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The internship program provides students with an opportunity to build on knowledge gained in the classroom through direct involvement with the political process.

Interns engage in independent study and research while gaining practical workplace experience. Securing an appropriate internship is the responsibility of the prospective intern. This is usually not difficult.

Emory students have worked for:

  • Members of Congress
  • Georgia state and local governments
  • NGOs
  • Foreign consulates,
  • News organizations (political sections)
  • Interest (lobbying) groups and political campaigns

Many students have also taken advantage of internship opportunities available at the The Carter Center.

Political Science Internships

Academic Credit for Internships

The Department does not award academic credit based solely upon work experience. In order to receive academic credit for an internship in Political Science, a student must enroll in the appropriate Emory course (POLS 496WR), and pay the tuition for the course.

This includes summer internships. Seventy percent of the final grade for every internship comes from research papers the student will prepare for the course. Consultation, supervision and grading require significant faculty time.

Political Science and International Studies majors may count 4 hours of internship credit toward the electives section of the major. Any internship credit over 4 hours will count toward fulfillment of hours required for graduation, but not as hours fulfilling the major.

Students *must* receive approval from the Internship Director before registering for the Political Science Internship course (POLS 496WR).  Students do not have to be Political Science Majors in order to apply for credit if they have fulfilled the minimum requirements for eligibility.

All work for internship credit must be taken for a letter grade. Acceptance to the program is contingent on meeting five criteria:

  • Class standing: Junior or Senior status at the time the internship begins. 
  • Enrollment in good standing in Emory College
  • Academic standing: a minimum 3.0 GPA overall
  • Appropriateness of the proposed internship and research area to Political Science or International Studies.
  • Prior academic work. Students must have satisfactorily completed ("C" or better) one 300 level (or above) Political Science course relevant to the area of internship. For example, POLS348: American Elections and Voting would be an appropriate prerequisite for an internship with a political campaign.

To apply to the program, you must first secure an offer from the sponsoring organization. Then, complete the following steps before the conclusion of the Emory College add/drop period for the semester:

  1. Obtain an application packet from the Political Science Departmental Office (Tarbutton 327) or access the forms below.
  2. Complete and sign the Application for Internship in Political Science.
  3. Return the application form to the Internship Director's box in the Political Science Main Office (Tarbutton 327). The application will be declined or approved provisionally. You will receive an e-mail a notice from the Director.
  4. If the internship is part of a study abroad experience, you must also complete a CIPA form (see the Emory Study Abroad page for details).
  5. Students admitted provisionally must see that the proposed sponsor completes and returns a "Certification of Political Science Internship" before the Emory College deadline for add/drop. This form is part of the application packet available online or from the Departmental Office (Tarbutton 327).
  6. Work at the internship placement itself must begin before the conclusion of add/drop.

During the regular academic year, all registration for the internship course (POLS 496R) will occur during the drop/add period and will be entered by the Political Science Undergraduate Coordinator on OPUS.

 During preregistration, students should register for semester courses as if the internship has *not* been approved. Summer School registration will be handled on OPUS the same way.

In order to earn academic credit, interns must complete four items:

  • A prescribed number of work hours under the supervision of the internship sponsor (10%).
  • A research proposal presenting a topic and an annotated bibliography (10%).
  • A research paper based on the proposal (60%).
  • An assessment paper reflecting on the work of the sponsoring organization (20%).
  • Each student will be evaluated by a supervisor at the end of the internship.

The work and research requirements will vary according to the amount of academic credit the intern wishes to earn. All internships must last for at least thirteen weeks unless explicitly approved by the Internship Director. The minimum course requirements are:

Credit HoursWork per WeekResearch PaperAssessment Paper
4*15 hours**20 pages5 pages
825 hours25 pages8 pages
1235 hours30 pages11 pages
*Four hours is the maximum amount of internships credit that can be used toward the Political Science or IS major. Amounts over 4 hours can only be used to satisfy College graduation requirements.
** For credit in the summer, the minimum duration of the internship is ten weeks working 20 hours per week for four credit hours, 35 hours for eight credit hours, and enrollment in both summer sessions for 12 credit hours.

All internship courses must be taken for a letter grade and may be used to satisfy the post-freshman writing requirement.

A proposed internship is "appropriate" if it provides a significant and ongoing opportunity to participate in some aspect of phenomena generally associated with politics. Internships with governmental agencies meet this requirement, but private employers may sometimes qualify if the assigned work exposes the intern to a political issue or process on an ongoing basis. Please note that legal internships will not be approved unless the work is directly related to politics.

Securing an appropriate internship is the responsibility of the prospective intern. This is usually not difficult. Emory students have worked for members of Congress, Georgia state and local governments, foreign consulates, news organizations (political sections), interest (lobbying) groups, and political campaigns.

The Carter Center

The Carter Center offers a unique opportunity to conduct political research under the supervision of established scholars. NOTE: Carter Center interns do not automatically receive Political Science or International Studies credit. They must apply to the Department of Political Science Internship program.

Most internships are posted electronically on the Political Science Internships organization on Box.

For more information contact the Internship Director: Dr. Hubert Tworzecki