Student Programs: Cato’s Commitment to the Next Generation

Cato InstituteCato's commitment to creating free, open, and civil societies founded on libertarian principles depends on infusing the next generation with the urgency of this challenge. Our student programs help identify and cultivate future opinion leaders for liberty and limited government — in academia, journalism, business, or even government itself. Through a wide array of programs and resources that inform, educate, and activate, we hope to provide students the skills, experience, and peer-networks to succeed and to promote the cause of liberty going forward. To energize young libertarian talent, these programs serve as a bridge between students and policy scholars, who can stimulate and enhance student intellect and energy. With events, state-of-the-art media, and online innovations, Cato plays a key role in helping students across the country and globe connect with other like-minded individuals. Although from diverse backgrounds and cultures, there exists a powerful cohesive force: a consuming passion for liberty.


Cato's events for students focus on the contemporary policy issues that concern them. Through in-person and online programming, we bring together hundreds of students, interns, and young professionals. The events, sponsored by Cato or presented in association with student-oriented organizations, offer participants opportunities to hear from leading scholars, meet directly with policy leaders, and engage each other in discussion. Topics covered in these events have included the war on drugs, the impact of debt on the Millennial generation, conservatism vs. libertarianism, health care, the future of individual liberty, and more. Explore archives of these events, and view the schedule of upcoming events.



Cato University — the Summer Seminar on Political Economy — is Cato's premier educational event. This annual weeklong program brings together outstanding faculty and attendees from across the globe — all sharing a commitment to liberty and learning.  Generous support from Sponsors helps Cato to identify and energize future participants and leaders in the liberty movement by funding scholarships for approximately 50 students, who are able to attend at no cost for registration, meals, lodging, and materials. Applications for this scholarship opportunity — the Bastiat Scholars program — are posted online at the beginning of each calendar year.



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When was the last time you were truly energized by ideas? Cato's self-paced, home study program enables you to spend time with brilliant minds wherever and whenever you have an opportunity to listen and think.


Students and early-career professionals play an instrumental role in helping Cato advance libertarian principles through our semester-long internship program. We offer this signature program for students three times annually — in the fall, spring, and summer. Assigned to specific departments based on their interests and backgrounds, students are able to work one-on-one with scholars and staff on constitutional issues, health care, foreign policy, government affairs, media relations, and more. Along with special training on writing and interview skills, interns also participate in a tailored program of educational research seminars, which address history, economics, philosophy, law, and policy issues.



Staying fully updated and informed about Cato's work is now easier than ever via our social media and multimedia resources. Cato's Facebook and Twitter communities, YouTube Channel, podcasts, videocasts, free eBooks and research reports, vast archive of online publications and event videos keep students on top of policy issues and debates. Cato also provides student-specific Twitter and Facebook sites, each offering a steady stream of content focused on students and policy issues that are most meaningful to them. These online forums also provide a way for students and young professionals to engage in immediate dialogue on issues affecting their everyday lives.