Internship Guidelines


  • Internships are offered only to majors. 
  • A student must have completed at least 16 hours of political science or international relations credit.
  • Internships must hold junior or senior status.


In order to receive credit, the following conditions must be met:

  • The internship must be supervised by a faculty member. Faculty serve as internship supervisor on a rotating basis. Check with the office to identify the current supervisor.
  • Appropriate course work must precede the internship.
  • Interns are required to attend a workshop to take place the week preceding graduation in May.
  • A student must be appropriately registered before internship work may count towards college credit. 
  • Students must complete the full 160 hours and turn in the required reflection papers, final assessment paper, and site-supervisor evaluation in order to receive course credit.


It is the student's responsibility to locate a meaningful internship opportunity. The internship should relate to a student's interests and to government, politics, or public policy. Thus, a student planning on a legal career should seek an internship in a law firm, the state's attorney's office, or a similar organization. A student interested in national politics may, on the other hand, seek first-hand experience in local, state or national politics--either by working on a campaign, in a state legislator's office or for a federal agency. An International Relations student must choose an internship with an international focus.  Internships with the State Department, an international development agency or a relief organization are all good examples of this.

Beginning the search early is strongly advised. This is especially the case with internships requiring a background investigation. The deadline for Department of State internships, for example, is normally nine months prior to the desired beginning date. In seeking the internship, it is recommended that students apply to several offices and interview in at least two.

Faculty Supervision

In order to receive credit for the internship, students must be supervised by one of the department's faculty. After internship arrangements have been made, the student should complete an internship application (available at the registrar's office). The application must include the location, timing, and duration of the internship. It is especially important to provide the name of the person who will supervise the student at the internship site. The student should then meet with the department chair to approve the internship and with the assigned faculty supervisor. (Both signatures are required on the internship application). With those approvals/signatures, the student is then ready to register for the course through the regular registration process. The student should be sure he fully understands the faculty supervisor's requirements for reporting his progress during the internship process. The supervising faculty member will write a letter to the internship director, explaining that the internship will involve credit and that his/her evaluation of the student's work is an essential part of the grading process. 

A student is expected to stay in contact with his/her faculty supervisor during the internship, by phone or e-mail.


A student's internship grade will be based on:

  • the quality of the 15 reflection papers submitted
  • the quality of the final assessment paper
  • the on-site internship supervisor's evaluation
  • It is the student's responsibility to submit reflection papers and the final assessment paper on time and to ensure that the site supervisor submits the internship evaluation form or letter. This should be done before the internship is finished.