Internships for Academic Credit

The Internship Program provided by the Political Science Department offers our students the opportunity to explore particular areas of professional interest related to Political Science and International Affairs, acquire valuable experience and transferrable skills, while also receiving academic credit. Placements are available with agencies operating in a variety of areas, including:

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

Many of these opportunities are in the Greater Cincinnnati Area, but students who find internships nationally or internationally may make arrangements to receive credit for such internships as well. Students who have taken advantage of the program have often found this kind of experiential learning to be extremely helpful in making career decisions and in adding value to their resumes.

The Department of Political Science suggests two ways to complete internship for academic credit: the first type is administered by the department through POL 4090 on occasions when students arrange Internships on their own. Note that POL 4090 is scheduled during Fall Semesters but students can start and possibly complete part of their internship earlier (e.g. in the spring and in the summer). If the internship starts late in the fall and continues in the winter or spring, the student will be assigned an "In Progress" (SP) grade until the experience is complete. 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 (ELCE). As a part of the Academic Internship Program through ELCE, students can earn credit for their internship (0-12 credits) by enrolling in INT 3001. These credits will count toward the total number of credits needed for graduation. 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 the Internship course (INT 3001). To prepare for the internship and engage in a guided internship search, students are encouraged to register for PD 2070: Professionalism and Purpose. To receive credit for the internship, students must register for INT 3001 by contacting the Program Director for Academic Internships, Erin Alanson (erin.alanson@uc.edu).

Availability: Internships are available locally, nationally and internationally. ELCE maintains a database of internships opportunities. For details contact Erin Alanson at erin.alanson@uc.edu. The Political Science Department also maintains a database of internships. For information, contact Dr. Ivan D Ivanov Director of Undergraduate Studies, at Ivan.Ivanov@uc.edu or 513-556-3300.

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

Political Science Track

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.  

Academic Internship Program Track

Students interested in developing and preparing for professional success and searching for an internship through ELCE’s Academic Internship Program should register for PD 2070 (3 credits). The class will count toward the 120 total credits required for university graduation but will not count toward major or certificate requirements.

Students interested in obtaining credit for their part-time or full-time experience should sign up for INT 3001. As long as the internship is determined to be relevant to the major and/ or certificate field of study, 3 credits of INT 3001 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.

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 and INTA majors, it will count toward the "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: 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 Freedom Center, the Seasongood Foundation as well as other 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, EPA, and other government agencies, law firms in the Greater Cincinnati area and all over the nation. Internship opportunties are often available with canidates running for office in local, state or federal government. Internship and co-op opportunities are also available internationally (in Asia, Europe, etc.) with various international organizations such as the UN, IMF, the World Bank, NATO, OSCE, OPCW, ICJ, ICC and others. Note that a large number of these opportunities are unpaid. While there is no guarantee that a successful internship will lead to a job offer, many 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 Program Director for Academic Internships, Erin Alanson (erin.alanson@uc.edu).

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.