Internships for the Department of Political Science

 Why should you consider an internship?

The internships offered by the Department of Political Science are valuable for multiple reasons.  First, they allow students to gain practical experience in politics or administration.  We have open slots for interns in the offices of three members of the U.S. House and one U.S. Senator -- these are exciting opportunities to be involved with a congressional office!  Second, they are excellent opportunities to build relationships with potential future employers.  Third, internships help students build their resumes and enhance their ability to gain employment after graduation. 

What kinds of internships does the department offer to political science students?

Faculty in the Department of Political Science actively cultivate relationships with people involved in all aspects of politics.  Through these relationships, and the success of previous students from the department in these internships, the Department is able to place students in a wide array of distinctive internship opportunities.  These internships take place in Colorado Springs, Denver, Washington D.C., and elsewhere.   

Generally, our internships fall under the following three categories:

  • Legislative Internships are placements in a legislative setting -- either in the state legislature in Denver, in local congressional offices around Colorado, or in Washington D.C.  We routinely offer opportunities in several state legislative offices, in congressional district offices for U.S. House and Senate members in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Castle Rock, and Greely, and in congressional internships on Capitol Hill in D.C.  There are also opportunities to intern with policy organizations such as thinktanks in Denver and Washington D.C.  In order to receive academic credit for a Legislative internship you must be placed in a field experience by Dr. Joe Postell.
  • Internships in Public Administration are placements in public agencies (governmental or non-profit).  These agencies are typically located in Colorado Springs or Denver.  In order to receive academic credit for a Public Administration internship you must be placed in a field experience by Dr. Joe Postell.
  • Internships in Pre-Law are studies undertaken concerning the practice of law or the administration of justice while the student has full or part-time employment with a law office, court, prosecutor, public defender, administrative hearing officer, or other individual or agency involved with the practice of law or the administration of justice.  In order to receive academic credit for a Pre-Law internship you must be placed in a field experience by Dr. Joshua Dunn.

What are the requirements? 

Students should have at least a sophomore standing, and have a Political Science GPA exceeding 3.0, although a GPA of 3.2 or above is preferable. Students must have a declared major in Political Science. 

How many credits can students earn?

Students may earn 3 credits for an internship, and on occasion (rarely) may earn an additional 3 credits. 

How many hours per week? And where are the internships located?

Students are expected to serve 10 hours per week during the semester for which they are enrolled. Each student must work under the supervisor provided by the organization. 

What is the process of application for an internship in the Department of Political Science?

  • Complete an application.
  • Return the completed application to Dr. Joe Postell (either by email or dropping off at his office in ACAD 228) along with an unofficial transcript. (The application also requires two academic references.)
  • Arrange an appointment with Dr. Joe Postell (or Dr. Johsua Dunn if you are seeking a legal internship experience).
  • After a discussion, and if the internship proposal is accepted by the Department of Political Science, then an attempt will be made to arrange the internship you desire. There are occasions when no positions are available; however, the department is usually able to place students.
  • YOU MUST BE APPROVED FOR THE INTERNSHIP BEFORE BEGINNING THE EXPERIENCE.

Students must also ...

  • Meet during the semester with the faculty member who approved the internship.
  • Know that his/her supervisor usually is contacted for information about student progress.
  • Complete an essay that explains the activities and experiences gained by participating in the internship.
  • Turn in the essay to Dr. Joe Postell or to Dr. Joshua Dunn.
  • Know that the student's agency supervisor during the internship must submit an evaluation of student work to Dr. James Null or Dr. Joshua Dunn with a recommended grade.
  • Know that all of this information will be reviewed and a decision will be made as to what grade the student will be awarded for their work.