Internships - Experiences in Politics and Policy

The value of internships for political science students is widely recognize. Employers agree that the best graduates enter the workforce with a combination of strong academic preparation and practical on-the-job experience gleaned from internships. Student interns get to explore career paths and network with professionals in a field of interest, apply classroom learning and develop and refine skills, and gain coveted real-life work experience that gives them an edge in the competitive job market.


A common barrier to pursuing an internship is that many are unpaid. To address this, Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts each summer allocates Job-Ready Awards so that unpaid or low-paid internships are a viable option for more students. 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, social enterprises, and for-profit companies.


Below is a list of internships that students majoring or minoring in political science have completed in recent years. Many 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


POL 403 Basic Internship


Internships provide hands-on application for the classroom knowledge students receive while at Purdue. The Department of Political Science may offer credit to students through the POL 403 Basic Internship Course or with the POL 403A Indiana State Legislature Internship.

POL 403 is the basic internship course. There are no prerequisites. You must be a student in good standing to enroll. POL 403 is offered on a pass/no pass basis only.



  1. 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.

  2. Obtain an internship through your own search efforts, or receive assistance from a Political Science undergraduate advisor or the CLA Career Development office.

  3. Arrange academic credit before the internship begins.

    • Complete the Internship Application and submit it to the faculty member you would like to supervise your internship.

    • Internships must comprise a substantial academic component. 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.
      No credit will be awarded for internships without prior faculty approval of the contract.


Course Requirements for POL 403 Internship

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • At the end of the internship, you are required to submit a 2,000-word statement on what you learned from your internship. Submit this to your supervising faculty member to receive course credit.

  • POL 403 is offered only on a pass/no pass basis.


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