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Home / About / Careers / Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG)


United States Department of Transportation

Summer Transportation
Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG)

Internship Period: June 1 - August 7, 2020

The Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and skills that will complement your academic pursuits. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate tomorrow's leaders, strengthen their understanding of the transportation industry and prepare them for future public service opportunities.

The STIPDG is a paid internship program open to all qualified candidates without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by state or local law.

Group shot of 2007 Interns.

The STIPDG accepts students from any and all academic majors.


The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Human Resources is currently accepting applications for the 2020 STIPDG Internship Program. The objective of the STIPDG is to provide college/university students with hands-on experience and on-the-job training while working on current transportation-related topics and issues. The STIPDG is open to all qualified applicants but is designed to provide qualified women, persons with disabilities, and members of diverse groups with summer opportunities in transportation where these groups have been under-represented.

Please refer to the information below for the "STIPDG Eligibility Requirements" and the "How to Apply for the STIPDG/Application Requirements.”


  1. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  2. Applicants must be currently enrolled in degree-granting programs of study at accredited U.S. institutions of higher education recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (visit https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx to verify your school and/or program of study).
  3. Undergraduate applicants must be juniors or seniors for the upcoming Fall Semester. Undergraduate applicants from Junior, Tribal, or Community Colleges must have completed their first year.
  4. Graduate applicants must be enrolled in the upcoming Fall Semester.
  5. Law applicants must be entering their second or third year of law school in the upcoming Fall Semester.
  6. Applicants who are scheduled to graduate during the Spring or Summer Semesters of this academic year are not eligible for consideration for the STIPDG unless: (1) they have been accepted for graduate school enrollment; (2) they have been accepted for enrollment at an institution of higher education; or (3) their acceptance is pending. In all instances, the applicant must submit with their completed application, all required documentation (with the school's logo) reflecting their status. There will be no exceptions.
  7. Former STIPDG interns may apply but will not necessarily receive preferential consideration.
  8. Applicants will be evaluated based on the "completeness" of the application and the Required Documents listed below. Priority will be given to those with GPA's of 3.0 or better (for the Major and/or Cumulative).
  9. Applicants must be available and able to participate through the duration of the 10-week program.
  10. Applicants must submit a completed application, to the webpage listed above, no later than January 31, 2020.
  11. 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.

The United States Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor. The STIPDG is open to all applicants based on the eligibility requirements above and based on the merit and completeness of the "Required Documents" requested under section "C."


To receive consideration and review, applicants must complete and submit all required information and documents as listed below to the online application. Refer any questions or inquiries regarding your application to DOTSTIPDG@twc.edu.

  1. The STIPDG Application - (http://stipdg.e.twc.edu/); fully address the information requested.
  2. Copy of Your Transcript/Grade Record/Report - submit your most recent reflecting your Cumulative GPA. Priority will be given to Applicants with GPA's of 3.0 or better. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable but should clearly display the applicant’s first and last name, and school logo.
  3. One Reference - print the form contained within the online application, have it completed by a department chair, professor, advisor, or employer to include comments, if possible and submit it with your application.
  4. Your Resume - submit one reflecting work experience, volunteerism, awards, leadership, and extra-curricular activities; preferable supporting the type of transportation experience you are seeking.
  5. A Writing Sample - Undergraduate Students: submit a typed essay, one-page, double-spaced, minimum 12-point type, on your transportation interests, describing how your participation in the STIPDG will enhance your educational and career plans and goals.
    Graduate Students: submit a writing sample (not to exceed 2 pages) representing your educational and career plans and goals.
    Law Students: submit a legal writing sample (not to exceed 5 pages).

Application documents can also be mailed to:

STIPDG Internship Program
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
1333 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Special Notes/Suggestions:


The STIPDG Program accepts anywhere from 80 to 100 students, including Law, Graduate, and Undergraduate rising juniors and seniors from across the country. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the FHWA’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery and U.S. DOT sponsoring offices for merit and completeness of the required documents as listed in section “C.”

Students apply to the STIPDG program in general and should indicate the following in their online applications:

U.S. DOT sponsoring offices are encouraged to interview candidates either in person, if feasible, or via phone. Please note interviews are not guaranteed. Also, where possible, applicants will be matched to an internship assignment based on the criteria above and/or their academic majors. If students cannot be matched with a project based on the criteria above and/or their academic major, applicants may be considered for other internship assignments.

U.S. DOT sponsoring offices will provide their selections to FHWA’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery. Selected applicants will receive a written offer letter via email and have three (3) business days to either accept or decline the offer. Note: Program participants will be required to sign a Code of Conduct and Participant Agreement.


Selections will begin no later than mid-March and continue until all internship positions have been filled. All students will be notified of their status in writing via email no later than May 1.


The STIPDG is a critical component of the U.S. DOT/FHWA's student recruitment efforts. The STIPDG is committed to ensuring a quality experience in transportation. The program is unique because of the many program benefits and features that are listed below.


For further information about the STIPDG, Contact:
Program Manager,
Lateefah Burgess, (202) 366-1113

Frequently Asked STIPDG Q & A’s

Admission to the Intern Program
Q. 1How do I apply?
Q. 2What is the deadline for applications?
A. Completed Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2020 to receive consideration for the STIPDG.
Q. 3How will applicants be evaluated for the STIPDG?
Q. 4Must I be a U.S. Citizen to participate in the STIPDG program?
Q. 5Are interviews a part of the selection process or a requirement for participation?
A.Interviews are not a requirement for selection, though interviews are typically conducted, either in person or by telephone, to ensure that a potential assignment is well suited to an applicant.
Q. 6I am now a senior and will graduate in the Spring; can I participate in the STIPDG?
A.Students graduating in the Spring Semester may participate, if they have applied for and have a letter of acceptance to graduate school for the upcoming Fall Semester. For more details, please refer to Part B, Number (6), titled: STIPDG ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
Q. 7I am in law school. What are the admission requirements for Law Students?
A.Law Students must be entering their second or third year of law school in the Fall Semester. For more details, please refer to Part B, Number (5), titled: STIPDG ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
Q. 8When will I be notified if I've been selected?
A.Selections will begin mid-March. All applicants will be notified of their status in writing via email no later than May 1. Students selected to participate will have three (3) business days to reply by e-mail to the offer before the offer may be made to other qualified applicants.
Q. 9I have been a STIPDG intern before. Am I eligible to be selected for participation again?
A.Yes, previous interns may apply so long as they still meet the eligibility requirements. Please refer to Part B, THE STIPDG ELIGIBITY REQUIREMENTS. Please note previous participants will not be given preferential treatment in the selection process.
Participants' Benefits and Responsibilities
Q. 10Do interns receive compensation? Is STIPDG a paid internship program?
A.Yes, interns are given assignments that require them to work a standard 40-hour workweek for the 10-week program for which they are compensated with a bi-weekly stipend. Undergraduate students receive a total stipend of $4,000. Graduate and Law students receive total stipends of $5,000. Standard local, state, and Federal deductions will be taken based on exemption information provided by the interns. Since the participants become employees of TWC, all bi-weekly payments will be paid via TWC's payroll system, and not that of the Federal Government. All deposits will be made as direct-deposits to the participant's preferred banking institution, if proper paperwork is provided.
Q. 11I am a senior and have been accepted to graduate school for the Fall term. If I am accepted into the STIPDG program and participate this summer, will I qualify for the stipend for Graduate Students?
A.If you are matriculating to Graduate school in the Fall Semester following the internship, you will qualify for a Graduate stipend. However, proof of Graduate school acceptance must be provided prior to the start of the internship program.
Q. 12Will I be considered a government employee during my internship?
A.No, STIPDG participants are not Federal Government employees, nor will they receive Government benefits during their 10-week internship. They will be employees of the TWC and are considered contractor personnel.
Q. 13What is the normal work schedule and location?
A.Work schedules are typically 40 hours per week, comprised of eight hour days worked Monday through Friday. However, interns and mentors may agree to modify the schedule to suit the work assignment. The work location is typically in a U.S. DOT Operating Administration in Washington, D.C. (Headquarters), or at a participating field location with the U.S. Territory. The work site may also include a State DOT office or partnering organizations. All assignments require a mentor employed by the Federal Government, particularly, the U.S. DOT or a U.S. DOT Operating Administration.
Q. 14How is a placement site determined?
A.Assignment location is based on numerous factors, the most important being the applicant's major, preference for a particular U.S. DOT Operating Administration, and to an extent, geographic preference. STIPDG program officials 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. Submission of all "Required Information" will ensure the review and rating of your application.
Q. 15Does a STIPDG internship qualify me for college credit at my college or university? How do I go about arranging to get credit for my assignment?
A.The colleges and universities attended by participating interns are encouraged to grant academic credit to interns upon completion of the 10-week program. However, the college or university officials at each institution are the final authority on any decision to do so and students should discuss the granting of credit, in advance, with their respective institutions. Institutions may contact the STIPDG Program Manager to discuss the specific nature of an assignment to assess content and relevance.
Q. 16What other components are there to STIPDG besides the internship?
A.In addition to the internship experience, accepted students will also participate in an orientation, career development seminars, academic workshops (such as position paper writing, civic engagement projects and Legal simulations), field trips, and other professional development elements to help students learn more about the field of transportation and the federal government. Students will receive more specifics in a syllabus and program manual before or during orientation.
Housing, Transportation, and Expenses
Q. 17Is transportation provided to the assignment location?
A.Yes, interns living more than 50 miles (one-way) from their assigned location will be provided transportation from their residence to the assignment location the weekend prior to the start of the program. Interns who choose to drive to and from their assignment location at the beginning and end of the program, in lieu of airplane fare, will be reimbursed travel costs for travel in their privately-owned vehicle.

Daily commuting expenses will be the responsibility of all interns. Public transportation is the preferred method of daily commuting. Taxis, Lyft, Uber or other ride sharing services are not recommended and will not be reimbursed for daily commuting. Adequate public transportation access is always considered by the TWC prior to selecting housing accommodations.
Q. 18Is housing provided?
A.Yes, interns who live more than 50 miles (one-way) from their assignment location will be provided housing. In locations where there are multiple assignments, interns will be asked to share housing with one or two roommates. Participants are housed with participants of the same gender. They share living quarters in a lodging based on Government-approved standards for housing.
Q. 19May I choose to secure my own housing and have the STIPDG program reimburse me for my housing costs?
A.Interns may secure their own housing. However, interns wishing to use or choose their own housing will not be reimbursed nor provided a housing allowance by TWC, U.S. DOT, FHWA, or sponsoring offices.
Q. 20If I drive my car to my STIPDG assignment, and I am asked to use my privately-owned vehicle while performing my assignment, can I be reimbursed for expenses associated with my assignment?
A.Yes, if you use your own vehicle while performing duties of your STIPDG assignment, you will be reimbursed for mileage, tolls and parking. However, you must have written approval in advance from TWC and the STIPDG Program Manager. The Mentor will be consulted for such occurrences.
Q. 21I have a family member or friend coming to visit; may they stay in the housing provided by the STIPDG Program?
A.No. STIPDG housing is provided solely for STIPDG participants and cannot be used for non-participants. Participants who do not respect this rule will be asked to leave the program immediately and will forfeit all remaining stipends and other tangible and non-tangible benefits associated with the program.


Page last modified on December 18, 2019
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000