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Leland Fellows


About Leland Fellows

Historically, economically disadvantaged students could rarely pursue employment opportunities as congressional staff members due to the reality that internships — the primary recruitment avenue — are available only to those who can financially afford to live in Washington, D.C. These expenses, plus loss of income from a local job, place this opportunity beyond the reach of many students. Leland Fellows provides a monthly stipend and round-trip airfare, as well as paid housing. Upon successful completion of the program, interns earn 3-12 upper level hours in political science (dependent on the student's degree plan). Hobby School of Public Affairs senior director Renée Cross is the instructor of record.

Capitol Activity

Leland Fellows attend orientation sessions in Houston and in Washington. They are then immediately involved in the action of the U.S. Congress. They assist in research and the drafting of legislation. The interns also attend committee hearings, work on special projects, and assist in general office operations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a junior or senior at the University of Houston during the Fall 2021 semester.  Students graduating in December 2021 are welcome to apply. 

Ideal Candidates Possess

  • Outstanding academic achievement
  • Strong writing ability
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated dedication to public service through volunteerism in school and/or community activities
  • Government internship or campaign experience
Personal interviews, academic achievement, writing ability, community and school activities, previous internship and/or professional experience, and financial hardship are factors in the selection process.

Program Requirements

Leland Fellows work a minimum of 40 hours per week, participate in seminars, and complete various academic assignments, which make them eligible for 3-12 academic credit hours. All Leland Fellows must be enrolled for the appropriate hours/classes through the UH department of political science before the initial stipend is issued. Proof of enrollment is required.

Questions? Read the frequently asked questions or contact Jessica Ruland at


Check back in summer 2023 for information on the spring 2024 program.

Success Stories

Want to read about what previous Leland Fellows have done since their time in DC?  Read their success stories.

Certified Public Manager Scholarship for Hobby School of Public Affairs Intern Alumni

The Hobby School of Public Affairs’ Certified Public Manager Scholarship provides former Hobby Fellows, Leland Fellows and Civic Houston Interns who are currently working in government or with a non-profit organization paid tuition for the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program at the University of Houston (non-transferable).  Read more.

Previous Leland Fellows


Read more about the 2020 Leland Fellows

Read more about the 2018 Leland Fellows.

Thank you to the 2018 Leland Fellows sponsors

leland fellows

Read more about the 2016 Leland Fellows.

Visit the 2016 Leland Fellows Scrapbook.


Read more about the 2014 Leland Fellows.

View the 2014 Leland Fellows Scrapbook.

Mickey Leland Congressional Internship Program

Congressman Mickey Leland

Founded by the late U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland, the Mickey Leland Congressional Internship Program (MLCIP) was created to provide students a first-hand experience in our nation’s legislature. Over 200 students from the University of Houston (UH), Texas Southern University (TSU), and the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) served as interns in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.