Errin McCaulley, '15
Political Science major
Schreyer Honors College Scholar
"I feel very attached to my Political Science professors—they drive me to do my very best. My undergraduate research on political theory will help prepare me to achieve my dream of being a lawyer."
Academic internships are not credit for work, but academic credit for applied learning. This means that students who wish to pursue an academic internship (an internship that is awarded academic credit) should expect to do readings, write journal entries (which may include responses to prompts by the faculty and/or host site supervisors), write reports, and perhaps give an oral presentation. Student grades are mostly based on the reflective activities, including connecting their internship work to larger course work.
Internships typically require a minimum of 50 hours of work plus academic activities for each credit hour earned. A 3-credit internship would require a minimum of 150 hours of work plus academic activities, or roughly 10-12 hours per week for a 14-week semester. A 6-credit internship would require a minimum of 300 hours of work plus academic activities, or 21-24 hours per week in a 14-week semester.
Political Science Internship Policy
Students who wish to undertake an internship in political science need to be juniors (completed 60 credits) with GPA of 3.0 (Note: Some internships may require higher GPAs).
Political science majors at Penn State Altoona may apply no more than 6 credits of internship to the requirements for the political science major. A maximum of 3 credits of internship may be applied to 400-level course requirements. Any additional internship credits will be counted as electives.
PL SC 395 Internship (1-18) Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.
PL SC 495 Political Science Internship (1-6) Combining experience in government offices, related agencies, or law firms, with appropriate readings and a research paper/report.
Prerequisite: prior consent of supervisor adviser or department head; applicable departmental internship requirements such as satisfactory completion of required 300- or 400-level courses appropriate for the internship program selected.
Political Science Internships
Local Internship Opportunities
Blair County Republican Committee
Interns will meet regularly with the PA GOP Internship advisor and primarily assist in the implementation of programs in the following areas: Political - Interns will work closely with the County Chairman to ensure positive relationships with members, candidates, campaigns and take an active role in research and perform grassroots politics; Communications - Interns will work with the County Chairman in coordinating the Party's online presence with the website and social networking; and Operations - Interns will work with the Chairman and the Committee to take part in the day to day operations of the Party. Please mail or email resumes, including at least two references with names, titles and phone numbers to: Blair County Republican Party, ATTN: A.C. Stickel, 301 Union Ave # 364, Altoona, PA 16602, 814-932-3239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Bill Shuster Internships
Congressman Shuster offers several internships throughout the year which are geared towards college students majoring in Political Science and those who are particularly interested in government. Internships that take place during the school year will fill the duration of one semester, and summer internships generally last 6 - 8 weeks. Interns can work in either Washington, DC or Hollidaysburg, PA. If you would like to be considered in the application process as a Congressional Intern, please email your resume and cover letter to the Intern Coordinator in Congressman Shuster's Washington, D.C. office at PA09jobs@gmail.com.
Pennsylvania Internship Opportunities
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Legislative Fellowship Program
13-week paid internship program is open to college seniors and second semester juniors from all Pennsylvania colleges and universities. The two Fellowship terms are January - April and September - December. The deadline dates are May 1st for the Fall semester and October 1st for the Spring semester. Students are placed in Leadership Office or the office of A Committee Chairman, and are expected to develop and defend an original piece of legislation.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives Internship Program
A thirteen week, paid internship in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives. Summer, Spring or Fall. Students must be second semester junior, a senior or graduate student with a 3.0 GPA at a college or university in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Internships
The Attorney General's Office offers both paid and unpaid, nonlegal internships at a network of offices located throughout the Commonwealth, including State College.
Harrisburg Semester Internship program
This is a spring or summer program. In addition to earning academic credit while working at an internship, all Harrisburg Semester students enroll in the Harrisburg Semester Seminar (PUBPL 490), a seminar class that meets once a week, includes guest speakers deeply involved in state policy-making, and helps students learn about the political environment and context for decision-making in Harrisburg. Stipends are available. Contact program director: Dr. Carol Nechemias at 717-948-6049.
National Internship Opportunities
Washington DC Internship Center
The Washington program is designed to give students a complete Washington experience, including internship placement and credit, housing, and special events and programs. Students from all areas of the University have participated in the Washington Program.
The Washington Program is open to juniors and seniors in any major. Sophomores are considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested students participate in a thorough selection process. Students are selected based on interest, academic standing, writing samples, references, and an interview. If selected, students are placed in internships according to their majors, interests, experience, and career goals.
Center for Strategic and International Studies Internships
CSIS offers full and part-time internships in the fall, spring and summer for undergraduates, advanced students, and recent graduates who are interested in gaining practical experience in public policy.
- Must be at least a college junior in good standing, an advanced student or a recent graduate.
- Must have at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent from a non-U.S. institution.
- Must be eligible to work in the United States.
State Legislative Internship Programs
Provides links to all state legislative internship programs in the United States.
The White House Internship Program
The White House Internship Program is a full-time, unpaid internship in Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. Interns have the opportunity to work in one of several White House departments, including the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, Office of the White House Counsel, the National Economic Council, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Presidential Personnel Office, the Communications Department, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of the First Lady, and the Office of the Vice President.
All White House Internship Program participants must be:
- United States citizens
- At least 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship
- Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college or university OR graduated in the past two years from undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college or university OR
- A veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty at any time over the past two years
Senator Robert Casey Internships
Senator Casey offers internships to students during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Interns will gain first-hand knowledge of the legislative process and of the daily operations of a Senate office by working with constituents and staff on issues affecting Pennsylvania. While our office welcomes all applicants, preference will be given to candidates with a Pennsylvania background.
Senator Casey also offers two paid internships to qualifying Pennsylvania students.
The Leon H. Sullivan Internship, based in our Washington, DC office, provides an opportunity for undergraduate university students from Pennsylvania to gain access and exposure to the activities of the United States Senate and also work to further Leon Sullivan's vision for a better America and global community. The Leon Sullivan internship is available year-round.
The A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. internship is open to students enrolled in law school, or planning to enroll in law school, who are residents of Pennsylvania. Each summer, Senator Casey will select one applicant to serve as a paid intern for six weeks in the Washington, DC office. The internship will provide the opportunity to participate in the legislative process while working to further the cause of equal justice.
Dept of Energy - Minority Educational Institution Student Participation Program
The 2011 Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program offers talented undergraduate and graduate students summer internship positions with the U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories. Positions involve scientific research or a focus on policy, business, and government relations. All internships include paid lodging, round trip airfare, and monetary compensation.
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Have earned at least 24 semester hours (39 quarter credit hours)
- Must be enrolled (and provide proof of enrollment) as a full time undergraduate or graduate/professional student in an accredited institution of higher education in the fall 2011
- Maintain an overall GPA of 2.8 (minimum) or above on a 4.0 scale
International Relations Internships
Central Intelligence Agency
You will be given the opportunity to work with highly-skilled professionals and see first-hand the role the CIA plays in supporting US officials who make our country's foreign policy. We are interested in students majoring in engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, physical sciences, foreign languages, area studies, business administration, accounting, international relations, finance, logistics, human resources, geography, national security studies, military and foreign affairs, political science and graphic design. Interns are required to work either a combination of one semester and one summer internship, or two 90-day summer internships.
The mission of the Department of Commerce (DOC) Internship Program is to engage and empower developing leaders with a passion for public service. The program will expose students to opportunities in the Federal Government and the potential to find passion in a career in public service. Interns will gain unique experience though their placement in one of several DOC offices.
The DOC Internship Program accepts applications on a rolling basis. This is an unpaid opportunity. Candidates must be available for the duration of the program to be considered for placement. Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in public policy, governmental affairs, public affairs, business and/or community engagement. To apply for an internship, send your resume to email@example.com. No phone calls please. You will be contacted only if you are a candidate for an internship.
The State Department has a variety of programs for students including internships, temporary employment, service fellowships, and career experience programs. Deadlines: Summer-November 1; Fall-March 1; Spring-July 1
The Carter Center
The Carter Center has internships in peace programs, health programs, and operations. All internships are based in Atlanta, and are unpaid. Contact Information: Carter Center Intern Program, One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307, Phone: (404) 420-5179, Fax: (404) 420-5196
The Council on Foreign Relations
Interns are recruited year-round to work in New York and Washington DC. Intern duties typically include administrative work, editing and writing, and event coordination. The Council considers majors in International Relations, Political Science, Economics or related fields.
Qualified candidates may email, fax, or mail their resume and cover letter INCLUDING POSITION NAME, DAYS AND TIMES AVAILABLE TO WORK to the address below. The Council on Foreign Relations is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Quality, diversity and balance are the key objectives sought by the Council on Foreign Relations in the composition of its workforce. Contact: Council on Foreign Relations, Human Resources Office, 58 E. 68th St., NY, NY 10065, FAX +1 212.434.9893, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cfr.org