Political Science Internships
For the latest internships, please visit the internship listings page
The department offers two possibilities for students to gain practical work experience relevant to political science and international relations. For more information, consult with a faculty member or with the internship coordinator, Jeremy Grace.
In all instances where a student wishes to undertake an internship for academic credit, they must complete an application packet available from the department secretary. This means that students who wish to participate in the Washington Program or other formal programs available through SUNY must complete two applications: one for the Department, and if approved, one for the sponsoring organization. Students who wish to pursue a local internship generally only need to complete the Department application packet and then any other application forms required by the sponsoring organization.
International Relations Internships
IR majors who will complete an internship to satisfy the major requirement need to also be pre-approved, even if they are not seeking academic credit hours.
The following minimum requirements establish eligibility for admission to the internship program:
- Junior or Senior standing
- Cumulative GPA of 2.75 and major GPA of 3.0
- Submission of application form, current resume, and latest official transcript (recommendations may be required as well)
- Interview with the department internship coordinator
Students accepted into the internship program will work with the internship coordinator and onsite supervisor to develop specific job description, including number of hours to be worked. Students are also required to participate in weekly meeting with the internship coordinator, conduct additional readings, and write a paper.
IR students seeking to complete an internship in satisfaction of the IR related requirement should note that the internship must be relevant to international relations. This means you cannot intern with the local district attorney, for example. There are a few local positions, such as the United Nations Association of Rochester, Migrant Legal Services, etc, that are available, but the opportunities are limited. Furthermore, in order to apply three credit hours to you IR track, the internship must be even more specifically related to a course in that track.
Any student who secures an outside position for which he/she wishes to receive college credit must meet the above requirements and complete all paperwork before the internship begins. Internship credit cannot be arranged after the work is underway.
Registration and Credit
Students cannot register for the internship program by themselves. The student and faculty director will fill out a contract form. Registration for the internship is completed by the coordinator the first week of classes, upon receipt of the internship contract. Contracts are available from the Secretary in the PLSC office.
The intern will be enrolled under INTR 395 or PLSC 395, participate in weekly meetings with the internship coordinator, and can earn a total of 1 - 15 college credits based on the number of hours worked at the agency over the 15 week semester as follows:
- 3 credits = 113 hours
- 6 credits = 225 hours
- 9 credits = 338 hours
- 12 credits = 450 hours
- 15 credits = 563 hours
Internships are graded based upon an evaluation of their field performance completed by their field supervisor and by the quality of their performance in the academic components of the internship, including class meetings, assigned readings, and a ten page paper under the supervision of the internship coordinator.
Local and Self-Developed Internships
For local and self developed internships, upper division students can gain meaningful experience with public and private agencies while earning three credit hours applied to the PLSC elective requirements or the IR thematic cluster track. In addition, students can earn up to a total of fifteen hours of college credits. Qualified students supplement classroom learning with first-hand experience in professional settings.
Local and self-developed internships are not offered during the summer. If you wish to intern over the summer, you should look for a university administered program.
For internships in Washington DC, students are strongly encouraged to work with the Washington Program.
In recent years, students have worked as interns through the local/self developed internship program at a wide variety of agencies in Western New York, Albany and further afield. The department maintains a comprehensive list of agencies and contact information.
The following partial list is only to give you an idea of where students have developed internships in the past few years:
Buffalo Police Department
Law Offices of Jones and Skivington
City Court of Rochester
Legal Aid Society of Rochester
City of Albany Department of Law
Livingston County Administration
Victim Services (City of Rochester)
Livingston County Dept. of Health
Chemung Court Judge
Livingston County Dept. of Social Serv.
Dutchess County District Attorney
The Legislative Gazette
Erie County District Attorney
Livingston County District Attorney
Monroe County Planning & Development
Geneseo Town Board
NYS Division of Human Rights
Groveland Correctional Facility
Law Office of Alfred Sciarrino
Monroe County Democratic Committee
Livingston County Public Defender
NYS Dept. of Law Consumer Fraud Dept.
Livingston County District Attorney
Office of Assemblyman Errigo
NYS Supreme Court
Office of Congresswoman Slaughter
Office of U.S. Senator Kristin Gilibrand
Office of U.S. Senator C. Shumer
United Nations Association of Rochester
Journeys End Refugee Services
Rochester Mayor's Office
American Red Cross
Rochester Housing Council
Obama for America
Local, State, or National Political Campaign