About the Fellowship for Graduate Students

The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Graduate Fellowship program will begin its 3rd cohort fellows January 2021. Similar to the undergraduate program, the graduate fellowship provides SF State Master of Public Administration students who have faced barriers pursuing a college education with an opportunity to gain professional experience in the public sector while developing a lifelong commitment to public service. The Graduate Fellowship is a two-year program in which Fellows are responsible for substantive projects that help advance the mission of their city agency/program placement site. The first year is spent interning at their placement site. The second year focuses on presenting at a professional conference or submitting a paper to a professional journal. Fellows are awarded a $20,000 stipend disbursed over 4 semesters as well as $3,000 for professional development.


Graduate Fellowship applications are open from August 24th, 2020 to November 17th, 2020!

Fellows in Spring 2020


Eligibility Requirements for Graduate Students in Calendar Years 2021-2022 

To become a Willie L. Brown, Jr. Graduate Fellow for calendar years 2021-2022, you must:

  • Be admitted to and enroll in the Master’s in Public Administration program;
  • Have completed no more than 18 units towards degree before the first semester of the fellowship;
  • Enroll in at least 6 units per semester for the full 2 years of the fellowship;
  • Be available to intern 20 hours/week throughout the 2021 calendar year at a city agency* 
  • Have the following minimum GPA: Undergrad Cumulative or SF State GPA: 3.0; Grad Cumulative or SF State GPA: 3.0

*Note: Internships are held in accordance within SF State and public health mandates in light of COVID-19.


How to Apply for Calendar Years 2021-2022

Applicants are required to log into AcademicWorks to fill out the application and provide support documents required through the AcademicWorks site.  Click here to get into AcademicWorks.

Supporting documents include:

  • College transcripts combined into one document.  
  • Current resume.   
  • A personal statement of 1,000 to 1,500 words. The statement should be a coherent essay that describes: (1) your academic and career goals, including fields of interest, (2) any hardships you have faced in life and how they have shaped your academic and career goals, (3) your background and/or interest in working in the public sector, (4) your strengths and skills, and (5) how participating in the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Fellowship Program will help you attain your goals.
  • Name and email address of two references, one of which must be SF State Faculty. First-semester transfer students may use faculty references from previously attended institutions.


Get Support for Your Application 

Attend one of our information sessions facilitated by Fellowship staff which provide a general overview of the program and application. Fellowship alumni are usually in attendance for our information sessions to provide their experiences and answers your questions from a student perspective. 

  • Monday, 9/21: 12 pm to 1:15 pm – Zoom Link
  • Thursday, 10/15: 5 pm to 6:15 pm – Zoom Link
  • Monday, 11/9: 6 pm to 7:15 pm – Zoom Link


Our Program Manager, Jess Bank, is available for 1-on-1 during her application support drop-in hours beginning the week of August 31st during the following times:

  • Mondays: 2:30 pm to 4 pm – Click here to meet with Jess
  • Tuesdays: 11 am to 1 pm – Click here to meet with Jess
  • Thursdays: 2 pm to 3:30 pm – Click here to meet with Jess

You can also email her at wbfellows@sfsu.edu to schedule an appointment if you are unavailable during the drop-in hours.

Please note: Drop-in hours are cancelled for 10/1, 10/5, and 10/6. 


Current and Past Graduate Placement Sites 

  • Department of Emergency Management
  • Office of the Controller