Political Science Internships

As International Sustainable Development Major, you are required to take at least 1 credit of internship relevant to your academic and career goals. Political Science Internships allow you to gain hands-on experience by applying classroom knowledge to real-world development problems. Interns can work in public and private sectors as well as local, national, and international non-profit organizations.


Political Science Internship Process

  1. Check with the Center for Career and Calling to learn about internship finding strategies.
  2. Locate the General Experience internship form on Handshake. Consider what you would like to learn (Learning Objectives) and do (Learning Activities) at your internship.
  3. When applying for internships, make sure that all your communications (e.g., emails, phone calls) are professional and enthusiastic.
  4. When you get an interview with a potential site supervisor, talk about why you want to do an internship at that site, and why you believe you would be a good fit for the site.
  5. When you are offered an internship, review the Learning Contract with the site supervisor, and complete each section of the contract together. Include information about the number of internship hours per week, the amount of supervision per week, the number of credits sought, the learning objectives, and the learning activities. Ensure that the supervisor can meet with you periodically throughout the internship for supervision and feedback.

The POL Learning Contract will be reviewed by the Faculty Internship Supervisor, and if approved, the Office of the Registrar will then help you register for the course. Once you find your internship experience, you need to read internship expectations and complete the General Experience Handshake form using the Completing the POL Contract Instructions (PDF).

NOTECredit for POL 4940: Political Internships can only be granted in the quarter in which the internship is completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

When am I eligible for a Political Science internship?

Political Science majors are encouraged to complete their internship experience during their junior or senior year. Internships are designed to be an advanced experience that builds on course preparation in global development. 

What are the criteria for Political Science internship? 

  • An internship setting and the activities you perform should have a significant level of responsibility related to your major and can be in a variety of organizational types (e.g., public and private sectors as well as local, national, and international non-profit organizations). 
  • Your work must be overseen by an on-site supervisor.
  • You must meet with your on-site supervisor periodically throughout the internship.
  • Your supervisor must agree to provide ongoing formative evaluations and a formal final evaluation of your work.

How many credits may I earn in a Political Science internship? 

The Political Science major requires a minimum of 1 internship credit; however, students may earn up to 6 credits for their internship experience. The amount of credits that students are eligible to receive is directly connected to the number of hours worked at their internship site: 

  • 1 credit (3 - 5 hrs/week)
  • 2 credits (6 - 8 hrs/week)
  • 3 credits (9 - 11 hrs/week)
  • 4 credits (12 - 14 hrs/week)
  • 5 credits (15 - 20 hrs/week)
  • 6 credits (20 - 24 hrs/week)

Faculty Internship Supervisor

Ruth Ediger

Associate Professor of Political Science
PhD, University of Nebraska

Email: ediger@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2937
Office: McKenna Hall 225

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SBGE Student Aubrey

Supporting Local Businesses in Ecuador

Aubrey Payne, International Sustainable Development and Economics double-major, helped grow a women's micro-business during her internship with Pan de Vida in Ecuador.