Who is an ideal candidate for the San Francisco Fellows program?

In addition to earning your undergraduate degree within the last 5 years between May 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024, ideal candidates for the Fellowship will have less than five years of full-time professional work experience, as the Fellowship is designed as a learning opportunity for individuals with limited work experience. Ideal candidates will also have a desire to learn to perform data analysis work, and will be flexible and open to a fellowship placement in any City department.

Is the San Francisco Fellows Program an internship?

No, the Fellows program is a full-time professional work experience opportunity. You will serve the City & County of San Francisco as a full-time employee working on various public administration projects that directly impacts a City department’s goals and mission.

How long is the program and when does it start and end?

The Fellows Program lasts approximately 12 months.

The Program begins in mid-August and kicks off with up to 4 weeks of group orientation and training with the entire cohort.

The Program finishes at the mid-August with a graduation ceremony to recognize your achievements for the year.

Is this a public policy fellowship?

No, the program provides professional experience in public administration rather than public policy. Fellows work within real program implementation versus policy research and development.

Which department will I work in?

Final participating departments will not be known until program orientation starts in August. Fellows are selected in part on their ability to work in any department. During orientation, Fellows go through a placement process to determine which department they will work in. Departments that have hosted Fellows in past years include:

  • Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families
  • Department of Emergency Management
  • Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing
  • Department of Human Resources
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Public Works
  • Juvenile Probation
  • Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
  • Office of Assessor Recorder
  • Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs
  • Office of the Controller
  • Office of Economic and Workforce Development
  • Port of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Recreation & Parks Department
  • San Francisco Arts Commission
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Francisco Public Library

Do I get a choice of what department I will work in?

Department placements are determined during Fellows orientation in August. Fellows interview with participating departments & supervisors during orientation to discuss each Department's needs and the Fellows' interests. Through a matching process, Fellows are then assigned to their placement department for the year.

What are the requirements to apply to the Fellows Program?

Prospective Fellows must have earned an undergraduate degree between May 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024. Specific field of study is not a requirement to be a Fellow.

What is the selection process for the Fellows Program?

The application period will open on December 1, 2022. Exact details of the required application will be provided once the application period opens. Applicants will complete an online application which requires submission of the following:

  • Resume
  • Undergraduate degree transcripts (unofficial/non-sealed transcripts are acceptable) that show your degree earned or will be earned between May 1, 2018 and June 30, 2023
  • Responses to essay questions

In addition, as part of the selection process you may be required to do any/all of the following:

  • Online analytical skills assessment
  • Phone/Video interview(s)
  • Submission of references
  • Final Interviews comprising of group activities and panel interviews

We will send acceptance notices between mid-May to early June to selected finalists and begin the pre-employment vetting process. If not initially selected for the program, some candidates will be asked if they want to be placed on a waitlist for the program.

Selected candidates will be given a conditional offer of employment and go through a background clearance and reference check required of all City employees. Finalists will receive a formal offer of employment with the San Francisco Fellows program upon completion of the background clearance process.

What is the compensation?

Fellows are full-time City employees. The annualized compensation is approximately $66,000, plus health, dental, retirement and other benefits.

Can I take time off during the Fellowship?

Fellows are expected to work full time, and like all City employees must request approval for time off from their supervisors. Fellows receive up to 12 paid observed holidays and 5 paid floating holidays. Paid sick days are available after 90 days. Additional unpaid days off are made available at the discretion of department placement supervisors.

If you continue employment with the City after the end of the Program with no break in service, you will become eligible for paid vacation days after 12 months of full-time employment (per SF City Charter).

Can I attend graduate school during non-business hours while a Fellow?

No. In order to focus on their work experience in the program, Fellows may not attend graduate school during the course of the Fellowship.

Is this position in-person or remote?

All City and County of San Francisco employees are expected to work in-person at least 3 days a week. The 4-week Fellows Orientation at the beginning of the program is in-person everyday, hosted at various locations around the City. Reporting to the office after placement varies on the departments (days of the week, location, etc). The weekly Fellows Learning and Development sessions are also in-person.

If I am relocating from another State or City, can the program assist with my relocation expenses?

No, the City is unable to provide relocation assistance.

Will the San Francisco Fellows Program sponsor a work visa for me?

The City and County of San Francisco does not sponsor visas. If you have an F1 student visa, the City will not sponsor the “optional practical training” requirement through work as a Fellow in the San Francisco Fellows program, so an F1 visa therefore does not demonstrate eligibility to work as an employee of the City and County of San Francisco. All Fellows must be able to demonstrate that they are legally able to work in the United States without visa sponsorship by the employer.

What if I have a Master's Degree?

A Master's Degree is welcome, and many past Fellows have had Master’s Degrees, but it is not a requirement of the program. The minimum requirement of the program is that an undergraduate degree was earned within the past 5 years, between May 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024.

What about my GPA and my major?

The program does not require a particular GPA, nor is GPA a factor in selection. We consider a wide range of study, experience, and interests. Your undergraduate transcript is required as part of your application for degree verification.

What if my undergraduate degree is not from an American institution?

Your undergraduate degree must have been earned from an accredited school. If it is not an American institution or from an accredited school, your degree may still be acceptable. Please see the following information about verification of education requirements: How to Verify Education Requirements.

I never had a full time job before - am I qualified?

Prior work experience is not required. Cohorts have a diversity of experiences in and out of the classroom. For many past Fellows, this program was their first full-time work experience. The program is designed for recent college graduates with less than five years of professional experience.

May I apply if I am not from and/or do not live in San Francisco/Bay Area?

Yes, you are welcome to apply even if you are not from here or do not live here now. We encourage individuals who have a meaningful connection to the San Francisco Bay Area and have an interest in a long-term career with the City and County of San Francisco.

What happens after the Fellowship is over?

Fellows are not guaranteed employment with the City after completion of the program.

The SF Fellows program recruits talented recent college graduates to join our City workforce. However, we actively support Fellows who are interested in staying with the City and County of San Francisco beyond the fellowship year to apply for permanent jobs. We provide guidance and career counseling on the City’s job application process throughout the program year.

What if I have more questions?

Contact the San Francisco Fellows Program, at DHR-SanFranciscoFellows@sfgov.org. If you have questions, we strongly recommend you reach out well before the application deadline. Depending on volume, we may not be able to respond to all inquiries.