Scholars in Local Government

Looking for the Next Generation of Leaders

Application Deadline for our 2022-2023 Scholar is Friday, January 7th, 2022. All materials must be postmarked or submitted by this date.

Scholarship, Leadership, Service

The Scholars in Local Government Program is looking for the best and the brightest to enter into rewarding and impactful careers in public service. The Scholars program allows talented individuals to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to local government. Scholars apply their skills and creativity to real-world problems and use their leadership abilities to influence policy and practice in Allegheny County's Department of Human Services, an agency hailed as a national model for innovative and effective government.


View the full-length overview video.

The Scholars in Local Government Program is a highly competitive career-development initiative designed to attract graduates of masters- and doctoral-level programs of social work, public policy, public administration, law, business, and related fields to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and join the department for one-year appointments, during which they complete high-profile projects and analyze difficult problems. Specific projects are tailored to the individual skill sets and interests of the scholars. In addition to on-the-job training, scholars are given unique opportunities to meet with high-level government officials, foundation executives, and nonprofit and private sector leaders, as well as to participate in educational and professional development opportunities. Scholars who complete their commitment, receive a favorable evaluation, and want to continue working for the county will be given special consideration for full-time employment.

Am I Eligible?

Recent graduates of masters- and doctoral-level programs of social work, public policy, public administration, law, business, and related fields graduating within 18 months of the application deadline are eligible for the scholars program. Although there is no Allegheny County residency requirement, candidates must be willing to move to the Pittsburgh region by the summer of their scholars year. Candidates are from diverse backgrounds and are selected on the basis of academic and professional experience, demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to public service, communication skills, and creativity.

Application Deadline

A committee of reviewers from the Department of Human Services and partner organizations will evaluate all applications and invite suitable applicants to interview in Pittsburgh in late January. At this session, applicants will be evaluated based on an individual interview and analytic exercise. Candidates will be informed of their status by the end of February. Scholars begin work in the summer.

How Do I Apply?

Application materials for the Scholars in Local Government program may be submitted by mail or email.

  • Completed Scholars in Local Government application form
  • All transcripts must be official. If the university or college has technology to send them securely via email, please make sure that the transcripts can be downloaded and printed. Transcripts can also be sent by mail either by the school or from the applicant as long as it has the official seal (copies scanned by applicants are not official).
  • Letters of recommendation may be sent in a sealed envelope with the signature across the seal, or may be submitted via email directly by the recommender.

All materials should be emailed to the Scholars Program.


Questions? Email the Scholars Program.

Organizations Scholars Have Joined Following Their Program Year

  • Allegheny County Department of Human Services
  • Bethany Hospice
  • Carnegie Science Center
  • Three Rivers Center for Independent Living
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services