Internship Requirements


  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing
  • 2.0 GPA
  • Political science major or minor
  • Only 6 hours of internship credit may be applied toward major/minor

Time Commitment

  • Internships generally last one semester (fall, spring or summer).
  • You will receive three hours of academic credit for 140 hours of work.
  • Additional credit may be awarded for internships that involve more hours.

Getting Started

After identifying an internship that interests you, check with the internship coordinator to make sure the internship is acceptable for academic credit. If it is acceptable, conclude the process of securing it by contacting the internship sponsor, completing any application materials and interviews, and confirming that you have the position. In some cases, you may finish these tasks prior to gaining the internship coordinator's approval.

You need to have a supervisor at your internship site. The supervisor must write a letter confirming the work arrangements you have negotiated for your internship. The letter should indicate the amount of time you will devote to the internship and the nature of the work you will be doing. You should provide copies of this letter to the departmental internship coordinator and to your faculty internship supervisor.

Internship Components

  • Work: 140 hours of work at an approved internship site.
  • Faculty Supervisor: In addition to the on-site internship supervision, you need to have academic supervision from a faculty member in the Political Science Department. Your faculty supervisor will help you develop the academic portion of your internship, specifically, the written work you will do in conjunction with your internship tasks. Consider working with a professor you know or a professor whose interests are related to your internship. You can consult with the internship coordinator about your choice or you may contact the professor on your own. You will need to confirm your choice with the internship coordinator. After you have confirmed that a professor is willing to supervise the academic portion of your internship, you need to consult with the professor about the written work he or she expects you to do. “All interns keep a journal and submit academic work, which can take the form of a research paper or a series of analytical assignments.”. At the end of the semester in which your internship is completed, you will submit your journal and your paper to the faculty supervisor. The quality of your academic work, along with any evaluations from the on-site supervisor, will determine what grade you earn for your internship. It is a very good idea to consult regularly with your faculty supervisor and to submit samples of your written work for informal evaluation throughout the semester during which you are doing your internship.
  • Journal: The journal records noteworthy experiences on the job and incorporates your thoughts about the significance of these experiences. The journal is not simply a record of daily events, but rather, a commentary that relates the internship work experiences to relevant academic, legal, or policy issues or that explores questions relevant to your professional development.
  • Research paper: Each intern must complete analytical writing assignments in which the student systematically reflects on the internship work experience in some "larger" context. A student working with the media, for example, might investigate ethical issues pertaining to bias in the news. A student working for a legislator might examine the role of legislative staff in the policymaking process or research approaches to a policy problem in different cities, states, or nations. A student interning in a law office might explore the judicial process as it pertains to a specific case. You should seek advice about the choice of topic and suitable research materials from your faculty supervisor.

Getting registered:

You will need to complete a special registration form that uniquely identifies your internship position, your faculty sponsor, and the amount of academic credit you will receive.

For more information please contact:

Sherri L. Wallace, PhD
Professor, Internship Director
Department of Political Science
Ford Hall, Room 113
University of Louisville
2301 S. 3rd Street
Louisville, KY 40292

Phone: 502.852.4432