The political science internship gives students an opportunity to gain important experience beyond the classroom through work at a governmental or private agency concerned with public policy. Students interested in pursuing an internship are responsible for locating a position and completing the academic course of study for obtaining credit. The internship course (POLI 3901) is taken just like a normal 3000 level course - it lasts for a full semester and a letter grade is assigned at the end and students must be eligible to take a 3000 course. For fall and summer internships, students can three hours of academic credit. Full time summer internships (typically in Washington D.C.) students can earn 6 hours credit. These hours count toward the total number of hours required for a major in political science but not toward field requirements.
There are three general requirements for the internship (the course syllabus provides additional details):
- Satisfactory completion of work at an approved position. Approximately 90 hours of work is expected, or 6-8 hours when class is in session. An evaluation form is sent to your supervisor at the end of the semester to gauge your performance.
- Mid-term journal. At mid-term, the student will submit a 1000 word (4 page) essay explaining what was learned about politics from experiences at that point.
- Final paper. At the end of the semester, the student will submit a 1500 word (6 page) research paper on a topic related to the internship duties and using examples from the internship experience to support the conclusions.
*NOTE: the internship work may not be applied to any other internship program. In other words, you cannot use the internship hours toward another academic program of study other than POLI 3901.
Steps in the Process
- Find an internship position. See below for general guidance.
- Obtain department approval for the internship and registered for the course (contact Dr. Kate Bratton at email@example.com). Credit will not be given for work completed prior to obtaining department approval.
- Complete all the duties assigned by your internship supervisor and hand in all academic components on time.
Where to Find an Internship
Contact Career Services at LSU. – they keep an updated list of possible internships that may be relevant to government and politics
- contact your local Metro-Council Member to ask about opportunities. A list of members by district can be found at the bottom of The Advocate website. A list of local agencies at the city and parish level can be found at the Baton Rouge website.
- contact your State Senator or State Representative to ask about opportunities. A search engine to obtain contact information for these members can be found at the bottom of The Advocate website or by going to the Project Vote Smart website
- contact state agencies or executive departments directly to inquire about possibilities
U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators
- Members have district offices in addition to their D.C. offices. Again, Project Vote Smart provides a search engine to locate contact information.
Other Local Organizations
- interest groups
- political parties
- political campaigns
Opportunities in Washington, D.C.
- working for a member of Congress or for a political party or interest group at the national level.
- there are some organizations in D.C. that locate internships for you and provide an academic curriculum: The Washington Center and The Institute for Experiential Learning.