Internships & Fellowships
Political science internships are for students who are looking for experience in the practical aspects of politics and government. A huge benefit of a political science internship is that students have a wide array of options and can work as interns in various government departments according to their interests. The internship provides a student with a good understanding of how the government department functions and what particular skills they need to focus on for a successful career. The political science internship will not only provide career guidance but also valuable work experience.
The department offers three internship programs which satisfy the capstone requirement for the undergraduate major: (1) local internships, (2) Sacramento semester, and (3) Washindton D.C. semester. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for an internship as part of their program.
Students can enroll in the internships course by taking Political Science 495. You must be a political science major and a senior to eligible for this program. Local internships earn 3 units of credit.
Interested in applying for an internship?
- Do not have a public Facebook or Twitter that includes unprofessional photos or such.
Students have been let go after the first week (or later) of an internship when bosses/supervisors
searched and found images that conflict with the organization's public reputation.
Right or wrong, this is a reality that students should be aware of: images and writings
on publicly available social media pages can impact your acceptance into and continued
work at select internships, jobs, and other programs.]
- DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL from an immature-sounding, unprofessional, suggestive, or inappropriately
named email address. Be professional. Impressions matter. If you are unsure what
we mean by an unprofessional email address, ask us. Some employers and others gain
an impression about your seriousness of purpose by what name/wording you choose for
your email address. Create a new professional email address, if necessary.
- If you want to reach out to non-profits, especially those serving the poor or other
vulnerable populations: Non-profits often don't use the language of "internships,"
but they offer "volunteer opportunities," so don't only say "internship" as that may
be interpreted differently by organizations. For instance, in the past, some nonprofits
of interest to students have said, "We don't offer internships," but on a follow-up,
the student asked if there is a Volunteer Coordinator or any volunteer opportunities,
and then the student was able to volunteer [or "intern"] at said organization. Thus,
we recommend inquiring about "intern or volunteer opportunities" at any organization
that interests you and that qualifies for the course expectations.
- If you are seeking an internship toward a Course Credit (e.g. POLS 495), then the organization and duties must be approved by the Instructor who will be
instructing the course for the semester of course credit. (See SDSU Class Schedules
for future semesters to see who will be instructing the course when you want to take
it.) If you want to start emailing organizations to find an internship before the
semester begins, know that you will ask the Instructor if the internship would be
appropriate for the course before beginning any internship hours for course credit.
For any academic credit internship, paid or unpaid, the Instructor must secure a
Service Learning Agreement (SLA) with the organization before you can begin internship
hours for course credit. Students must inform the Internship Supervisor to expect
an email from the Course Instructor about an SLA with the Department of Political
Science. SLAs are required for all California State Universities’ internship courses.
Students must provide the Course Instructor with the Supervisor's / Volunteer Coordinator's
name, phone number, email address, work address, and organizations' name to begin
or to update the organization's SLA. If the Supervisor needs the SLA to be completed
by someone else at the organization, then the Supervisor should let the Course Instructor
know the name, title, phone number, and email address of the appropriate contact person
to complete the organization’s SLA. Download the Summary of SDSU SLA Process for Internships.
- An organization might reply to you with a request for a resume or a reference (e.g. a previous employer or professor). Be prepared to supply those upon request. Have multiple friends, SDSU's Career Center, and/or SDSU's Writing Center look over a resume before you send one out. First impressions matter and typos are not helpful.
Other Important Forms/Docs: Sample Outreach and Follow Up Email |
Waiver Release Liability Form COVID 19
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is looking for highly motivated undergraduate
and graduate students! If you are interested in Media, Federal Legislation, Health
Policy, Housing Policy, Food Assistance, National Budget and Tax Policy, Outreach
Campaigns, State Fiscal Project and Welfare Reform and Income Support Division, visit
https://www.cbpp.org/careers/intern for more information.
- Honors Internship Program: a 10-week, paid internship for college undergraduate and graduate students. While
exploring our exciting career options, students work side-by-side with FBI employees
at our Washington, D.C.-area Headquarters or in Field Offices around the country.
Open to a wide range of academic areas, this internship offers experiences students
can’t find elsewhere.
- National Academy of Social Insurance: The National Academy of Social Insurance is now accepting applications for paid
internships for students either studying for or interested in careers in social insurance
policy. The programs consist of a 12-week summer semester internship that usually
spans May to August, depending on the student’s schedule. Students receive a $4,500
honorarium for their internship experience and academic credit may be arranged. International
students with valid student visas are encouraged to apply. For more information,
visit Internship Opportunities or contact us at [email protected].
- SANDAG: Internships open periodically. As of March 2020, interns receive $15 an hour with a one-year contract and paid sick leave accrued.
- Please consult the website of the city or district that interests you.
- California Innocence Project (CIP)
- Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc.
- Legal Aid Society of San Diego
- Legal Services Corporation Internship Program
- San Diego County Office of the Public Defender
- San Diego Family Justice Center
- San Diego Human Health and Services Agency Alternative Dispute Resolution
- San Diego Unified School District | contact Director Dianne Cordero, Taft Middle School 9191 Gramercy Dr, San Diego, CA 92123 | (858) 56-2710, FAX (858) 256-2726
- Access – Immigrant Domestic Violence Program
- Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition | contact Marisa Ugarte, Executive Director, 619-336-0770 | [email protected]
- The California Coalition for Rural Housing | contact Andrea Duran Aydogan [email protected]
- Casa Cornelia Law Center
- Center for Community Solutions
- Common Cause | Sign-up Form
- Circulate San Diego
- The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
- Hillcrest Youth Center | 619-692-2077 ext. 210 | [email protected]
- The Center | 619-692-2077 ext. 212 | [email protected]
- Environmental Health Coalition
- Girl Scouts San Diego | contact Gloria Vargas, Recruitment Manager, 619-610-0721 | [email protected]
- Hannah’s House | contact Jose Gonzalez, 858-300-2730 | [email protected]
- Helen Knoll Foundation
- Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) | contact Mary Sykes, the Internship Coordinator, [email protected]
- Lambda Archives of San Diego | contact Kelly Revak, 619-260-1522 | [email protected]
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- League of Women Voters of San Diego | Jenny Avina, [email protected]
- Little Dame | contact Simone or Katie, 619-840-1802 | [email protected] or [email protected]
- Moxie Theater | contact Jennifer Thorne, 858-598-7620 | [email protected]
- NAMI San Diego (National Alliance on Mental Illness) | contact Renee Cookson, 619-776-8605 | [email protected]
- Nile Sisters Development Initiative | contact 619-265-2959 | [email protected]
- North San Diego Business Chamber
- Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest | contact Sharina Carbajal, 619-881-4661 | [email protected]
- RISE to Empower | contact Amy Wise or Jen Myers, 619-994-0596 or 619-992-6713 | [email protected]
- Republican Party of San Diego County
- San Diego County Democratic Party | contact Nisa Marks, Operations Coordinator, (858) 277-3367 | [email protected]
- San Diego Derby Dolls
- San Diego Family Justice Center | contact Monica Bejarano, 619-533-6009 | [email protected]
- Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History | contact Sarah Loux, Special Events Coordinator | 202.633.3318 or email at [email protected]
- County of San Diego Office of Violence Prevention, Health and Human Services | contact Chesley Blevins, MPH, 619-692-5506 | [email protected]
- The San Diego Women’s Foundation | contact Bridget Strickland, Program Associate, 619-814-1351 | [email protected]
- SDSU Love Library Special Collections and University Archives | contact Robert Ray, 619-594-4303 | [email protected]
- SDSU Women’s Resource Center | contact Elzbeth Islas, [email protected]
- Shakti Rising | contact Volunteer Coordinator, 619-501-2746 | [email protected]
- South Bay Community Services | contact 619-420-3620 ext. 2126 | [email protected]
- United Food and Commercial Workers Union | North County Office (619) 298-7772 | Mission Valley Office (619) 298-7772
- United Nations Association, San Diego Chapter | Apply online
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
- Western Service Workers Association | contact Heidi or Brandon, 619-238-9763
- United Way of San Diego County | contact Ian Gordon, 858-636-4181 | [email protected]
- Victory Congressional Internship | contact Lucy Arthur-Paratley, Domestic Programs Manager, [email protected]
- Women’s Museum of California | contact Diane Peabody Straw, 619-233-7963 | [email protected]
- Women’s Resource Center
- Womyn’s Outreach Association of SDSU | [email protected]
- YWCA of San Diego County | contact 619-239-0355 | [email protected]
You can find more information on the San Diego County Internships/Volunteers page a list of volunteer coordinators. You can also view the PDF on NGO internships created by UCSD's Human Rights minor program.
See our Canvas site for a list of more internships.
For more information about internships (PS 495), contact:
Department of Political Science
Phone: (619) 594-6244
The Sacramento Semester Program offers you, as a student at one of the 23 California State University campuses or other college or university, the opportunity to work with members of the legislature, departments in the executive branch, or with political associations and lobbyists during a four and one-half month internship. Typically, Sacramento Semester students conduct legislative research, monitor bills, correspond with constituents or grassroots membership, prepare press releases and newsletters, and participate in budget work and campaign planning.
The Sacramento semester earns 12 units, all of which apply to the major.
Learn more about program by visiting the Sacremento State University's internship page.
The Washington Internship Program gives students the opportunity to spend a semester or summer working and taking classes in Washington DC, gaining valuable experience while earning academic credit toward their degrees. Interns get firsthand experience with the political process, obtaining skills that will help prepare them for careers in virtually any sphere.
The Washington semester earns 12 units, 6 of which apply to the major, and 6 of which apply toward your university total.
For more information about the program, visit the Washington Center's internship page.