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POL 403 Internships - Experiences in Politics and Policy

Employers agree that the strongest candidates have both solid academic preparation and practical, on-the-job experience gleaned from internships. 

Political Science Internships Are Flexible

Students can apply to enroll in either of two self-directed 3 credit internships: POL40302 (standard) or POL40302A (Capstone project)

Students with full-time internships can receive up to 9 credits, either graded (40300GR) or pass/no pass (40300PN). There are no course prerequisites for an internship; you need only be a student in good standing.  



Some internships are unpaid, which can be a barrier.  Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts offers Job-Ready Internship Awards to make unpaid or low-paid internships a viable option. Students can apply for up to $2,000 in financial support to help cover basics costs incurred while interning.  Eligible internship sites include not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, social enterprises, and for-profit companies.

Job-Ready Summer Internship Award


Local, Regional and National InternshipsStudents majoring or minoring in political science have gained valuable experience interning in settings around the country. Many of these students received Job-Ready Awards.

Campaign for Hoosier Families, Lafayette, IN
Church World Service’s Advocacy and Policy Group, Washington, D.C.
Cook County State’s Attorney, Chicago, IL
C-SPAN, Washington, D.C.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Guggenheim Museum, New York City
Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Indiana General Assembly
Indiana State Department of Health
Indianapolis Office of the Mayor
Illinois State Board of Education
Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis, IN
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.
Parkview Health Systems, Fort Wayne, IN
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Washington, D.C.
Republic of the Marshall Islands Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York City
U.S. Congressman Susan Brooks of Indiana
U.S. Congressman Greg Stanton of Arizona
U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana
U.S. Congressman Peter Visclosky of Indiana
U.S. Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, D.C.
USS Monitor Center at the Mariners’ Museum and Park, Virginia
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois
U.S. Senator Todd Young of Indiana
WISH-TV, Indianapolis, IN


Get Started

First:      Discuss an internship with your academic advisor to ensure you are eligible for credit. Make certain you understand how the credit will count toward your degree requirements.
Next:     Obtain an internship through your own search efforts, or receive assistance from a Political Science undergraduate advisor or the CLA Career Development office.

Duties:     You will arrange your exact duties with your internship provider. It is helpful to approach your internship with some ideas of your own. Your work may focus on a particular project, or you may do a variety of tasks. The only absolute requirement is that your internship must contain an academic component. You are there to gain education through your field experience; you are not free labor for the organization. The internship provider must complete an Internship Contract concerning your duties and responsibilities. It is your responsibility to obtain this contract from your internship provider and submit the contract to your faculty supervisor for approval.

Although the exact number of hours and schedule will be arranged between you and your internship provider, you should expect to work ​4-8 hours per week.


Register:  Arrange academic credit before the internship begins.

    • Complete the Internship Application .

    • Internships must comprise a substantial academic component.

    • No credit will be awarded for internships without prior faculty approval of the contract.


POL 40302 - Self-Initiated Internship (3 cr) Application required.  Students who enroll in 40302 will submit a 2,000-word statement at the end of their internship describing what they learned. 

POL 40302CA - Self-Initiated Internship Capstone (3 cr) Application required.  Students who enroll in 40302A will complete a Capstone project at the end of their internship.


POL 40300GR - Field Experiences in Political Science (1-9 cr) Taken concurrently with 40302 or 40302CA to allow students to receive graded credit for additional coursework.

POL 40300PNP - Field Experiences in Political Science (1-9 cr) Taken concurrently with 40302 or 40302CA to allow students additional credit using the pass/no pass option.    

Purdue student interns explore career paths, network with professionals, apply classroom learning, expand their skills, and gain coveted real-life work experience.