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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

Dr. Hanson at the New Media panel; Ritchie Center on Debate night

Learning Opportunities


Gain practical experience by doing an internship!

Recent political science seniors who participated in internships while at DU reported:

  • They learned more about possible career areas.
  • They developed practical skills that helped them in the major.
  • They became more confident about pursuing a career in the area of their internship.
  • They were able to meet people who can help them find a job after graduation.

Internships offer not only a chance to build practical skills in a hands-on environment; they are also a chance to network with people in your field of interest.

Internships can also help you decide whether a particular career path is right or rewarding for you.

Where can I do a political science internship?

Our department can offer academic credit to students who intern in the American politics and law areas. Locally, there are opportunities to intern with advocacy groups, the state legislature, and within the offices of the mayor, governor, and district attorney.

Students have also worked on campaigns for public officials and ballot initiatives, and several of our students interned with the Democratic National Convention in summer 2008, in Denver. Sometimes students complete internships in Washington, D.C., or another major city, usually during the summer.

How do I find an internship?

Our office gets regular requests for students to do internships. Check our Portfolio site, Facebook, or Twitter accounts to see new postings!

You can also sign up for our departmental student listserv to receive the latest news about available internships, or check the office bulletin board in Sturm Hall, Room 466. Your political science adviser may have heard of internship opportunities, too.

DU Careers Online is a great database of internship and career opportunities. It pulls information from local and national sources as part of the University Career Action Network.

You will need your DU ID and PioneerWeb password to log in.

For help finding an internship through the Career Center, set up an appointment, or call the Career Center at 303-871-2150.

What are the requirements to receive academic credit for an internship?

Political science majors are eligible to complete an internship after taking at least one course in the relevant sub-field. Keep in mind that no more than 4 credit hours earned in a departmental internship may be counted toward the 40 credit hours needed for the major.

If you earn more than 4 credit hours in an internship, these hours are credited toward the maximum 60 hours you can earn in political science. Also, for each credit hour you intend to earn, you should plan to work between 4 and 7 hours at your internship. (For example, if you want to earn 2 credit hours, you should plan to work between 8 and 14 hours at your internship each week.)

How do I sign up to get academic credit for an internship?

  • You'll need to fill out the Experiential Learning Registration Form (PDF), have it signed by your political science adviser, then turn it in to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Talk with your adviser to decide which option is best for your internship:
    • We offer a Campaign Internship Seminar during fall quarter of even-numbered years that is worth 4 credits.
    • Or, speak to your adviser about earning academic credit for an internship with a legal or political office on a one-on-one basis. Our faculty can only support a limited number of internship students at this time, so plan ahead!

Finally, keep in mind that it is not always possible to get academic credit for your internship. Timing, location and number of hours you can work are all factors to consider, as well as the availability of faculty to oversee your internship. Whether or not you decide to pursue academic credit, we hope you will consider doing an internship for the valuable skills you can learn!