The Department of Political Science believes students who participate in an internship during their course of study enrich their educational experience. To encourage students to participate in these opportunities, we offer academic credit for internships related to political science. These internships offer students the opportunity to experience practical application of the knowledge learned in academic courses, to explore career options, make contacts, and build networks that can assist in locating employment.

ISU students may receive academic credit for some internship activities related to politics and government. An internship combines work experience with academic performance. To obtain credit for the internship, interns enroll in POL S 4990; the permission of both an advisor and the course instructor/coordinator is required. The number of credits earned is based on the total hours worked during a regular semester or during a summer session and upon the nature of the learning experience provided by the intern experience. Also, no more than 12 credit hours will be counted toward any degree requirements of political science majors, no more than 6 credit hours will be counted toward the major itself, and internships generally are not available for fewer than 3 credits. Please contact Dr. Kelly Shaw, our internship coordinator, if you have any questions.

The requirements to take the internship course and receive credit in political science are (a) junior or senior standing, (b) at least six credits completed in political science at ISU, preferably in courses substantively related to the internship activity, and (c) at least a 3.0 GPA (or the instructor’s permission and at least a 2.5 GPA overall). Academic credit must be arranged before the internship begins. No retroactive credit will be given for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in advance.

When searching for an internship, a great place to begin is CyHire to access internship and full-time job postings. This program provides a connection between students, alumni, and potential employers. Do some research before you contact an individual, agency, or organization about a possible internship.


I don’t think I would have gotten an internship with the Department of Justice if I didn’t have my first internship with a local representative, so I needed those small, unpaid internships in order to get the bigger ones.

Natalia Rios Martinez, ’23 political science, international studies, public relations

Some resources or possible internships for political science students include:

  • State of Iowa
  • Governor’s Office
  • Iowa Democratic Party
  • Iowa Green Party
  • Iowa Libertarian Party
  • Iowa Republican Party
  • U.S. Senator Charles Grassley
  • U.S. Senator Joni Ernst
  • U.S. Representative Rod Blum
  • U.S. Representative David Young
  • U.S. Representative Dave Loebsac
  • Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Story County, Iowa
  • U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Internship Program
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Washington Center
  • CIA
  • FBI
  • White House Internship Program
  • World Food Prize
  • United Nations Internship Programme