Welcome to the site for the SU Political Science Internship
program. This site includes a description of the types of
internships available, as well as the requirements and
responsibilities of students earning academic credit through an
What is an internship?
An internship is a real world experience that provides the
opportunity for SU students to temporarily leave the classroom
and develop skills and knowledge that relate to your major and
your career goals. The internship complements and broadens that
which you have learned in the classroom and allows students to
become civically engaged in their community, and in the world
Why should I be an intern?
Especially in today’s economy it is essential that students get
a leg up on the competition by having practical experience
and skills that employers are looking for. For students
graduating with a BA in political science, that means, in
addition to what you learned in the classroom, you need to have
concrete job skills including writing, policy analysis,
research, communication, phone etiquette, interpersonal
relations, letter writing, and creating presentations.
How do I earn credit?
All internships are structured like a regular course. There is a
syllabus with writing and reading assignments. The main
difference is that most of your time will be spent at your
internship rather than in a classroom. Depending on the type of
internships, students earn between 4-9 credits by enrolling in
POSC 340 (pass/fail).
Could I take other courses if I have an internship?
Yes. Generally, interns who work between 8-24 hours/week, during
the semester, are able to take other courses. Some students may
choose to do a full time internship during the semester, usually
in Washington DC. With full time, semester internships
along with summer internships, students work upwards of 40
hours/week and are unable to take other courses.
What are the prerequisites?
Students must be either a junior or senior and have an overall
GPA of at least 3.0. Students must also have taken POSC 110.
Do I have to a Political Science major?
While the major of students that participate in these
internships are political science students, the program is open
to students from all majors, as long as they meet the
Could I arrange my own internship?
Yes. If after viewing this web site, you have an idea for an
internship that is not described or listed here, you may email
or meet with Dr. Hoffman to discuss what you want to do.
Can I get paid for my internship?
That depends on the type of internship. Maryland General
Assembly interns get a stipend. PACE/Political Science interns
rarely get paid, but some do, depending on the finances of the
organization or entity where they intern (e.g. nonprofit vs.
private law firm). This is true for summer interns as well. This
is something that students could arrange with their employer.
Can I get academic credit for work I’ve done in past semesters
NO. Internships must be set up through Dr. Hoffman in advance of
a student beginning his or her experience. Academic credit can
only be earned for internships arranged and supervised according
to departmental procedures and standards. You cannot find and
begin an internship on your own and then receive credit after
Types of Internships
- Maryland General Assembly Internship Program (POSC 340 and
341: 7-12 credits)
The General Assembly's Legislative Intern Program offers
students the opportunity to provide research and staff
assistance to legislators during each session and to have both
an educational and practical work experience in the Legislative
Branch of State government. Upon acceptance into the program,
students interview for placement with legislators, committees,
or caucuses of the Maryland General Assembly. This internship
takes place in Annapolis, MD and students are responsible for
their own transportation.
Academic credits granted to interns by SU depend upon the number
of days per week the interns work in Annapolis. Students must
enroll in POSC 340 for 4-9 P/F credits.
-2 days/week – 4 credits
-3 days/week – 7 credits
-4 days/week – 9 credits
In addition, students enroll in POSC 341 (3 credits/graded),
which is a two- hour seminar on State Government (on campus) on
Students should have a minimum 3.0 cumulative average and proof
of competency in college composition. Many of the interns are
political science majors; however, students working toward
degrees in other areas who are interested in learning firsthand
about the process of State government are encouraged to apply.
The type of work assigned to interns is mainly legislative,
although some duties are clerical in nature. Legislative
responsibilities may include conducting research; drafting
correspondence; preparing, recording, and reporting testimony;
contacting witnesses; attending committee hearings; tracking
bills; working on mailings; handling constituent problems; and
writing newsletters. Each intern is awarded a stipend to help
defray the costs of participating in the program. The total
session stipend varies, depending on the number of days per week
the intern works in Annapolis.
-$600 per session = 2 days per week
-$700 per session = 2.5 to 3 days per week
-$1000 per session = 4 to 5 days per week
There is also additional funding available through the Hanna
Memorial Fund and is awarded on a competitive basis.
This internship is different from the ones described below
(PACE/Political Science and Summer Internships). First, this is
a spring semester internship only. Also, there is a different
application process. Finally students must enroll in both POSC
340 and POSC 341 (the seminar). Applications must be received in
Annapolis by October 24 and will be available at the beginning
of the Fall semester on Dr. Hoffman’s office door (274 Fulton
Hall). Students should complete the application packet, affix
the proper postage to an unsealed 8.5 x 11 envelope and either
hand deliver it or drop it in Dr. Hoffman’s mailbox well before
the October 24 deadline.
- PACE/Political Science Internships (POSC 340: 4-9 credits) –
These internships usually take place during either the Fall or
Spring semesters and are generally in the local area surrounding
Salisbury. Students may get permission to enroll in these
internships for the summer terms. PACE (The Institute for Public
Affairs and Civic Engagement) is a non-partisan institute
committed to undergraduate learning that sparks interest in
public affairs and civic engagement, and acts as a resource
center for local government, nonprofits and public groups. The
Political Science Department has joined with PACE to offer these
internships which provide students with the hands on experience
to develop skills and knowledge to become engaged with local
politics and with their communities.
Students work from 12 to 20 hours/week. In addition, students
are required to meet with the Dr. Hoffman at least three times
during the semester. Other requirements include short reading
and writing assignments, including keeping a journal of your
internship activities. Students must enroll in POSC 340 for 4
credits. For more information, see
Typically, these internship fall into five categories -
- Legal Internships – Students intern with the District Attorney,
the Public Defender, a private law firm or a judge. Many
students, who are thinking about going to law school find these
internships to be particularly useful. Click
here for examples of students who completed internships in
- Interest Groups – There are a number of groups in Salisbury, and
throughout the Eastern Shore, that are involved with lobbying
state and local officials, and educating the public about
particular issues. Groups include business, environmental, and
many others. These internships often provide students with
political experience and skills involving policy analysis.
- Nonprofit Groups – for those who want to have an impact on the
lives of those less fortunate, these internships allow students
to gain valuable experience doing a variety of activities
including the delivery of social services to the poor,
organizing and empowering at-risk populations, and lobbying
elected officials to enact policies that help improve the lives
of lower income groups. Click
here for examples of students who completed internships in
- Elected Officials – Working for an elected official is a great
way to make contacts for future job prospects. Interning for an
elected official such as member of Congress, a state legislator
or a local official, teaches students valuable skills in
politics and policy making. Students learn how to communicate
with constituents as well as a variety of other skills related
to political science. Click
here for examples of students who completed internships in
- Political Campaigns – While not offered every semester due to
the election cycles, frequently there are opportunities for
students to gain valuable political experience interning for a
candidate seeking public office. Students learn a variety of
skills including get-out-the-vote strategies, polling
techniques, grassroots organizing, political research and media
relations. Internships include working for candidates running
for the U.S. Congress, the state legislature as well as local
- Summer and Full time semester Internships (POSC 340: 4-9
While most students sign up for internships during the fall and
spring semesters, some students, especially those whose families
reside in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, may want to deepen
their political or legal experience by enrolling in a full time
internship during the summer. The Baltimore/Washington DC area
is arguably the center of the universe for working in politics
and many students may want take advantage of SU’s close
proximity to this area. Students are not limited to this
geographic area and may intern for an organization anywhere in
the world, as long as the internship is approved through the
Students must sign up for summer credits during the summer in
which the internship takes place. The amount of credits depends
on the duration of the internship and hours worked per week.
Generally, if students work a full 40 hour work week for most of
the summer, they sign up for 9 credits of POSC 340. Students
must communicate regularly with Dr. Hoffman through email and
are required to complete reading and writing assignments as well
as maintain a weekly journal.
One option for summer and full time semester internships is for
students to get an internship through
The Washington Center for
Internships and Academic Seminars. The Washington Center
provides diverse, highly motivated interns to thousands of
organizations in government, business and the non-profit sector.
The interns contribute significantly to their placements and
often prove to be of longer-term interest as prospective
employees. One of the best things about this top-notch
internship program is that the state of Maryland provides a
tuition subsidy for all SU students who are Maryland residents.
While the program initially costs $5195 for the summer,
qualified students pay only $695. Students must also pay for
their own living expenses as well as SU summer tuition (4-9
If you go through the Center, you still have to follow the SU
application process below (See Getting Started) in addition to
the Center’s application process. If you do not go through the
Center, you can still get a summer internship on your own by
following SU’s application process. Descriptions and resources
for getting an internship are listed below.
- Capitol Hill – This is perhaps one of the most valuable and
rewarding internships for political science students, interning
for a member of Congress is a tremendous resume builder and
provides students with great opportunities to learn about
American politics. There are a number of ways to secure these
Apply directly to Congressional offices – students should start
this process between December and March previous to the summer
they wish to intern. Students should go to the websites of the
U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and look up
members of Congress for whom they wish to intern.. Members’
websites often have information about internships and
instructions as to how to apply. Students should consult with
Services at SU office for assistance with resumes and cover
- Federal Government Internships – Many federal agencies provide
internship opportunities for well-qualified students during the
summer months. These internships are often quite competitive as
the best candidates have an above average GPA and a solid resume
and cover letter. Students get the chance to work on substantive
policy areas including national security, international
relations, environment, housing, trade and many others.
- Interest Groups, Nonprofit Groups and Think Tanks – Some of the
most interesting and most powerful political groups are
headquartered in Washington. Students have the opportunity to
delve deeply into an issue they are interested in including
environmentalism, foreign policy, human rights, poverty,
homelessness, business, civil rights, civil liberties, campaign
finance reform, education and many others. While many of these
internships are located in Washington, students should also look
for opportunities around larger metropolitan areas such as
Baltimore City as well as Montgomery County.
How to Get PACE/Political Science or Summer Internships -
Students should frequently check this site for internship
“Current Listings,” as well as pay attention to emails regarding
internships from Career Services. In addition, students should
take their own initiative to contact lawyers, interest groups,
nonprofit groups, and politicians to let them know of your
interest in working for them for free. See the links below for
sites that advertise internship opportunities.
Step 1. Read through this website.
Step 2. Plan AHEAD. Internships are virtually impossible to get
at the last minute. Many of the most competitive internships in
Washington DC (federal agencies, CIA, FBI, Congress, White
House) require applying 6 months to a year ahead of time.
Step 3. Contact the organization, office or individual to
inquire about how to apply for an internship.
Step 4. Determine if the internship opportunity can offer you at
least 156 hours during the semester or the summer for the
days/times you prefer.
Step 5. Complete an Internship Application form with your
internship supervisor and return the completed form to Dr.
Hoffman. This form must be submitted no later than two weeks
prior to the last day of add/drop for the semester you wish to
here for application
Step 6. If your application is approved, Dr. Hoffman will
contact you with a permission code # that allows you to register
for POSC 340. (4 credits = 12 hours/week, 6 credits = 18
hours/week, 9 credits = 27 hours/week). You will be sent a
syllabus that describes assignments that must be completed
during the semester.
Capitol Hill Internships
Roll Call Jobs
Federal Government Internships
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Dept. of State
Dept. of Transportation
Interest Groups and Nonprofit Groups
Call to Serve
Everett Public Service Internships
Craigslist – Washington DC Nonprofit Internships
International Relations Internships
Center for Economic and Policy
Research CEPR : Economics/Policy
Center for Strategic
CSIS internship page
Council on Hemispheric Affairs
: Monitoring political and economic issues in the hemisphere
Public Citizen Internships
Intern-Public Citizen : Energy/Trade
The Bank Information Center
BIC Internship : Environment/Social Justice
EI Internship Page : Transatlantic policy and trade issues
The Institute for Policy
Internship Page : Multi-purpose policy think-tank
The Nixon Center
The Nixon Center Internship Page: Enhancing American
security and prosperity through the political system
UNICWASH Home Page
and Internship Opportunities : General Internships in the
U.S. Public Interest Research
U.S. PIRG Internship Page : Watchdog for national public
interests in DC
Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars
World Bank Group
Internship Page : International development assistance