New York Senate Graduate Fellowships

New York Senate Graduate Fellowships

Since 1965, the New York State Senate Legislative Fellowship has given graduate and post-graduate students direct access to state government and the legislative process. Selection for a Senate fellowship is competitive. Strong personal initiative and principles are essential for success. Applications from a wide range of interests and disciplines are welcomed and encouraged. Many fellows are today employees of the Senate, the Assembly, the Executive Chamber, or state agencies. Almost all go on to shape public policy in some capacity.

Program Brochure



Placement & Memorial Fellowships Read More

Legislative Fellows are assigned to a Senate member. Duties vary and depend on the needs of the member. Legislative Fellows generally perform in-depth policy research, meet with stakeholders, and attend legislative session. Applicants may also request placement in Majority Counsel/Program Services, Majority Press Office, or the Senate Finance Committee. These memorial fellowships are awarded to applicants who demonstrate the unique qualifications and abilities required of each position. All applicants are encouraged to apply for both a Legislative Fellowship, and a Memorial Fellowship of interest. Memorial Fellowships include: 

  • Richard J. Roth Journalism Fellowship

In memory of Senate Press Officer, Richard J. Roth, the Roth Fellowship is intended for students with experience, or aspirations to serve, in the fields of communications, journalism, and/or public relations. The Roth Fellow is placed in the Majority Press Office.

  • Richard A. Wiebe Public Service Fellowship

In honor of a committed public servant, tax specialist, and advisor, The Wiebe fellow serves in the Majority Counsel/Program Services Office. Typically, students with a legal background are selected.

  • James L. Biggane Fellowship in Finance

A forest ranger turned financial policy analyst, James Biggane advised staff in the Executive Chamber and Legislature. Biggane applicants need not be currently enrolled in graduate-level study, but must have previous graduate-level experience. Like its namesake, Biggane fellows serve in the Senate Finance Committee. 


Eligibility & Expectations Read More

Applicants must have completed graduate studies at an accredited university prior to the beginning of the fellowship. Fellows work full-time and are expected to function as a regular staff member. They receive a stipend in addition to employee benefits. Fellows are not Senate employees for the purpose of accruing sick leave, vacation time or personal leave, but are instead enrollees of student programs under the authority of the Secretary of the Senate.

For purposes of Public Officers Law Sections 73 and 74 only, Senate Fellows are considered Employees. They are strictly prohibited from directly lobbying the State Legislature within two years after leaving the Senate, as pursuant to Section 73 (8)(a)(iii) of the Public Officers Law.

How To Apply Read More

  • Complete and submit to the Office of Student Programs:
  • a New York State Senate Fellowship application;
  • official school transcripts;
  • a single-page resume;
  • three confidential letters of reference from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities and professional aptitude;
  • a writing sample of original graduate level coursework (6-8 pages);
  • A single-page memoranda (policy proposal, and rebuttal to that policy);
  • a single-page personal statement.

Graduate Program Application

Stipend and Work Hours Read More

Senate Fellows are awarded a stipend of $50,000 for the nine-month duration of the program. On an annualized basis, this stipend would be equivalent to $65,000. The stipend is not financial aid for academic work, on campus or classroom study. The stipend is paid in biweekly installments following an initial two-week lag. Senate Fellows are required to work a minimum of 35 hours per week, or 70 hours per biweekly pay period. Due to the nature of legislative work, longer hours may sometimes be necessary. Fellows must work through the last scheduled date of the program to receive the full and timely payment of their final biweekly stipend check.

Housing Read More

The Senate does not provide housing for fellows. Upon acceptance, fellows are encouraged to utilize local resources such as: Capital District local newspapers (e.g. Times Union, Troy Record, Daily Gazette); online sources (e.g. Craigslist and area classified ads); local academic institutions (e.g. SUNY at Albany, and the College of St. Rose); and public libraries.