Please apply on line here. (Application open Aug 1 through Oct 15 each year)


October 15

When will I know if I am accepted?

Decisions will be made in early November, in time for spring registration.

Who should apply?

We invite applications from UMass Amherst undergraduates, regardless of major, class year, political affiliation or ideology, gender identity, or prior political experience.

Competitive applicants will be interested in learning about public service -- including, but not limited to, elected and appointed offices -- and be interested in developing their professional skills. They should have an interest in learning about the gender gap in politics and understanding better the benefits of diversifying public leadership.

Competitive applicants need not follow politics on a daily basis, but they should be interested in politics and government and want to understand better if a career in local, state or federal politics or policy is for them. 

Though the skills learned through UWiL are applicable to a wide range of careers, our network and curriculum are heavily focused on elected office and government leadership. Students who want to work on campaigns, run for office themselves, or could see themselves working as a legislative aide or a policy analyst will get the most out of our program. Those who are not sure if those career paths are for them are strongly encouraged to apply so they can explore the options with us!

Though applicants must demonstrate an interest in public service, they do not need to have had prior experience (e.g. internships) in public service. Similarly, applicants are not expected to have held previous leadership positions. 

Applicants who are not accepted into the program are strongly encouraged to reapply the following year.

What are the requirements for UWiL?

Successful applicants are expected to attend a half-day Friday and full-day Saturday workshop in March and will be registered for a 1 credit, Tuesday 5:30pm Political Science course during the spring semester. Learn more about our workshop here, and learn more about the program components here.

As a 1 credit course, you can expect to complete about 40-45 hours of work in the program, including time spent in class sessions. In addition to this, you will have numerous professional development opportunities (field trips, networking, lectures, events, mentoring, etc.). Your participation in these out-of-class activities will have no impact on your grade, but they will significantly impact what you get out of this program. Applicants are encouraged to think about how much time they have to put toward out-of-class professional development when they apply. Every year, students tell us "you get out of UWiL what you put in." We agree.

How many students are accepted into the program?

We generally accept 20-25 students per year.


Please contact us if you have questions about your eligibility to apply.