work in partnership with the Politics department and San Francisco City & County (local government) to identify a mentored fellowship placement and project designed to hone your professional skills, extend your academic knowledge into real-world applications, and immerse you in the unique municipal political culture of San Francisco.
  • Currently only offered in the Fall semester 
  • Enroll in the 6 unit academic seminar course POLS 399- McCarthy Fellows: SF Politics and devote 15 hours a week to the practicum fellowship placement
  • Participate in intensive orientation workshops and trainings to develop professionalization skills, in the Spring and Summer prior to internship
  • Fulfill the core community-engaged learning (service learning) requirement. See attached
  • Have wide access and opportunities to attend special events, government meetings, fieldtrips, and develop mentorships and meaningful experiences
  • Engage in public service through community development, legislative and policy work, direct-services or arts in a variety of intern roles
  • The program is accessible and relevant to students across all majors

How to Apply

The application process includes completion of the online application (link below) and participation in an interview with selection committee. Students from all majors who are interested in public service, want to build professional and personal skills, have a passion for connecting real-world application at the local level with politics and public policy are encouraged to apply. 



Application Deadline October 1st, 2024

To be eligible to apply, students must:

  • Be a rising junior standing or higher (undergraduates only)
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or provide a compelling explanation for why GPA is below requirement
  • Commit to participating in pre-departure program orientation and meetings
  • Can be from any major at the university
  • Be in good academic standing and good disciplinary standing 

More information

Angeline Vuong

415-422-5205 or


Program Timeline

  • Oct 1: Application Deadline
  • May 2025: Pre- workshop trainings and Orientation 1
  • Summer 2025: Orientation 2
  • August 2025: Internship and Course begin