Internships are important in helping students transition out of college and into the working world, as they help students gain critical experience and build skills. Political Science students in the past have interned with law firms, government agencies (at the local, state, and national level), private corporations, congressional offices, non-governmental agencies and interest groups. These experiences help students to further their interests in particular areas of politics, and explore possible careers.
Internships with the Political Science Department can range in durations from one week during the semester, to several weeks during the summer, or even a full semester. Students can earn course credits by enrolling in the Department’s internships course. The exact number of credits can range from one to 12 hours, depending on the duration of the internship.
Students with questions about anything from finding internships to getting WVU credit for them should talk to the department's Internship Coordinator, Dr. David Hauser.
Most often students identify their own internship opportunities and work with the department's Internship Coordinator to integrate the internship into their major. Internships can be discovered informally, via talking to local businesses and government agencies, or more formally through various Federal internship programs which require a formal and competitive application process. On their own initiative, Political Science undergraduates have interned at the US State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Congressional offices, the Commerce Department, and a host of other agencies, business, and organizations.
Internships in West Virginia State and Local Government
The Department offers two internships that enable its majors to intern with the WV state government in Charleston. The Frasure-Singleton Internship enables students to work for one week during the annual sixty-day legislative session, being assigned to a legislator, participating in committee sessions, and engaging in research. A second legislative internship, the Judith A. Herndon Internship, offers students a more extended internship experience in Charleston. This internship program allows the student to participate in the full sixty day legislative session, performing research and other assistance for an assigned state legislator. Further information can be found at this link of the Herndon Internship website. Interested students should discuss these internships with Dr. Jason MacDonald.