Department of Political Science

Internships in Political Science

Students are required to take 12 credit hours of political science electives beyond core courses. One excellent way to get 3 to 6 elective credit hours is by arranging to do an internship in an acceptable political science-relevant organization. Internships not only provide valuable practical experience in applying some of the "book learning" acquired in your political science course work, but they also give you the opportunity to make contacts that may later be valuable when job searching. Students usually do internships during their junior or senior year (or during the summer in between).

Getting an Internship

There are three general approaches for locating an internship:

  1. Students often take the initiative themselves to contact elected national, state or local political officials, government administrators, lobbying organizations, non-profit organizations, law firms, political campaign organizations or whatever and ask for an internship position.
  2. A limited number of internship positions are available each year from organizations that contact our department asking for interns to be assigned to them. Students interested in these positions need to complete an application and return it to Dr. William Kelly at least one month before the beginning of the semester in which the internship is to begin.
  3. The Auburn on the Hill program connects Auburn University students to prestigious congressional internship opportunities in Washington D.C. Program coordinator Meaghan Weir is an excellent resource for assistance on the application process and questions about interning for a member of the U.S. Congress or Senate, and you should contact her prior to beginning the application process. Visit the website to learn more about information session dates, application deadlines and materials, housing information and answers to many questions you may have.

Approval Process

Contact Dr. Kelly at least one month in advance to receive approval for your internship and arrange academic credit.

Receiving Academic Credit

  • Be sure to make arrangements for academic credit with Dr. Kelly at least one month prior to the beginning of the internship. You cannot arrange to get credit after the internship is already begun.
  • All internships are graded pass/fail.
  • Generally, you must produce a paper or papers that discuss the internship and reflect on the relationship between theory and practice — that is, you should compare and contrast what you have learned in class with what you experienced or observed on the job. (Some students’ contracts with Dr. Kelly may vary.)

Dr. William Kelly kellywe@auburn.edu
Internship Director

For more information

 April Spencer

April V. Foti

Academic Advisor
vaughal@auburn.edu
7078 Haley Center
(334) 844-6173

Last Updated: November 05, 2013