The Internship Experience

Students interested in the annual Legislative Internship, offered in conjunction with UAS, should see our separate web page dedicated to this program. 


Unique among the academic disciplines, political science joins philosophical reflection with practical experience. The Department of Political Science supports both.


To acquire practical experience, students with junior standing may register for PS A495, Internship in Political Science, and earn one to three credits during an academic term, while working on a project, or working with a business, government agency, or nonprofit agency. Acceptable internships vary widely, subject to the approval of the instructor of record for PS A495. 

Internship Opportunities

Although student internships may vary widely, all proposals for internship placements must demonstrate that the student will gain or apply political science knowledge.  Internships must be educational.

Students should feel free to identify and present an internship opportunity to the instructor for approval.   We recommend that students use the College Central job database with UAA’s Career Services Center: 

http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/careerservices/

Search the job title field “political science intern” in quotation marks.  (Employers are asked to register opportunities with this job title.)

We also encourage students to contact the instructor or another member of the political science faculty in advance of the semester, however, for assistance in internship placement. Faculty members are often made aware of excellent opportunities.

 

How Internships Work

If you decide to pursue an internship, register for PS A495. Students may register for PS A495 up to two times, in two different semesters, for a total of six credits, as long as the two internships are different. 

On your own, or with assistance from political science faculty, you should identify an internship before the new semester begins, or at least very early in the semester. In addition to identifying an internship, students must identify a supervisor at the internship site. 

UAA’s Class Schedule Listing will indicate the date and time when registered students will be scheduled to meet together with the instructor of record. The meeting is always scheduled early in the semester. This is a mandatory meeting and convenes only once during the semester. Your instructor will review the internship rules for the semester. 

The instructor of record will require students to complete a contract that details the nature of the internship, and establishes commitments, including concomitant readings and assignments. The student, instructor, and supervisor at the internship site will sign that contract. The student’s fulfillment of its terms will provide the basis for earning credit and a grade.

These requirements must be met in timely fashion in order for a student to earn internship credit: such credit may not be awarded retroactively. The contractual requirements assure that students earning academic credit for an internship do academic work in PS A495 equivalent to the requirements for other UAA courses, and they protect students from internship assignments that do not enhance students’ knowledge of political science.