Internships for Academic Credit

The Internship Program provided by the Department of Political Science offers Political Science and International Affairs majors the opportunity to enhance their learning opportunities and explore particular areas of interest related to these majors in a "real world" setting, while receiving academic credit. Placements are available with agencies that are involved in a variety of areas, including:

  • Law
  • Government
  • The Electoral Process
  • International Human Rights
  • Civic and Public Policy Concerns

Most of these opportunities are local, but students who find internships outside the Cincinnati area may make arrangements to receive credit for such internships as well. Students who have taken advantage of the program have often found the experiential learning provided to be extremely helpful in making career decisions and in adding value to their resumes.

The Department of Political Science offers two internship tracks: the first one is administered by the department through POL 4090 on occasions when students arrange Internships on their own. Note that POL 4090 is scheduled infrequently depending on faculty availability and students may not have this opportunity every semester or every year. If you are interested to pursue this pathway, contact Dr. Ivanov at Ivan.Ivanov@uc.edu.

The second type of internship is offered through the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education (UC ELCE, 7th Level Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center, PO Box 210115). As a part of the UC ELCE Internship Program students can earn 6 or more credits, all of which will count toward their total university credits. 3 of these credits can count toward coursework in Political Science (POL) and International Affairs (INTA) if the internship experience is relevant to these major programs. Similarly, students enrolled in the International Human Rights (IHR) or Security Studies Certificate (SSTD) certificate programs can have 3 credits of relevant internship experience applied toward their certificate coursework.

Eligibility: POL and INTA students who want to pursue internships must be in good standing with a 2.75 GPA or higher. They must complete successfully at least 18 credits in their major prior to the semester during which they enroll in Internship (or INT) 3001 or another INT class or the academic term when they start their internship. Please note that INT courses are not available for online registration at the One Stop site. Students must either: (1) take PD 2070 first in order to be allowed to register for INT 3001; or (2) they must meet with a representative from UC ELCE to be allowed to register for an INT course. Students can register on their own for PD 2070.

Availability: Internships are available locally, nationally and internationally. UC ELCE maintains a database of internships and organizes regular interview days on campus with prospective providers. For details contact Brodie Theis at brodie.theis@uc.edu or 513-556-5671. The Political Science Department also maintains a database of internships. For information, contact Pamela Latham, our departmental program coordinator, at Pamela.Latham@uc.edu or 513-556-3300.

How to Complete an Internship: There are two separate tracks:

Students interested to pursue the POL 4090 track will be completing internships in the Summer and Fall and also meet the following two requirements: (1) they have already arranged an internship program on their own; and (2) this internship involves a minimum of 150 hours of work. In this case, the students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Ivanov (email: Ivan.Ivanov@uc.edu) who will give them permission to register for POL 4090 (scheduled in the Fall 2017). They also need to complete student and agency contract, journals, and obtain supervisor’s evaluation. These forms are available here.  

Students interested to pursue the UC ELCE track will have to sign up for PD 2070 (3 credits). In this course they will explore academic internships through in-class or online instruction. The course will teach them how to find internships, prepare successfully for an interview and succeed in the job. The class will count toward the 120 total credits required for university graduation but will not count toward major or certificate requirements. During PD 2070, students will be offered opportunities to interview for internship positions or find internships on their own. In the second semester students will sign up for INT 3001 or another INT course (3 credits for a minimum of 150 hours of internship work). As long as the internship is determined to be relevant to the major and/ or certificate field of study, these 3 credits will count toward major and/ or certificate requirements as well as total university credits. INT 3001 is taught online for the duration of the internship and includes on-line reflection work, assessment, and support components. In order to earn 3 credits toward major and/or certificate requirements, POL/ INTA/ IHR/ SSTD students pursuing the first track must register for INT 3001, a course whose modules are customized for POL/ INTA/ IHR/ SSTD academic internships. Additionally, students must complete a reflection paper (8-10 pages, 2,500-3,000 words) that surveys academic literature on the topic of their internship and explains the theoretical implications of their practical experience. Students will receive more information about this assignment when they register for INT 3001.

Academic Credit toward the POL and INTA majors and/or the IHR and SSTD certificates can be earned only through INT 3001 or POL 4090 (3 credits only). For the POL major, it will count toward the “optional electives” grouping. For the INTA major, it will count toward the “additional optional electives” grouping. For the IHR certificate, it will count toward the “Core Requirement II: Internship/Capstone” grouping. For the SSTD certificate, it will count toward the “non-core courses” grouping. Students pursuing the POL minor cannot apply any internship credits toward their minor.

Types of Internships: UC ELCE maintains a database of internships and organizes regular interview days on campus with prospective providers. The Political Science Department also maintains a database and seeks to encourage its students to become well informed and involved in the political and policy process. The Databases include the Department’s page on Blackboard and the AlwaysUC platform. Please, read the messages send via the departmental listserv. Note that the Political Science department does not endorse any candidate for public office, political party, or ideology.

In the past, our students have interned successfully at local offices of Ohio Senators, Congressional District Representatives, the City of Cincinnati, the Legal Aid Society, the World Affairs Council, the Borgen Project, as well as various non-profit organizations and private corporations. Students have also been selected for prestigious national internships with the State Department, U.S. embassies overseas, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and other government agencies, law firms in the Greater Cincinnati area and all over the nation. Internship and co-op opportunities are also available internationally (in Asia, Europe, etc.). While there is no guarantee that a successful internship will lead to a job offer, some students have been able to launch successful careers upon the completion of their internship.

Additional Information: the Division of Professional Practice has posted a collection of information about the Academic Internship Program here.

If you have any questions related to internship courses, please contact the Managers of Academic Internships at the DPP office: Brodie Theis at brodie.theis@uc.edu or 513-556-5671; Annie Straka at annie.straka@uc.edu or 513-556-0352; Willie Clark at willie.clark@uc.edu or 513-556-0354

For questions related to the academic component of the internship, please contact Dr. Ivan Dinev Ivanov (Director of Undergraduate Studies) at Ivan.Ivanov@uc.edu or Pamela Latham (Department Program Coordinator) at Pamela.Latham@UC.edu.