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Public Service Fellowship:
Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Moynihan Public Service Fellowship?

City College Students from any department or major who are freshmen, sophomores, or juniors at the time of application.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

No, there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply.

Am I eligible if I am not a City College student?

No. Only City College students are eligible to apply.

Am I eligible if I am a City College student in my senior year?

No. Only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are eligible to apply.

Am I eligible if I am a part-time student at City College?

No. Only full time students may apply for this opportunity.

When are applications due?

Complete applications are due no later than February 15 at 11:59 pm ET. For further information, please direct inquiries to

Do I have to complete the application all at once?

Yes. Applicants may not save an open application. Applicants should prepare each component of the application and submit it prior to the deadline.

Do I need to answer all of the questions on the application form?

Yes. Only complete applications will be considered.

May I submit my application in person or by email?

No. Applications submitted in person or by email will not be accepted. Applicants must use the Moynihan Public Scholars Online Application Portal to supply the necessary information.

What should be included in my application?

A complete application will include 1) your current resume; 2) your most current transcript (the unofficial version is OK); 3) a personal statement; and 4) a faculty reference.

What should the personal statement include?

Your personal statement should be a short (500 words or less) narrative essay that addresses 1) your background or personal story, 2) what public service means to you, and 3) your career goals and how a Moynihan Public Service Fellowship will help you to achieve them.

Do I need a written reference letter?

No. You only need to submit the name and email of one faculty reference.

Do I need to have taken a class with my faculty reference?

No. You need not have taken a class with your faculty referee. However, the referee should know you personally and be able to attest to your ability and work ethic. The referee need not be faculty at City College.

Do I need to select a specific track in my application?

No. You are not required to select a specific track. However, if you would like to be considered for a specific track, you may indicate so in your application. Note that we cannot guarantee your spot in either track, and if we are unable to place you in your preferred track, you will be considered for the second track.

How can I find out whether the program has received my application?

Applicants are encouraged to check the box next to “Email me a copy of my responses” at the bottom of the application. This email will serve as confirmation of your successful submission. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact us at immediately.

If I submit my application before the deadline, can I change it?

No alterations will be accepted after the application has been submitted.

What is unique about the Moynihan Public Service Fellowship?

The Moynihan Public Service Fellowship takes inspiration from the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a City College alumnus whose career straddled the academy and government, and who was a frequent contributor to popular media. Like Moynihan, Public Service Fellows will reimagine what it means to have a career in public service. Fellows may be interested in careers in government (local, national, or international) or in public service careers directly engaged with government, such as journalism, the nonprofit sector, or advocacy, among other fields.

Moynihan Public Service Fellows also participate in a unique, humanities-based curriculum that introduces fellows to a philosophy of public service, as well as practical strategies for success in a variety of public service fields. Fellows will have ample opportunities to interact with Moynihan Public Scholars, a cohort of senior fellows whose own careers may serve as models for Public Service Fellows.

What is the difference between the two awards for Moynihan Public Service Fellows? Are there limitations to how Fellows may use their award?

Moynihan Public Service Fellows receive two awards.

The first award ($5,000) is meant to support students during the school year and is unrestricted (i.e., students may use the money how they please). This award is distributed at the end of the fall semester.

The second award (up to $5,000) is meant to subsidize a summer internship. Fellows are responsible for completing 280 hours (8 x 35 hrs/week) at their internship site. The second award is provided upon verified completion of 30% of a fellow’s total hours (84 hours).

In the event the internship is paid (by the host site), the second award may be applied to expenses not covered by an out-of-state internship sponsor. Students would need to submit a proposal to Moynihan Center staff proposing coverage of housing and transportation expenses, etc. The Moynihan Center will not offer funding support to a fellow with a sponsor-paid internship in New York.

The application uses the phrase “up to $5,000.” Under what conditions would a Fellow receive less than the full award?

Students must adhere to programmatic requirements in order to receive funding support. These include:

  1. Adherence to City College’s Code of Ethics and Professionalism Standards.
  2. Continued enrollment in the college. For example, a student who takes a leave of absence is not eligible to receive funding support.
  3. Registration in and completion of the compulsory courses.
  4. Completion of the 280-hour summer internship.
  5. Regular participation in Moynihan Center’s programming and activities.
  6. Maintaining regular contact with program staff.

What other kinds of support are available to fellows?

Fellows will be able to participate in workshops that focus on professional skills and career exploration. Program staff will match fellows with a mentor who provides industry insight and public sector connections as well as help them set goals and stay on track academically and professionally. Fellows will be able to interact with diverse professionals and thought leaders through special events, plenary sessions, workshops, and internship opportunities to grow their professional, academic, and social networks and skill-sets. Program staff will also provide support to Fellows in acquiring business attire, professional headshots, Linkedin accounts and business cards.

What is the difference between the two tracks?

The Moynihan Public Service Fellowship has two tracks: Public Service Innovators and New York City Leaders. Each track is eligible for the same award and similar humanities-based curricula, but New York City Leaders will take summer internships in City government and Public Service Innovators will take internships at organizations engaged with government, such as journalism, the nonprofit sector, or advocacy, among other fields.

What is the expected time commitment for Fellows?

Fellows are required to take one class per semester: a 4-credit class that meets twice per week (2 hours per class) during the fall, and a 3-credit class that meets twice per week (75 minutes per class) during the spring. Fellows are required to participate in a full-time, paid internship during the summer for a total of 280 hours. Fellows are expected to join other public events on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.

How many fellows are selected each cycle?

The inaugural cohort will include 15 fellows in the Public Service Innovators track and 15 fellows in the New York City Leaders track.

What is the Fellowship Term?

The Fellowship term is 12 months. The Fellowship term will commence at the start of the fall semester (August 25, 2023) and end in August 2024.