Internships are work/learning experiences that allow students to apply their coursework to real-world problems and gain professional connections.
Students will earn three credits in POLS 3991 for most internships. They may complete more than one internship, but the placement must be different for each one.
Students are responsible for finding their own internships. Advertisements for interns are available via SharePoint (you will need your net ID and password to access this information) and posted in the Polisci Weekly Brief.
For more information, please contact Kimberly Bergendahl, the POLS internship coordinator, at POLSInternships@uconn.edu. You can also visit the Center for Career Development’s internships site or check out their recruiting management system, Handshake.
Eligibility for Credit, Registration, and Grading
Eligibility for Credit
- Students must have junior or senior standing (54 or more completed credits).
- Students must have at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA.
- Students must work a minimum of 126 hours during a semester or summer session.
- 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.
- Students cannot earn credit concurrently with another department for the same experience.
- Membership and/or leadership in a student organization does not qualify as an internship experience.
Registration and Other Requirements
- If you meet the above-mentioned criteria, please complete the Application for POLS 3991. This form must be submitted no later than the start of the semester (or summer) in which you will be completing the internship.
- Upon verification of your academic information and internship placement, the internship coordinator will provide information on course registration via email. Registration cannot be done via the Student Administration system.
- Successfully complete the academic requirements assigned by the instructor of POLS 3991. This online course is graded on an S/U basis.
- Perform the required minimum of 126 hours of internship service.
- Receive a satisfactory evaluation of your work from your internship site supervisor.
- Failure to fulfill any requirement will result in a grade of U (unsatisfactory).
Popular Internship Opportunities
Connecticut General Assembly (CGA)
Each spring semester UConn students serve as interns at the state legislature throughout its entire session.
- Completed applications must be submitted to the CGA program and the POLS internship coordinator by November 1.
- Interviews are held in November/December, and acceptances are sent in December.
- Applications are available online.
- Students earn credits based on the number of hours worked, the evaluation from the site supervisor, and a review of the portfolio completed while at the General Assembly.
- Final grades are determined by the POLS internship coordinator.
- Part-time internships are eligible to receive six credits (three credits for POLS 3991 graded on an S/U basis, and three credits for POLS 2998 graded on an A-F basis).
Full-time internships are eligible to receive 15 credits (12 credits for POLS 3991 graded on an S/U basis, and three credits for POLS 2998 graded on an A-F basis).
The Washington Center Internship in Washington, D.C.
Interns work full-time in federal agencies and departments, congressional offices, or government-related organizations. They also take a class and engage in professional development programming.
- Students apply via the EGL application portal. In addition, they must complete the Washington Center’s application.
- Students must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA.
- Summer interns receive nine credits (six credits for POLS 3991 graded on an S/U basis, and three 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 an S/U basis, and three credits for POLS 3999 graded on an A-F basis).
UConn Honors Congressional Internship Program
For one semester students become full-time Washington, D.C. staff members for one of Connecticut’s members of Congress. Students participate in the daily functions of the congressional office. Motivated interns usually earn additional responsibilities, such as attending committee hearings, writing policy memos, and researching legislation.
- Open to all UConn students in their junior or senior year.
- Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Students apply via the EGL application portal.
Twelve credits for POLS 3991 graded on an S/U basis, and three Honors credits for POLS 2998W graded on an A-F basis.
London Program with Internship
Students can earn political science credit while participating in an internship in London, England during the fall or spring semester. Participants take 12 credits, including the internship and a minimum of two additional courses.
Students apply via the EGL application portal.
- In order to receive three credits of POLS 3991 for the program internship, students must meet with EGL in advance of the program application deadline. A one-credit UNIV 3993 reflection course will be taken concurrently with the internship.
- Internship placement determines eligibility for earning major credit. Placement must be specifically related to political science and approved by the POLS department prior to the start of the program.
More Internship Ideas
- CT Judicial Branch Experiential Learning Program
- Correctional Justice Policy and Planning Division
- CT Department of Children and Families
- Federal departments and agencies
- CT Governor’s / CT Lt. Governor’s offices
- Lawyers Without Borders
- Office of the CT Attorney General
- Political campaigns
- S. House of Representatives (state and local offices)
- S. Senate (state and local offices)
- UConn Office of Governmental Relations
- Law offices
- Lobbying groups
- Police departments
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m ready to do an internship! Would you please assign me one?
Students are responsible for finding their own internships. If you need some ideas to get you started, take a look at the “Popular Internship Opportunities” and “More Internship Ideas” sections of this web page, check the list of opportunities of which we’re aware, and check out what the Center for Career Development has to offer, including Handshake.
How do I find an internship?
Take a look at the “Popular Internship Opportunities” and “More Internship Ideas” sections of this web page. Our students intern in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, political campaigns, correctional institutions, advocacy groups, and law offices, among other things. For ideas and questions regarding which internships may qualify for POLS credit, please contact the internship coordinator.
Is there an internship I can do on campus?
You could look into UConn’s Office of Governmental Relations and the UConn Police Department to see if they have any opportunities of interest to offer.
Can I do an internship during the summer?
Yes! You can be an intern from May to August. Please be advised that summer credit-earning internships are treated like summer courses; there will be associated fees. Refer to UConn Summer Session for more information on summer tuition and fees. We cannot assign retroactive credit so you must be enrolled in the internship class before completing the hours for the internship.
Are there fees involved in doing an internship?
Three credits of POLS 3991 carry the same costs as other three credit courses offered during a semester or summer session. Refer to UConn Summer Session for more information on summer tuition and fees.
Can I earn more than three credits for providing more than 126 hours of service during my internship?
No. The minimum amount of service hours is set at 126. If students exceed this number they will still receive three credits. The only POLS internships that are approved for more than three credits include the Washington Center, the Honors Congressional Internship Program, and the Connecticut General Assembly. (See the "Popular Internship Opportunities” section of this web page.)
Can I receive credit in the current semester for an internship I completed in the past?
No. No retroactive credit will be given for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in advance. To receive credit for an internship, students must enroll in the appropriate course(s) prior to undertaking the work.
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 strictly adheres to the CLAS policy on internships. View the internship policy on the CLAS Academic Services Center's website.
How does internship credit apply to my POLS major/minor?
- For POLS Majors: The credits can be counted in part B. 2. of the Plan of Study. No more than three credits of POLS 3991 can be counted toward the 24 credits of 2000-level or higher courses required for the major.
- For POLS Minors: No internship credits can be used to fulfill requirements for the POLS minor.
I’m not a POLS major, can I still get POLS credit for an internship?
Yes! Students in any major can enroll in POLS 3991 if they meet the eligibility criteria. Even if POLS 3991 doesn’t fulfill a major requirement, additional credits may count towards the total required for graduation. If you have any questions, please contact your major advisor.
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 may contact the Center for Career Development (CCD) to find out more about how to earn credit through the CCD or another department.
Should I still do an internship if I am not going to receive credit for it?
Absolutely! Internships provide practical experience that may not be learned in the classroom. And it can always be a great resume builder!
What are the deadlines for applying for internships?
Each internship opportunity has different deadlines. Please be aware of that.
What is the deadline for registering for POLS 3991, the internship course?
You may begin the online application for POLS 3991 as early as the start of the registration period, but it must be completed by the start of the semester so that registration can take place before add/drop ends. All internship placements must be verified before registration takes place. All course registrations must be done via the internship coordinator; registration cannot be done via the Student Administration system.