Internships

Taylor Thornhill poses in front of the Capitol Building
“Being an African American female interning on Capitol Hill is a dream that I thought would never come true. So being here is surreal!“
-- Taylor Thornhill

VCU Political Science students can earn up to six credits for internship hours earned during fall, spring and summer semesters: one credit=50 hours working on an internship.

Students may apply for internship credits with a variety of politically-relevant organizations, including, but not limited to, government offices, non-profit groups, political campaigns, law offices, media outlets, lobbying groups, etc.

Students may also apply for POLI credit through the Wilder School’s Virginia Capitol Semester program in the Virginia General Assembly.

Although it is each student’s responsibility to find an internship that best suits their interests and talents, this is a list that keeps a live-updated record of potential internship opportunities.

student Fadel Alassan poses in front of CNN headquarters sign
"The internship at CNN has been a phenomenal experience for me as a political science student hoping to go into journalism. I learned a lot about how the news is gathered and delivered to viewers at home from the biggest news company in the world, and I made a ton of connections in the journalism industry. I was working in a department called 'The Row,' which does research, fact-checking, editing and approval for stories that air on cable and appear on CNN's website. CNN has a very rigorous standard for reporting facts, and I learned so much from being a part of that process." -- Fadel Alassan

Internship Requirements

In order to receive VCU Political Science course credit for an internship, students must:

  • be declared a political science major, or be minoring in nonprofits or public management,
  • have completed at least nine upper-level credits (300 level or above) in political science courses and
  • have earned at least a cumulative 2.7 GPA in political science major coursework

In some cases, the Political Science internship director may grant an exception if students do not meet one of the criteria listed above. Students in this situation should speak with their Political Science adviser first, and then contact the internship director with a formal written request for an exception. It is likely the internship director will want to meet with students face-to-face before making any decisions of this nature.

If you are unsure about whether you meet the above requirements, or whether doing an internship for course credit is right for you, please contact your political science adviser at poliadvisor@vcu.edu.

Justin Toy poses with Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Moran
"Working for then Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Moran was a honor due to the service I could give back to my home state. In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, working in Public Safety and Homeland Security taught me a great deal about the effort and passion needed to protect the Commonwealth." -- Justin Toy

Internship Instructions

Students who are interested in receiving course credits for their internship must follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Submit an online internship application form (see below for forms).
  2. Once the application form is approved, the student and their supervisor must sign off on an agreement form (see below) articulating the responsibilities of both parties.
  3. Once the agreement form is received, the Political Science adviser will provide you with instructions on how to override into the course. It is the student’s responsibility to complete this final step of enrolling in course credits.

Failure to complete any of the steps below will result in a student not earning course credit for their internship. This is potentially problematic for both the student and their internship employer, as many internships require that students receive course credit as a form of compensation.

Amanda Hales works with ACLU colleagues in the field
“I am on a pre-law track, and I plan on attending law school post-graduation to study constitutional law. I’m most interested in the area of law that is focused on fighting to promote the civil rights and liberties of all people. So, having this opportunity to intern at and contribute to the ACLU as an organization that has been at the forefront of that fight for almost a century is one that I am very grateful for." -- Amanda Hales

Internship Application and Agreement Forms


 

Read more student internship stories