Points of contact for internship classes in the Department of Political Science:

Are you an internship provider? Review information about hosting JMU students

Each of the 4-credit undergraduate internship classes share the following requirements:

  • Committing 200 hours of time to an internship host organization and supervisor;
  • Attending a 45 to 60 minute weekly virtual discussion section with your professor and fellow internship students;
  • Completing course assignments (see below); and, 
  • Fulfilling various reporting and evaluation logistics. 

There are four internship classes offered for undergraduate students. Click on the links to review pre-requisites fro enrollment. 

  • POSC 493 Internship in Political Communication (4 credits): Provides students with communication experiences in policymaking, campaigning, media, legislative politics, and lobbying.
  • PPA 494 Internship in Public Policy (4 credits): Provides students with opportunities for experiential learning in organizations engaged with public policy formulation & analysis.  
  • POSC 495 Internship in Political Science (4 credits): Provides students with experiential learning related to legislative work, policy-making, campaign, constituency, interest group, and/or the judiciary. 
  • PPA 496 Internship in Public Management (4 credits): Provides students with opportunities for experiential learning in either a governmental, nonprofit or other public service application.  

Please note the focus of each course description as they shape what internships are 'acceptable' for the class. For example, an internship with an elected official or political campaign is acceptable for POSC 493 and POSC 495, but not PPA 496.

Also, in general, internships with private companies do not qualify, except in specific situations relevant to the class description. When in doubt, set up a meeting with the approriate internship class contact and ask. Don't work to obtain an internship and then find out that it won't count for the class you need to take.

Follow these steps to enroll in and complete an internship class for any academic term (fall, spring, summer). Note that these classes are 'override only'. You will not be able to directly enroll in the class yourself. 

  1. Find internship options (see below for tips and links) appropriate for the class you need to take. Be sure to check the eligibility of your options with the Internship Coordinator. 
  2. Secure and commit to the best internship option. 
  3. Complete the internship class application found at this link (https://forms.gle/1uHE54xqdjaDs5w8A).
  4. Receive a 'permission to enroll' email from Department Office, head to MyMadison, and enroll in the class. 
  5. Communicate with the faculty instructor to sign up for a weekly virtual discussion section. 
  6. With your internship supervisor, complete the Internship Memorandum of Understanding (link will be sent to you upon approval of your internship.) 
  7. Complete your internship hours and attend your discussion section. 
  8. Schedule your mid-internship 'site visit' meeting with you, your internship supervisor, and your faculty instructor. 
  9. Complete your course assignments and fulfill logistics. 
  10. Complete your online evaluation of your internship experience. 
  11. Your supervisor completes their evaluation of you. 
  12. Your faculty instructor calculates and records your grad

Internship Supervisor Evaluation (25%): Your supervisor will evaluate your work performance based upon the tasks you completed and their quality as well as the level of professionalism with which you carried yourself. 

Research Report or Competency Portfolio (35%): In conjuction with your faculty instructor, you will design and complete either an original research report on a topic of relevance to your internship or a competency portfolio that shows, with evidence, the story of your learning and development. Your faculty instructor will work with you to decide which of these two options you will pursue and will provide detailed instructions.   

Career Report (20%): Your career report will describe critical connections between your internship and your major or minor. It also provides a platform for reflection regarding how the internship class will inform your short and long-term career plans. 

Daily Log, Weekly Check-Ins, Evaluations (20%): To ensure a consistent learning experience, you will engage in a series of logistics that tie your work experience to your JMU academic work. First, you will log your hours and tasks in a format that you can easily share with your faculty advisor each week. Second, you will attend a weekly virtual discussion section wtih others enrolled in internship classes to dig deeper into your experiences. Part of this reflection will include a site visit, either in-person or virtual, where you, your internship supervisor, and your faculty advisor will sit down and discuss your progress. Finally, you will complete an evaluation of your internship experience. 

There are many approaches to securing maningful, learning-based internship experiences appropriate for the undergraduate internship classes in the Department of Political Science. We strongly recommend that all students sign up for an advising session at the JMU Career Center on finding internships, preparing resumes, and practicing informational interviews. 

In gerneral, your internship search time should be alllocated as follows:

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you meet with the Undergraduate Internship Coordinator during their office hours for one-on-one coaching and advising. 

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