Internships

Funding

The Richard and Nancy Fenno Summer Fellowships support students pursuing a summer experience in politics or policy. Several awards, summer stipends of $3,500 each, are made every spring. Interested students should apply by March 15.

The Washington Semester and Undergraduate Political Science Research Fund provides grants to undergraduate students engaged in research projects.

Washington Semester Program

The Washington Semester Program (PSCI 394C/399) offers internships in Congress, the executive branch, party campaign committees, and lobbying, advocacy and policy groups. The department uses the Washington Center for support. The center helps students secure a placement, provides housing, and offers other programming. An internship provides a student the opportunity to learn experientially one or more of the following: how government functions; how public policies are created, adopted and implemented; and how political campaigns work.

Washington D.C.

Students need an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to apply for the internship. Students will work in their internship four and a half days per week and receive 12 credits in political science. They also take one course from a set of 30-40 offered by TWC and receive four additional credits. The Washington Semester Internship (listed as PSCI/INTR 394C) can count as one course toward the track in Elections and Government or the track in Philosophy, Law, and Public Policy; it counts as a University of Rochester course, not a transfer course. The elective course counts as a transfer course. Students should consult with an advisor to determine if a particular elective course counts toward Political Science or International Relations—and, if so, which track or tracks it would fit in—or if it would instead need approval from some other academic department.

Internships are available in both the fall and spring semesters. Students interested in applying should read the application instructions here and contact Professor Jordan well in advance of their intended time in Washington. (Internships are also available at TWC in the summer for no credit or one credit. These are not offered by the Department of Political Science but by the Greene Career Center. For summer internships at TWC, contact the University of Rochester Greene Career Center directly.)

Local Internships in Politics, Government, Law, and Civic Life

There are a wealth of internship opportunities in the Rochester area for students wanting to gain practical experience and contribute to the local community in politics, government, law, and civic life. Through PSCI 394, students can earn four credits towards the political science major or minor by working in a Rochester-area internship 10–15 hours per week while completing academic work under the supervision of Professor Stu Jordan. PSCI 394 internship placements include the local offices of legislators at the municipal, county, state and federal levels; Monroe County’s District Attorney and Public Defender offices; area non-profit legal service providers; the Rochester Mayor’s Office; several locally based public-policy research and advocacy organizations; and a variety of grass-roots organizations working to address systemic inequities in the Rochester area. Students are also welcome to identify Rochester-area organizations where they are interested in interning and seek approval from Professor Jordan for internships at those organizations to qualify as placements for PSCI 394.

Enrollment in PSCI 394 is only open to second-, third- and fourth-year students who have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students interested in taking PSCI 394 in the fall 2024 semester should submit an online application by April 1, 2024. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 8, 2024. At that point, they will work with Professor Jordan to identify and begin applying to potential internship placements. Students may register for PSCI 394 for the fall 2024 semester once they have secured a placement that is approved by Professor Jordan.

Have questions about local internships? Having trouble accessing the application form? Contact Professor Jordan at stuart.jordan@rochester.edu.

Internships Abroad

Many of the study abroad programs offered by the Center for Education Abroad include course-based internship experiences relevant to political science and international relations, through which you can earn academic credit by interning in politics or government outside of the United States. If you're interested in a course-based internship in politics or government as part of a study abroad program, consult with an advisor in the Center for Education Abroad and let them know that you're interested in study abroad programs that include course-based, credit-bearing internship experiences in politics or government. Advisors in the Center for Education Abroad can help you to identify study abroad programs that include those kinds of course based internship experiences.

As you plan your study abroad experience, keep in mind that academic credits earned from a course-based internship experience abroad can receive course credit in political science or international relations (or be used for the majors and minors in those fields) only with the written, prior approval of Professor Stu Jordan.

Once you identify a course-based internship, email Professor Stu Jordan to review the internship experience prior to your departure for the study abroad program. In general, credits from a course-based internship abroad will only be approved for use towards a political science or international relations major or minor if the internship entails non-clerical work in the fields of politics or government. If approved, an internship counts as one course toward the major or minor, even if it carries more than four credits. (Any additional credit would count as elective credits for graduation, but may not be used toward the major or minor.) Without the written permission of both the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Professor Jordan, no internship can be transferred in for more than eight credits.