College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Political Science

Internships - General Information and Guidelines

Political Science Internship Coordinator - Dr. JoAnna Brown (jlbrown2@butler.edu)

The Political Science Department encourage students to undertake internship experiences during their college years, and makes this possible by granting academic credit for such experiences. For students wishing to receive academic credit, the following guidelines apply:

  1. Students should consult with the Internship Coordinator in the Political Science Department who is responsible for providing guidance and evaluating the academic component of the internship. Additional information about internships may be obtained from the Liberal Arts and Sciences Career Advisor, Jeremy Walthall (JH218).
  2. Students pursuing an internship for political science credit must enroll in one of the following courses: PO 403, PO404, PO 405.
  3. In a given semester, a student may enroll for 9 hours of internship credit, but ONLY THREE HOURS OF INTERNSHIP CREDIT (PO 404) will count toward the political science major. In another semester, a student may enroll for more internship credit, but again, only THREE HOURS OF INTERNSHIP CREDIT will count toward the political science major. Thus, A LIMIT OF 6 HOURS OF INTERNSHIP CREDITS will count toward the major. All remaining internship credit hours earned will count toward the LAS 40 hours of upper division credit requirement.
  4. The Department of Political Science allows a maximum of 15 HOURS OF UNIVERSITY CREDIT for all internships, which includes the maximum of 6 hours of Political Science internship hours (includes two different internships of 3 credits each) that will apply towards the major.

There are a variety of exciting opportunities for internships, especially in Indianapolis. In recent years, for example, Butler students have interned with the Democratic and Republican party caucuses in the Indiana legislature; the Mayor's Office; the Governor's Office; and numerous organizations that lobby with the State legislature, as well as activist and community groups and not-for-profit organization. Students may also complete internships in Washington D.C. and abroad.

Internship Guidelines for PO 403, 404, 405

Students may earn varying amounts of university elective credit hours depending on the amount of time devoted to the internship and the amount of academic work associated with the internship.

  • PO 403- Two credit hours - for placements involving between five and seven hours per week. Academic work generally includes, but is not limited to, one five to seven page paper. Prerequisite: one upper level Political Science course.
  • PO 404- Three credit hours - for placements involving between eight and seventeen hours per week. Academic work generally includes, but is not limited to, one ten-page paper. Prerequisite: one upper level Political Science course.
  • PO 405- Six credit hours - for placements involving between eighteen and twenty-six hours per week. Academic work generally includes, but is not limited to, one THIRTY-page paper. Prerequisite: two upper level Political Sciences courses.

As indicated above, every intern should consult with the Coordinator who oversees the academic component of the internship. Students should alert the Coordinator to their desire to pursue an internship. A signature from the Department Chair must be obtained prior to registration for course credit. Consultation with Coordinator and the Department Chair is strongly recommended prior to accepting an internship position. At least ten days prior to beginning an internship position, the student and the Coordinator must consult to accomplish the following:

  • Clarify internship position: The student should be able to produce a written job description from the agency or person supervising the internship. The job must be more intellectually rewarding than running errands for "interesting" people.
  • Begin research agenda: This involves defining the academic focus of the internship. Questions should be addressed such as, What can be learned on this job? What outside reading will be helpful to help understand the political processes involved in the job? What sort of information can be gathered while on the job? What sort of paper will be appropriate to write?
  • Throughout the internship, interns will be required to keep a log of activities and observations. This log should be legible. It may serve as the basis for reports to the Coordinator, for insights about the process, and/or as a place to record new data. By week four, the intern and Coordinator must agree on the final basis for evaluating the internship. In most cases this will be a blend of on the job learning and reflective writing with the length of papers depending on the credit hours to be earned (as outlined above).
  • Unless other arrangements are explicitly made, the student will submit a first draft of the term paper to the Coordinator at least ten days before the end of the classes. A final draft of the report will be due on the first day of exams.
  • The student will consult with Coordinator as needed, but no less than once every two weeks. If the intern placement is out of town, consultation can be by phone, e-mail or letter, but consultation must be maintained. It is the student's responsibility to initiate consultations. It is the Coordinator's responsibility to be available for consultation.
  • Before the end of the term the student intern must see that her or his job supervisor sends the Coordinator a brief evaluation of the intern's performance and activities.

For information contact:

Political Science Internship Coordinator - Dr. JoAnna Brown (jlbrown2@butler.edu)