Internships in the Department of Political Science

The Political Science internship program was instituted in 1975 and since then has provided students with a mix of experiential learning and scholarly inquiry. The department  offers internship opportunities in law firms; offices of state representatives or senators; local offices of U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate; political campaigns; nonprofit agencies; and public interest organizations. Additional placements can also be developed in order to meet students’ specific interests.

Undergraduates work with their internship supervisor along with the department’s internship program director.  Students enroll in POLS 331 (Community Politics Internship) and receive 4 credit hours for the course. The academic component of the course includesa class where students share their readings and experiences; the reading of  two books related to the student internship;  two 5 to 7 page analytical papers based on the readings; and  the recording of students’ insights from their  internship experiences in a weekly journal entry, which is submitted at the end of the semester.

For the internship, students must complete at least eight hours per week for the 14-week semester. At the end of the semester, the department internship director sends out evaluation forms to the internship supervisor, which serves as part of the final grade.

Internships are available to students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years. The department will count up to two internships for credit. Generally, the internships are unpaid, but if a stipend is offered, the student still can receive credit. Summer internships are also available.

All internships must be approved by the director prior to taking the course. Please contact the department’s internship program director, Professor Laura Katz Olson (, for all questions regarding the internship experience.