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Political Science Internships

The Political Science Internship Program is designed to help students tie together what they have learned through course work with practical political experience. It provides them with an opportunity to earn course credits in a learning situation outside the walls of the traditional classroom.

Students are given considerable flexibility in pursuing an internship position that is appropriate for their particular academic or professional needs. A variety of types of internships are acceptable for credit, be it serving as an assistant to a member of Congress or the state legislature, working in the city or county government, assisting a nonprofit organization, or participating actively in an election campaign. The main criteria are that the position must be relevant to political science and it must provide the student with an opportunity to gain experience not otherwise available.

Once hired as interns, students work closely with a faculty member who provides a directed course of study to help the students to understand the work they are doing. The interaction with the faculty supervisor is a major component of the internship program, providing the academic perspective. Students usually register for PS 404 - Cooperative Education / Internship to receive course credit for their work.

Oregon State Legislature

One of the most popular placements for PSU students has been in the State Legislative Intern Program. The Program was created in 1976 to provide Oregon college students with
an opportunity to work within the state legislature, learning leadership responsibilities as well as developing familiarity with the legislative process. Since the Oregon legislature has fewer professional staff members than many states, the student interns can play an important role in a variety of activities related to the legislative process. As a result, this program can be a very valuable and exciting experience. Student credit for interning in the legislature during regular session is available through the Engaging Democracy Capstone.

Student Legal Services Internship

Each year, one Political Science major works with PSU's Student Legal Services (SLS) in a two-quarter long internship.  SLS provides legal services to students in a broad variety of areas ranging from landlord-tenant disputes to child custody questions to DUI charges.  Interns in the program have an opportunity to work closely with the staff attorneys in their daily work, including sitting in on intake interviews, drafting communications with clients and other parties, assisting in trial preparation, and observing trials.  For students interested in pursuing a career in the law, this internship can provide invaluable experience.
The application for the Winter and Spring 2015 internship can be found here and the deadline is November 14, 2014.  Applications can be submitted to the Political Science office or via email to Professor Shortell at shortell@pdx.edu.

Students wanting more information about political science internships should consult the Political Science Internship Program Handbook. Internship opportunities are frequently posted on our Facebook page, Friends of Political Science.

Professor Richard Clucas is the Internship Program Advisor.