Political Science Internships

General Information and Guidelines

Key contacts:

The Political Science Department encourages 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.
  2. Students pursuing an internship for political science credit must enroll in one or more of the following courses: PO 403, PO404, PO 405.
  3. A student may enroll for 12 hours of internship credit, but a maximum of 6 HOURS OF INTERNSHIP CREDIT will count toward the political science major. All remaining internship credit hours earned will count toward the LAS 40 hours of upper division credit requirement.

Requirements 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: (2 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: (3 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: (6 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. Ryan Daugherty (rdaugher@butler.edu)

Internship Sites

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 organizations. Additional information about internships may be obtained from the Liberal Arts and Sciences Career Advisor, Courtney Rousseau (Dugan Hall 103).

Students may also complete internships in Washington D.C. and abroad. Political Science students complete internships in Washington, D.C. at various sites including:

  • International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
  • Offices of Senator Joe Donnelly, Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,Senator Paul Ryan, Senator Dick Durbin, Representative Dennis Kucinich
  • DC Attorney General’s Office (this internship is especially beneficial for pre-law students)
  • Ponds Law Firm
  • ACLU
  • White House Office of Presidential Correspondence
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • House Budget Committee
  • Emily’s List
  • US Agency for International Development
  • Center for American Progress
  • Amnesty International
  • Better World Campaign of the United Nations Foundation
  • White House Office of Strategic Initiatives
  • Organization of American States
  • Children’s Defense Fund

More information about the Washington D.C. Internship Program is available here.