About the Fellowship Program for Undergraduates

Students selected for the program are placed in prestigious semester-long internships within San Francisco’s local government. Undergraduate fellows work 16 hours per week under the guidance of a seasoned local government official. Fellows work on various projects throughout their semester in the program. The projects are designed in alignment with fellows’ studies and areas of interest in addition to the agencies’ needs. Fellows are awarded a $3,000 stipend.

Undergraduate Fellowship applications are open from August 24th, 2020 to October 12th, 2020!


Undergraduate Fellows at Meeting


Eligibility Requirements for the Spring 2021 Fellowship Program for Undergraduates

To become a Willie L. Brown, Jr. Undergraduate Fellow for spring 2021, you must:

  • Be enrolled at SF State full-time
  • Have completed 60 units at the time of application submission
  • Be a student in good standing (minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA)
  • Have an interest in a career in public service
  • Have faced hardships in pursuing a college degree (i.e. financial hardship, single parent, formally incarcerated, first generation student, homelessness, veteran status)
  • Be available to intern 16 hours/week for 15 weeks during spring 2021 at a city agency*
  • Be available to attend the 3-unit seminar on Fridays morning between 9:30am--12:30pm in spring 2021*

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


How to Apply To Be a Spring 2021 Fellow

Applicants are required to log in to AcademicWorks to fill out the application and provide support documents required through the AcademicWorks site. Supporting documents include:

  • College transcripts combined into one document.      
  • 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. 

  • Thursday, 9/10: 11 am to 12:30 pm – Zoom Link
  • Monday, 9/14:  12 pm to 1:30 pm – Zoom Link
  • Wednesday, 9/23: 2:30 pm to 4 pm – Zoom Link
  • Tuesday, 10/6: 3:30 pm to 5 pm – Zoom Lin

Please note: There are no more drop-in hours for the semester as applications have closed. However, you can still request to meet with Jess, our Program Manager, by emailing wbfellows@sfsu.edu. Be sure to include days and times that work for you Monday-Friday.


Past Undergraduate Placement Sites 

  • Board of Supervisors
  • Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families
  • Department of Emergency Management
  • Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Technology
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Office of the City Administrator
  • Office of Economic & Workforce Development
  • Office of Transgender Initiatives
  • San Francisco Public Defender
  • San Francisco Recreation & Parks
  • SF Environment
  • SF Planning
  • And many more!


Comments from Past Undergraduate Fellows

“The Willie L. Brown Fellowship has given me the tools and confidence to pursue graduate school. It was a life changing experience!” - John “J”, Spring 2020, Supervisor Shamman Walton’s Office

“I really enjoyed the WLB fellowship, it’s been truly an amazing experience and a wonderful opportunity that I never wouldn’t have receive without the WLB fellowship. I have improved and gain professional skills, I got to build on my confidence, and have been able to truly be transparent about my past which allowed be to be my most authentic self.” - Cassie, Spring 2020, SF Planning

“The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Fellowship aided in my professional growth and inspired me to invoke on a journey of public servitude. Through the professional mentoring, and support of my peers I overcame my fears of my limitations and acknowledged that our stories empower us. ...This fellowship allowed me to be part of a diverse group who will become the next resilient leaders to create social change in the world.” - Saharai, Spring 2019, Public Defender’s Office, Juvenile Unit