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Hobby Fellows

hobby-fellows-2023 group photo

Read more about the 2023 Hobby Fellows.


About Hobby Fellows

Hobby Fellows offers UH undergraduate students the opportunity to work as full-time interns in the Texas Capitol during regular legislative sessions.

The majority of University of Houston students work while attending college. Few UH students can pursue public service careers in Austin because internships—the primary gateway to permanent jobs in these cities—are available only to students who can afford to live away from home. Hobby Fellows allows interns to earn $10,000 in stipends during the session to offset their expenses.

Hobby Fellows are assigned to offices of members of the Texas Legislature. They gain first-hand knowledge of the legislative process by observation, participation, research, and writing. They also attend meetings and hearings, and meet with constituents and lobbyists in addition to completing traditional office duties.

Hobby Fellows earn 3-12 upper level hours in political science (dependent on the student's degree plan) for participation in the program by combining supervised academic study and research with practical training. Hobby School of Public Affairs senior director Renee Cross is the instructor of record.

  • Additional benefits include the following:
  • Encouraging academic achievements and community involvement;
  • Polishing oral and written communication skills;
  • Providing leadership training;
  • Developing a strong sense of civic responsibility;
  • Fostering relationships with interns from other Texas universities; and
  • Increasing the positive exposure of UH’s Tier One students in Austin.

Eligibility requirements

Must be a junior or senior at the University of Houston during the semester of application. Transfer students must have at least 24 hours completed at UH. Students graduating the semester before the program are welcome to apply. Must be in good academic standing with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Ideal candidates possess

  • Outstanding academic achievement
  • Strong writing ability
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated dedication to public service through volunteerism in school and/or community activities
  • Government internship or campaign experience

Personal interviews, academic achievement, writing ability, community and school activities, previous internship and/or professional experience, and financial hardship are factors in the selection process.

Program requirements

Hobby Fellows work a minimum of 40 hours per week, participate in seminars, and complete various academic assignments, which make them eligible for 3-12 academic credit hours. All Hobby Fellows must be enrolled for the appropriate hours/classes at UH before the initial stipend is issued. Proof of enrollment is required.

Questions? Contact Jessica Ruland O'Connor at or at 713-743-0196.


Applications are now being accepted for spring 2025. To apply, please complete the Hobby Fellows application here.

The deadline to apply is Friday, October 4th.

As part of the application process, you will need to include:

  • Typed application form
  • Resume (please view an acceptable resume format here, on pg. 18)
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of financial aid status (screenshot of the current year in myUH Self Service)
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation (up to 3 will be accepted)

Check out the sample syllabus.

Success Stories

Want to read about what previous Hobby Fellows have done since their time in Austin?  Read their success stories.

Certified Public Manager Scholarship for Hobby School of Public Affairs Intern Alumni

The Hobby School of Public Affairs’ Certified Public Manager Scholarship provides former Hobby Fellows, Leland Fellows and Civic Houston Interns who are currently working in government or with a non-profit organization paid tuition for the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program at the University of Houston (non-transferable).  Read more.

Read more about our previous Hobby Fellows

2021 Hobby Fellows
2019 Hobby Fellows
2017 Hobby Fellows
2015 Hobby Fellows
2013 Hobby Fellows

Thank you to the Hobby Fellows Sponsors!

How YOU Can Help

Help the Hobby School send more Cougars to the Capitol by making a tax-deductible gift.

Richard Murray Scholarship

The Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship was established in 2008 for the purpose of honoring Dr. Richard Murray's service to the Houston community and 40 years of teaching and research at the University of Houston. Click here to read more.