Political Science Internship Opportunities

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Students are understandably interested in how a political science education can prepare them for future careers. In addition to the courses offered by the department, students are encouraged to think seriously about taking advantage of internship and study abroad programs offered by the University. Options 1-3 below are managed by the department internship coordinator and the enrollment policies below apply. Option 4 is a joint offering of political science and the Honors Program and has different enrollment rules. Please consult that program description for enrollment policies.

Option 1: Government-Related Internships (3 credits)

Eligibility for Credit:

  • Students must have junior or senior standing (minimum of 54 credit hours)
  • Students must have at least a 2.8 overall GPA
  • Work done on-site must be substantive and related to the study of Political Science
  • Internships must be approved in advance by the Internship Coordinator
  • No retroactive credit will be given for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in advance

Registration and Other Requirements for POLS 3991:

  • Step 1: If you meet the above-mentioned criteria, then please complete the form and the agreement, and submit it no later than the start of the semester in which you will be completing the internship. This deadline is more flexible for summer internships as the registration deadline is more flexible. Please refer to the Registrar’s website for information on summer registrations, including tuition and fees as a late fee may apply in certain situations. Completed forms may be submitted to POLSInternships@uconn.edu .
  • Step 2: Upon receiving approval for enrolling in POLS 3991-002, please make an appointment with the Internship Coordinator to complete the registration form. That form will then be delivered to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Step 3: Enjoy your internship and complete the academic requirements for POLS 3991-002. This is an online course.
  • Step 4: Two weeks prior to the scheduled end of the internship, the Internship Coordinator will send out evaluations to the internship supervisor. The site supervisor must complete the evaluation in order for the Internship Coordinator to process the grade for POLS 3991.

Grading: 3 credit hours of POLS 3991 is on a S/U basis. Students must fulfill three requirements to earn a satisfactory grade for POLS 3991:

  • Perform the required minimum of 126 hours of internship service
  • Receive a satisfactory evaluation from the internship site supervisor
  • Successfully complete the academic assignments assigned by the instructor for POLS 3991-002
  • Failure to fulfill any requirement will result in a grade of U (unsatisfactory).

Option 2. Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) Internships (variable credits)

Each spring semester, UConn students serve as interns at the state legislature during the entire session. Applications are available online at https://www.cga.ct.gov/isc/internship.asp. Completed applications must be submitted to the POLS Internship Coordinator by November 1 and interviews are held in November and/or December. Acceptance notices are sent in December. Students applying for this internship should register for spring classes so as to ensure enrollment in them. If accepted into the program, applicants may adjust their academic schedules accordingly. Students will earn credits based on the number of hours worked, the evaluation from the internship site supervisor, and a review of the portfolio completed while at the General Assembly. Grades or evaluations by the General Assembly internship supervisor are not binding. Final grades are determined by the UConn Internship Coordinator.
Eligibility:

  • Students must have junior or senior standing (minimum of 54 credit hours)
  • Students must have at least a 2.8 overall GPA

Credit Information:

  • 2-day Internships with the CGA Legislative Internship Program are eligible to receive 6 credits (3 credits for POLS 3991-001 graded on a S/U basis; 3 credits for POLS 2998W graded on an A-F basis)
  • 3-day Internships with the CGA Legislative Internship Program are eligible to receive 9 credits (6 credits for POLS 3991-001 graded on a S/U basis; 3 credits for POLS 2998W graded on an A-F basis)
  • Full-Time Internships with the CGA Legislative Internship Program are eligible to receive 15 credits (12 credits for POLS 3991-001 graded on a S/U basis; 3 credits for POLS 2998W graded on an A-F basis)

Option 3. Washington Center Internship in Washington, D.C. (variable credits)

Students also have the opportunity of working in the nation’s capital in federal agencies and departments, congressional offices, or government-related organizations. The University of Connecticut participates in The Washington Center program where interns work full-time and also take a class. Information booklets and applications are available from the Internship Coordinator or online at www.TWC.edu

Eligibility:

  • Students must have junior or senior standing (minimum of 54 credit hours)
  • Students must have at least a 2.8 overall GPA

Credit Information: Credits vary depending on when you are placed in this program

  • Summer Interns: Receive 9 credits (6 credits for POLS 3991 graded on a S/U basis; 3 credits for POLS 3999 graded on an A-F basis)
  • Semester Interns: Receive up to 15 credits (up to 12 credits for POLS 3991 graded on a S/U basis; 3 credits for POLS 3999 on an A-F basis)

Grading:

  • For POLS 3991, interns must fulfill the number of hours required and receive a satisfactory evaluation from the internship site supervisor. Failure to fulfill both requirements will result in a grade of U (unsatisfactory).
  • For POLS 3999, the letter grade (A-F) is based on the internship coordinator’s review of the intern’s Washington Center portfolio and grades.
  • Washington Center interns must enroll in POLS 3991 and POLS 3999 at the same time. Dropping or failing to register for POLS 3991 will result in a grade of F for POLS 3999, and dropping or failing to register for POLS 3999 will result in a grade of U for POLS 3991. Failure in one of the courses results in failure in the other course as well.

Option 4. UConn Honors Congressional Internship Program

Students admitted to the program have the opportunity for one semester to become a full-time Washington DC staff member for one of Connecticut ‘s members of Congress. As a staff member, you will participate in the daily functions of the congressional office, such as constituent service. Motivated interns usually earn additional responsibilities, such as attending committee hearings, writing policy memos, and researching legislation. This potentially career-defining opportunity is eligible to all UConn students in their Junior or Senior year and with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Selection is on a competitive basis. More information and applications are available through www.studyabroad.uconn.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive credit for a summer internship?
Yes! You can be an intern in the summer, from May to August! Internship credits can be earned through Option 1 or through The Washington Center (Option 3). Please be advised that summer internships for credit are treated like summer courses for credit. There will be associated fees with receiving credit for summer internships. Please refer to the Registrar’s Office website for more information on summer tuition and fees.

Can I receive credit in the current semester for an internship I completed in the past?
To receive credit for an internship, students must enroll in the appropriate course(s) prior to undertaking the work. No retroactive credit will be given for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in advance.

Can I receive credit for a paid internship?
The Department of Political Science does not forbid monetary payment for internship work, provided that such payment is incidental to the experiential learning to be gained from the work. The Department of Political Science strictly adheres to the CLAS policy on internships; more information on CLAS guidelines can be found at: http://clasadvising.uconn.edu/internship-policy/

What are the deadlines for applying for internships and course registration?
Each internship opportunity has different deadlines. Please be aware of that. The applications for interning with the CT General Assembly are to be submitted no later than November 1st to the POLS Internship Coordinator. Registration for POLS 3991 may begin as early as the start of the registration period but should be no later than the end of add/drop for the semester/session in which you will be completing your internship. All course registrations must be done with the Internship Coordinator; registration cannot be done via the Student Administration System.

What types of internship opportunities are available?
While students are primarily responsible for locating their own internships, the Internship Coordinator will occasionally send out information regarding new opportunities. Please click our list of approved internships completed by UConn students. Other internships may qualify. Contact the Internship Coordinator regarding any questions regarding which internships may qualify for POLS credit.

Can I earn more than 3 credits for providing more than 126 hours of service during my government-related internship?
No. The minimum amount of service hours is set at 126. Students will still receive only 3 credits for going over this minimum. The only POLS internships that are approved for more than 3 credits are through The Washington Center and the CT General Assembly where students can earn up to 15 credits for the internship and its related work.

What if I do not meet the eligibility requirements to receive credit for my internship through the Department of Political Science?
Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements explained above may contact the Division of Career Services to find out more about how to earn credit through that department for an internship.

Should I still do an internship if I am not going to receive credit for it?
Absolutely. It is always important to learn as much as you can. Internships provide practical experience that may not be learned in the classroom. And, it can always be a great resume builder!

How can I apply the internship credits towards my Political Science distributional requirements?
For POLS Majors: No more than three credits of POLS 3991 can be counted toward the 24 credits of 2000-level or higher required for the Political Science major. The credits can be counted in Section C of the Plan of Study. There are exceptions to this rule for students completing internships with the CT General Assembly, The Washington Center, and the UCONN Honors Congressional Internship Program. Students in those programs may apply up to 6 credits towards the requirements under Section C of the Plan of Study. Please note: The placement of credits on the Plan of Student ultimately rests with the student’s assigned major advisor. More information on major requirements is available on our Major page.

For POLS Minors: No internship credits fulfill any requirement for the Political Science minor.
More information on minor requirements is available on our Minor page.

Additional credits may count towards the total required for graduation. If you have any questions, please see your major advisor.

Additional Questions? Contact the POLS Internship Coordinator, Kimberly Bergendahl, at kimberly.bergendahl@uconn.edu

For further information regarding internships please visit: www.internships.uconn.edu