Monday, November 5, 2018

By Letty Fernandez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley are encouraged to apply for the Rio Grande Valley Legislative Internship Program (VLIP).

Those selected will be assigned to the Austin Capitol offices of a Rio Grande Valley legislator.  Internships will coincide with the 86th Texas Legislative Session beginning Jan. 8, 2019. 

“We also could not be more grateful to our legislators and their staff for teaching and mentoring our students and showing them firsthand, how policy is made.  It’s an invaluable experience for our students” said Veronica Gonzales, vice president for Governmental and Community Relations. 

The internships are designed to provide students with a greater understanding of the legislative process. Student interns work full-time helping legislators and staff with everything from conducting research for legislation, monitoring committee hearings, meeting with constituents and much more. 

“What a wonderful opportunity for our students to see government in action,” said Richard Sanchez, associate vice president for Governmental Relations. “Having worked in the state Capitol, I know our students will leave with valuable experiences that I hope will lead them on a path to public service careers.”  

An orientation will be provided at UTRGV prior to the start date, and students will report to their assigned Capitol office a few days before the legislative session begins. They will be required to work 40 hours a week and complete assignments in two online political science courses.

Students selected for the internships also will receive $8,000 each to help cover their living expenses in Austin.

Students must be currently enrolled at UTRGV, have completed 60 undergraduate hours, including 12 semester credit hours in political science, a 3.0 GPA in political science courses and a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Master’s students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and enroll in the appropriate course(s) in the academic departments.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, Nov. 15, at

For more information, please contact Dr. Ruth Ann Ragland at or Sanchez at


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.