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Department ofPolitical Science

Panetta Institute for Public Policy


If you have questions regarding the programs listed below, please contact the Political Science Department. Please do not contact the Panetta Institute for Public Policy directly.


Congressional Internship Program

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s 24th annual Congressional Internship Program will be held from August 13 to December 8, 2023. The program, open to students of any academic major who will have junior or senior standing this fall, is a combination of a two-week academic orientation held at the Panetta Institute at Cal State Monterey Bay followed by eleven weeks in Washington, D.C. The internship is full-time and, upon completion, students will earn 30 upper-division units in political science (10 units of which count toward the major--one section of US Politics and one Elective--and 20 units of which count as elective units toward graduation).

All program costs are covered, including housing, ground transportation, travel to and from Washington D.C., and a living stipend. One student from each of the twenty-three Cal State campuses, as well as one student from SCU (Secretary Panetta's alma mater), Dominican University of California (Mrs. Panetta’s alma mater), and Saint Mary's College are selected.

Please note the following:

  • You must be a US citizen and California resident to be eligible. The standard for establishing CA residency is high, including a permanent address in CA--not just an SCU address--for at least the last three years. In other words, if you have been a dependent of your parents for the past three years, they must be permanent CA residents. There is no flexibility in this requirement.
  • The nominated student will be required to undergo a background check before working in Congress.
  • The nominated student may not have accumulated more than 180 quarter units prior to the fall 2023 term.
  • Finalists must be available for interviews with SCU's selection committee on April 4 or 5.
  • The nominee must be ready to commit to the internship and be available to interview with President Sullivan in April.
  • The nominee must be available for an in-person interview at the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay during the week of May 8.

Please see the Program Description for more information. 

TO APPLY: Please submit PDFs of the following to the Political Science Department by Noon on Friday, March 17, 2023:

  • a resume
  • a two-page essay explaining your interest in the program
  • a recent, graded writing assignment with the professor's comments (minimum of 3 pages)

Leon Panetta Lecture Series

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy has graciously made available to SCU students a limited number of free seats for this year's Leon Panetta Lecture Series. The series will combine small group exercises led by Panetta Institute scholars and discussions among thought leaders moderated by Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All events will be held at the Monterey Conference Center on Monday afternoons between 12:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. (registration opens at 11:15 a.m.). Attendees must arrange their own transportation. From 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Panetta Institute professor Dr. Richard Kezirian will facilitate an academic exercise focusing on the lecture topic.  This session informs students about the issues to be discussed and encourages them to develop questions for the speakers.  After a short break, the lecture will begin with the guest speakers and Secretary Panetta and will conclude with a Q&A session. The program will end at 4:30 p.m.


2023 Leon Panetta Lecture Series: The Presidency and a Divided Congress: Can They Govern?

RSVP for both events (requires SCU login)

The lectures are open to all currently enrolled SCU students but seats are available only to the first 20 students who RSVP for each day.

  • Monday, March 27, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: The Economy and Inflation – Can We Avoid a Recession? with Michael Boskin, professor of Economics and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush; John Harwood, journalist and former White House Correspondent; Maya MacGuineas, president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; and Christina Romer, Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama.


  • Monday, April 17 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Democracy vs. Autocracy – Can U.S. Unify Allies in a Dangerous World? with Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense (2006- 2011); General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.), Director of the CIA (2011- 2012); and Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.), NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (2009-2013)


All events will be held at the Monterey Conference Center:
One Portola Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940
Parking Fee: $7/day

Please contact our department for more information. 

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