Internships in Political Science are similar to those offered in other programs. For answers to many questions about what an internship involves, how much of a time commitment is necessary, and what credit is available, see the PEA Web page discussion of internships by following the link to PEA from the Political Science home page, and searching for Student Opportunities and then Internships, and finally "learn more."All members of the Political Science faculty serve as internship supervisors, and students should select an individual whose interests and experience most closely align with the internship focus.
Many kinds of internships are available for Political Science students, including work in political campaigns, political party offices, offices of public officials, nonprofit organizations, and interest groups active in the political process. Some students have arranged summer internships in Washington, D.C. and in other cities around the country. Because the possibilities are so varied, you should talk with a faculty member about what is best for you.
Those seeking an internship should be a junior or senior and have at least a 2.75 grade point average. You can make the initial contact for an internship on your own, or if you prefer we can do so.
Generally internships involve about 50 hours of field work for each credit, so about 150 hours for a three-credit internship; this is about 10 hours per week during a regular semester. The off-campus internship supervisor is expected to oversee your work and ensure that the position offers educational value and a good experience. A faculty member on campus supervises the internship, meets periodically with the student during the semester, reviews written work, and submits a grade. Interns normally complete an 8-10 page paper that evaluates their experience during the internship. Internships are graded based on the quality of performance and the quality of the final paper. The off-campus internship supervisor completes an evaluation form and submits it to the faculty supervisor. Supervisor Evaluation Form (PDF).
If you are approaching an office, public official, or group on your own, you should prepare a cover letter and a resume. The letter should clearly state your interest in an internship and indicate what you can offer the organization. Your resume should highlight your academic experience and any other work that is pertinent. You might especially note any useful skills, such as familiarity with different computer software, knowledge of specific subjects, and so forth.