Internships

The goal of the Political Science Department is to help students build resumes while earning degrees.  We encourage all students to seek out the diverse set of opportunities beyond the classroom that we offer every year.

Every Fall and Spring semester, POLS 510/512 allows students to join a cohort internship class that provides personalized placements in and/or .  Dozens of students also register for internship credit with local, state, federal and nonprofit opportunities they find on their own and on our website.  Students may take up to six credits of internships.

Democratic Party Internships

Republican Party Internships

Other Opportunities

What is an internship?

The National Society of Experiential Education describes internships as carefully monitored work or service experiences in which students pursue clearly identified educational goals and reflect actively on what they are learning. The purpose is to promote critical thinking, skill development, and personal and professional growth. The Society estimates that one-third of all college students in the United States complete an internship prior to graduating.

There are many types of experiences that may be considered internships. Some are highly structured; others, loosely structured. Some impart skills specific to a particular career; others promote the development of more general skills. Some encourage "hands on" or "observational" involvement.

Unlike jobs, which primarily involve work in exchange for pay, internships involve work in exchange for training. Some internships provide monetary compensation; many do not. Compensation more often comes in the form of academic credit.

Students completing internships (paid or unpaid) in the Department of Political Science earn credit hours toward their graduation requirements if their internships combine sustained experience at a work site with structured, supervised academic activities. The credits are counted as elective hours in Political Science.

Why do an internship?

 An internship provides a variety of benefits to students, including:

  • Applying classroom learning to the outside world
  • Developing intellectually by testing theories and learning new information
  • Experiencing independent learning styles
  • Achieving personal growth and building self-confidence by meeting new challenges
  • Practicing interviewing skills and going through the hiring process
  • Providing the opportunity to "try out" a career before committing to it
  • Gaining the experience employers seek when hiring full-time employees
  • Learning the interpersonal skills and professional behaviors essential to working in public or private sector environments
  • Bridging the gap between college life and post-graduate employment
  • Building a network of contacts in a field where you might be seeking employment

Many organizations today hire full-time employees only if they have out-of-classroom experience in their field. You can dramatically boost your chances of finding satisfying post-graduate employment by completing an internship before graduation.

Internship Testimonials

"My senior year Frankfort internship was everything I thought it would be and led to opportunities that I never could have imagined. As an intern I was able to pull back the curtain on Kentucky politics and in doing so I gained immeasurable experience and insight on how Kentucky operates. It was hard work and also fun, from scouting support for legislation to enjoying FREE legislative lunches (don’t miss out on this - it’s not just free food guys - it’s also a great opportunity to network and watch lobbying in action). My time in Frankfort also brought me into contact with Representatives that I continue to speak with. When I graduated and began looking for my career path, multiple Representatives offered me paid opportunities in the State Capital with personal references."
- Tialisha Lumpkin (Frankfort Intern, Spring 2018)

"One of the most important aspects of the internship, in my opinion, is the introduction of college students to an extremely professional work environment. Students must monitor their own behavior to ensure that they are providing the best service to their office and ultimately the commonwealth. I will forever be thankful to the Frankfort internship for showing me how I will be expected to behave in my future career."
- Kylie Nethers (Frankfort Intern, Spring 2018)