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Political Science

Political Science Internships

Gain hands-on experience in the field with our political science internships.

Washington Center

The Department of Political Science offers a semester in Washington, D.C., under the guidance of the Washington Center (WC). The prerequisites are POL 429, Seminar in Policy Analysis, in addition to three courses in American government and/or in Political Issues and Public Policy. Students with other majors can take this program as a minor in Public Service (see above). Students are provided with housing and are placed in full-time internships (4.5 days per week) in congressional offices, interest groups, or executive agencies in the D.C. area. A seminar related to the student’s work and offered by qualified academics under the aegis of the WC is taken for credit by the student as a part of the credits earned for the semester. An analytical paper of 25-35 pages comparing the practical experience of the intern with some of the academic literature on the policy issue area examined by the intern is required. This paper is worth a final 3 credits for a total of 15 credits for the fall and spring semester internships or 12 for the summer program. All credits are in political science. The internship POL 337, Washington Semester Internship is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. POL 338, Washington Semester Seminar and POL 339, Washington Semester Directed Research are graded on a regular “A” to “F” scale.

Students pay regular tuition for the 12 or 15 credits they receive for the internship. Students are responsible for housing costs in apartments provided by the Washington Center (WC). The WC also provides the placement, guidance, and supervision of the interns while in Washington, with a member of the Political Science Department serving as a liaison person. The only expenses the student must meet beyond this are for food and transportation. Scholarships are available.


Students have an opportunity to serve in the state legislature for the spring semester. Students will take courses and seminars in Albany. Internships of 6 or 9 credits must be taken with both 358 and 359, for a total of 12 or 15 credits. Open to majors in all departments and schools, preference is given to juniors and first semester seniors. Applications should normally be made one calendar year in advance of the internship semester.

Prerequisites: POL 101 and completion of 6 credits of political science under one of the following options (to be chosen by the department in consultation with the intern).

Option A

  1. Additional course from among the appropriate offerings of the department
  2. POL 429 Seminar in Public Policy

Option B

Two additional courses from among the appropriate offerings in the department

POL 358 and 359, for a total of 12 or 15 credits:
POL 357 Public Affairs Internship (3-9 credits)
POL 358 Public Affairs Tutorial (3 credits)
POL 359 Directed Research Public Affairs (3 credits)

Off-Campus Events and Experiences

Local internships with local and national legislators are encouraged, as is participation in national and international conferences and symposia. Political Science students in the past have attended:

  • Alliance Toward Harnessing Global Opportunities (ATGHO) Conference at the United Nations
  • ATHGO International’s Global Clean Technology Forum at UCLA
  • Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference on Human Rights at UNESCO in Paris
  • NATO Atlantic Council Youth Seminars: International Security Politics and Conflict Management- The Cases of Afghanistan and the South Caucasus Region in Aalborg, Demark
  • Student Conference on United States Affairs (SCUSA): SCUSA at 60: ”Measuring Progress and Defining New Challenges” at the United States Military Academy at West Point
  • USA Meets Germany: A Forum for Young Leaders, Cultural Diplomacy Conference in Berlin, Germany
  • Annual Academy Assembly, U.S. Air Force Military Academy
  • United Nations DPI/NGO Conference: NGOs Work Toward Realizing the Millennium Development Goals
  • Danish Atlantic Youth Seminar: Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea: Pondering Peace in the Caucasus from the Kattegat in Aalborg, Denmark

For further information, please contact:

Department of Political Science
Blodgett Hall Room 202
p – 516.877.4590

Center for Career and Professional Development
Nexus Building, Room 225
p – 516.877.3130

Students and Alumni:

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