The following describes the activities and stipends for Cato Institute internships. Deadline information can be found on our “Application” page.


Cato interns work in a variety of departments. Policy areas include such subjects as healthcare, defense and foreign policy, constitutional law, tax and budget policy, and numerous others. Interns assist scholars and research assistants with research, data collection, editing, and numerous other tasks. In addition to the interns who work with our policy staff, Cato hosts other interns who work with our communications teams. These interns get hands-on experience working with the media and outside organizations. We place interns based on the preferences they select in their applications.

All interns occasionally fulfill such responsibilities as clerical work, deliveries, and helping to operate Cato events, including registering guests and carrying hand-held microphones at public forums and debates.

In addition, all interns take part in an intensive seminar series. These seminars introduce the interns to a wide range of philosophy, history, economics, and policy topics. In addition, several seminars help the interns to develop useful professional skills, such as public speaking and op-ed writing.

Stipend for fulltime internships

  • $1000 a month paid biweekly.
  • Law students receive specific legal work as well as a higher stipend.
  • International interns are eligible for visa funding.
  • Part time internships are permitted in exceptional cases and part time interns receive a pro-rated stipend.


Cato internships are for undergraduates, regardless of major, recent graduates, graduate students, or law students who have a strong commitment to individual liberty, private property, free markets, limited government—i.e. the philosophy known variously as “classical liberalism,” “market liberalism,” or simply “libertarianism.”

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization whose publications and conferences since 1977 have presented market-liberal solutions for the full range of policy issues. Cato's objective is to reawaken interest in America's founding ideals: personal liberty, private property, free markets, free trade, limited government, and nonintervention in foreign affairs. The Institute is named for Cato's Letters, libertarian essays that were widely read in the American colonies in the 18th century and that played a major role in laying the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.