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Political Science College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Political Science Internships

Internships in the Political Science Department

Participating in a Poltical Science internship can give students experience working in legislative offices, with lobbying groups, in state executive agencies, and in various organizations affecting policy at the local, state, and national level in Sacramento. This has proved to be a valuable "active learning" supplement to academic classes and is especially useful as a way of exploring several career possibilities of working in public policy. Each year several students move from internships into full-time employment as a result of these internship experiences.

In addition to the POLS 195A Internship course, students may also be interested in the Sacramento Semester Program, offered each spring.

About the Course

Political Science majors can receive academic credit for an internship through enrollment and successful completion of POLS 195A. The course is offered each semester (fall, spring and summer) and can be taken for 1-6 units on a Credit/No Credit basis.

Units are earned through a combination of hours worked at the internship site and advising course work assigned by the Internship Program Director. Students can only be enrolled during the semester the internship hours are worked.

One unit equals a minimum of 45 internship hours per semester. The hour requirements* are as follows:

  • 1 unit: 45 hours/semester (roughly 3-5 hours per week)
  • 2 units: 90 hours/semester (roughly 6-8 hours per week)
  • 3 units: 135 hours/semester (roughly 9-11 hours per week)
  • 4 units: 180 hours/semester (roughly 12-14 hours per week)
  • 5 units: 225 hours/semester (roughly 15-17 hours per week)
  • 6 units: 270 hours/semester (roughly 18-20 hours per week)

*Required hours for summer may vary due to the shortened session.

How to Enroll in POLS 195A

Enrollment in POLS 195A is completed by department staff upon Instructor Approval. Students interested in enrolling in the internship course who have met the below requirements should complete the POLS 195A Interest Form at least the semester before they wish to enroll.

  • Undergraduates:
    • Completed 74 units
    • GWAR certification before Fall 09, WPJ score of 70+ or at least a C- in ENGL 109
    • Minimum GPA of 2.5 (major and overall)
    • Completed at least 12 units of upper division course work in Poltical Science
  • Graduates:
    • Completed POLS 280
    • Completed two semesters of coursework

Planning for your Internship Placement

While the Internship Coordinator and Department Staff will assist students with the general process, students are expected to contact approved sites to request interviews and receive an offer for a placement in an internship.

Finding a Placement

In order for an internship site to be approved, they must:

  • Be on the CEC Community Partner List
  • Position is designated as an internship by the site/host (not a student assistant job, etc.)

Sites that do not meet the above requirements cannot be approved an an internship site and would not qualify for enrollment in POLS 195A. Academic credit will only be given for hours worked beginning and ending during the semester enrolled in POLS 195A, excluding finals week. Any hours worked outside of official enrollment dates will not be counted for academic credit.

Interviews and Offer(s)

Students are encouraged to contact a minimum of two to three approved sites to introduce yourself. Review the Job & Internship Handbook for cover letter and resume samples and other important information on preparing for your interviews. Before your first interview, make sure you have:

  • Updated Resume/CV: Before contacting any offices, you should have a simple resume detailing your education and any work experience you have.
  • Cover Letter: This can be useful to accompany your resume and should highlight your interest in the position, etc.

Once you receive and accept an offer for an approved site, you will be enrolled in POLS 195A. You should notify any other sites you interviewed with to let them know you have accepted a placement.