POLITICAL SCIENCE
INTERNSHIP POSSIBILITIES


TO: Students seeking Political Science academic credit for an internship
FROM:  Steve Chilton, Pol Sci Dept internship coordinator

This page describes the types of internships possible through our department and lists some potential internship positions at the bottom.

There are two types of internships:  teaching assistantships and internships.

TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS:
 Teaching assistants (TAs) work with a Political Science professor to help with a lower-division course.  TAs might grade quizzes or homework, hold office hours and review sessions, assist with course-related administrative work, or even give an occasional lecture.  There is no stipend, but TAs do get Political Science credit by registering for Pol 3109:  Intern Teaching in Political Science.  A TA must have taken the course previously and received a grade of at least B+ in it.  Apply to be a teaching assistant by talking to the professor teaching the course.

INTERNSHIPS:  Interns work with/for any group / agency / political party (etc.) of their choice.  Their work can qualify as an internship as long as it is related to political science and/or public policy.  (If you are unsure about whether your work would qualify, consult the department's internship coordinator.)  Students register for whichever of the three internship courses is appropriate.  (See the descriptions below of Pol 3097 Government Internship;  Pol 3197 Nongovernmental Internship;  and Pol 3297 Public Policy Internship.)

The basic configuration of an internship is as follows:

The Mechanics of Applying for an Internship

The Political Science Department's "Intern Contract Form" is given here (in pdf format) or here (in html format).  It will be useful for you to print it out and look at it before talking to the supervising professor or internship coordinator.  Basically, though, here is the process of getting internship credit:

  1. Locate and get hired in an internship-relevant position.  Most students locate such internships on their own, but the department does list some possibilities (shown below).  The important thing for getting internship credit is that you know who your supervisor will be and what your duties will be.  It is o.k. for your duties to involve scut-work (e.g., addressing envelopes, photocopying articles), but some part of the work must allow you to learn academically relevant things.
  2. Locate a Political Science professor willing to be your academic supervisor for the internship.  You need to know that while the Political Science Department encourages its faculty to supervise internships, faculty are not required to do so.  It is therefore in your interest to find faculty whose academic interests are most closely related to the kind of organization you'll be working for and the kind of work you'll be doing.  If you don't already have a faculty member in mind, or if you need to see who else might be appropriate, the Political Science Department's web site has a link to descriptions of its faculty and staff.
  3. Print out the Intern Contract Form and discuss it with your academic supervisor.  You should already know the information in the "Work Component" section of the form, so your discussion with your academic supervisor will focus on the "Academic Component" section:  the academic objectives of the internship, the academic activities you will carry out concurrently with your work, the assignment(s) and standard(s) that will be used to determine your grade, and your plan for staying in contact with each other.
  4. When this has all been discussed and agreed to by your work supervisor, your academic supervisor, and yourself, you should get the formed signed and turn it into the Political Science Department office (304 Cina Hall).  As it says at the end of the form itself, "the original will be retained by the academic supervisor, a copy will be retained in the Department office, and copies will be sent to the work supervisor and the intern."
  5. At this point your academic supervisor (or the Department secretary) will give you an override number so you can register for the appropriate internship course.

Internship Opportunities!

Most students already have an internship in mind before they approach the department.  However, if you want an internship and do not already have a group in mind, consider one of the possibilities listed in the table below.  Use the link given for a full description

DATE POSTED INTERNSHIP DEADLINES (IF ANY)
Ongoing Labor World newspaper Ongoing
Ongoing [D.C. or St. Paul] Office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum April 1 (for the subsequent summer);  April 15 (for the subsequent Fall semester);  November 1 (for the subsequent Spring semester)
Ongoing Minnesota Senate Ongoing need, but specifically, October or November (for the legislative session running January-May [in odd-numbered years] or February-April [in even-numbered years]
4/9/03 Project Vote Smart Ongoing
6/9/03 Minnesota Attorney General's Office

Ongoing

1/16/04

Center for Voting and Democracy

Ongoing

Pol 3097:  Government Internship


Pol 3197:  Nongovernmental Internship


Pol 3297:  Public Policy Internship


How to Contact the Department's Internship Coordinator

Name:  Stephen Chilton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science
Address:  Department of Political Science / 304 Cina Hall / UMD / 10 University Drive / Duluth, MN  55812-2496
Office:  302A Cina Hall
Telephone:  (218) 726-8162 (or the departmental office, 726-7534)
Email:  schilton@d.umn.edu


Labor World newspaper

Description:

Internship with Labor World newspaper (Duluth, Minnesota)

Duties:

Qualifications:

Hours and/or compensation:

Both are negotiable;  previous intern did receive a stipend.

Contact information / application process:

Larry Sillanpa, Editor / Labor World / 2002 London Rd. / Duluth, MN 55812 / (218) 728-4469


The Office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Description:

"An internship in Congresswoman McCollum’s office will provide valuable experience to students as they prepare for their professional careers. Interns have the opportunity to work with and assist all members of the staff, including legislative, administrative, outreach and press duties. Washington, DC interns will be encouraged to take advantage of the many hearings, workshops and seminars that are held on Capitol Hill. St. Paul interns will also have the opportunity to attend some local functions and meetings related to the Congresswoman’s work in the district. In addition, we are happy to work with your college or university to arrange for academic credit. Applicants should be highly motivated and enthusiastic, as there are far more applicants than available positions."

Duties:

Qualifications:

Hours and/or compensation:

"Internships are available year-round. They are available on a part-time or full-time basis. In some cases, a stipend may be available. Transportation and housing are the responsibility of interns."

Contact information / application process:

Applicants should send a cover letter (indicating availability and the location of their desired internship), a resume and references.  Deadlines:  April 1 (for Summer internships);  April 15 (for Fall internships);  November 1 (for Spring internships)  [These are approximate deadlines, correct to within a week or so.  Check with Congresswoman McCollum's office for specifics.]

Those interested in a Washington, DC internship should fax materials to (202) 225-1968 or send to: Office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum; Attn: Washington, DC Internship Coordinator; 165 Western Avenue North, Suite 17; St. Paul, MN 55102.

Those interested in a St. Paul internship should fax materials to (651) 224-3056 or send to: Office of Congresswoman Betty McCollum; Attn: St. Paul Internship Coordinator; 165 Western Avenue North, Suite 17; St. Paul, MN 55102.


Minnesota Senate

Description:

Internship with Minnesota state senators and their staff

Duties:

Qualifications:

Hours and/or compensation:

Each Senate office can distribute a stipend of $50/week.  ("Distribute" means that if there is more than one intern in an office, that amount will be shared among them.)  There is also a possibility of a $300/mo housing allowance for interns from Greater Minnesota.

Contact information / application process:

Scott C. Magnuson, Intern Coordinator / Minnesota State Senate / 231 State Capital / 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd / St. Paul, MN  55155.  Tel:  888-234-1112 or 651-296-7198.


Project Vote Smart

Description:

Ten consecutive weeks of work for "students who are genuinely interested in working to accomplish our goal of making factual, unbiased political information easily and freely accessible to all."

Duties:

Qualifications:

Hours and/or compensation:

Contact information / application process:

Contact Lisa Coligan, Project Vote Smart Internship Coordinator, at 888-VOTE-SMART or via email at intern@vote-smart.org.  Information is also available at www.vote-smart.org.


Minnesota Attorney General's Office

Description:

"The Office of Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch is seeking civic-minded men and women to serve as unpaid interns."

Duties:

Qualifications:

Hours and/or compensation:

Contact information / application process:

Contact Rachel Berg, Internship Coordinator, with any questions:  651-282-5696 or 800-657-3787 or rachel.berg@state.mn.us.

Application deadlines are April 1 (for Summer internships), August 1 (for Fall internships) [extended to Aug 16, 2004], and December 1 (for Spring internships).


Center for Voting and Democracy

Description:

"The Center regularly hires interns for work in its national office and sometimes in the field."

Contact information / application process:

Log onto the Center's web page, particularly their web page relating to internships.


Page URL: http://www.d.umn.edu/~schilton/Advisement/Internships.html
Author:  Stephen Chilton [email]  |  Last Modified:  2004-09-13
Honor Roll  |  UMD  |  Pol Sci Department

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