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CDA Internship Program

The California Department of Aging, operating under the umbrella of the California Health and Human Services Agency, is a California state department that oversees the execution of the Older Californians Act and the Older Americans Act. The California Department of Aging (CDA) also administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. To promote the Department’s goal of every Californian having the opportunity to enjoy wellness, longevity, and quality of life in strong healthy communities, CDA actively collaborates with many other State departments (and other entities) on transportation, housing and accessibility, emergency preparedness and response, wellness and nutrition, falls and injury prevention, improving services to persons with dementia, reducing fraud and abuse, and many other issues.

The California Department of Aging’s Internship Program is open to college students, graduate-level students, recent graduates, and non-student career professionals. It is designed for students and professionals of all majors and backgrounds who have an interest in fields that include Gerontology, California public policy, and more. Internship opportunities are available year-round.

The California Department of Aging offers unpaid internships in which the intern gains work experience or works alongside CDA as part of an educational program that might be eligible for academic credit from their college or university. If you are a college student interested in earning academic credit, we encourage you to discuss that with your academic counseling office. Some educational institutions may require a pre-existing agreement for a volunteer internship to qualify for academic credit. Internships without such an agreement may not qualify for academic credit.

Benefits of participating in an internship at the California Department of Aging

  • Explore career avenues. California Department of Aging Interns receive valuable career-related work experience and can explore and evaluate specific careers before committing to full-time employment in a specific field.
  • Gain practical knowledge. Interns receive hands-on opportunities to work with equipment and technology, increasing their marketability to employers. They gain exposure to real-world problems and issues that may not be found in textbooks.
  • Earn academic credit. Internships enhance conventional classroom learning and allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting while still in school. Interns also have the potential to earn academic credit.
  • Develop a professional network. Internships are a great way to cultivate relationships and build a network of associates and professional references.
  • Increase self-confidence. Interns receive exposure to a range of experiences in a professional setting, giving them confidence to transition from the academic world to the workforce.


  • Open to college students at all grade levels
  • Open to graduate and post-graduate students
  • Open to non-student adults seeking experience in a new field


Volunteer internships typically have a duration of three to four months, working five to 20 hours per week. Most internships align with the Spring, Summer, and Fall cohorts, but placement can begin at any time in the year to accommodate intern and department needs.

Equal Opportunity Employer

CDA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunity in both employment and in the delivery of services. CDA is committed to ensuring that the work environment of its employees, applicants, volunteers, grant subrecipients, and contractors are free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, regardless of age (over 40), ancestry, color, religious creed, denial of FMLA, disability (mental or physical), marital status, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, national origin, race, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free workplace. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

Additional Information

This is a non-testing classification; therefore, anyone meeting the minimum qualifications listed on the classification specification may apply for this position. Individuals who are, or have been, a dependent child in foster care, a homeless youth, or a formerly incarcerated youth as defined by Government Code section 18220 are encouraged to apply and will be given priority. If you are applying under this eligibility status, please note on your application your eligibility by checking the box for "special preference under Government Code section 18220." Please note that prior to appointment, individuals claiming preference under one of these categories will be required to furnish documentation establishing their eligibility.

Internship opportunities are unpaid. Additionally, participation in a CDA internship is not a guarantee of future employment with CDA.

Internship Opportunities

Please check this website periodically for updated information about available internships. Download and complete the application to apply. For further information on internship opportunities at the California Department of Aging, email or call (916) 419-7525.