Public Affairs Internship

The Department is committed to providing opportunities for practical experiences in governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations to students majoring in political science and international relations. Students in other majors should consult with their own academic department.

Students are expected to find their own internship placements after speaking with the Director of Internships in the semester prior to the internship (please note that internships at law firms or private enterprises are rarely approved unless the firm and the student will be engaged in pro bono work).

Enrollment in any undergraduate internship is by permission of the instructor (the Director of Internships) only, and the Director of Internships determines the number of credits a student may earn. Generally, a student registered for 3 internship credits should expect to work an average of 12 hours per week during the semester. Please consult your advisor to determine whether your internship will count toward your major degree requirements or used as an elective.

All internships are on a Pass/Fail basis (no letter grades).

The Department offers five different internship experiences to qualified students:

  • INR 4943 Internship in International Affairs: Opportunity to gain practical experience in international affairs by working at a consulate, government agency, non-governmental organization, private voluntary organization or institute.
    Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor; INR 2001 or its equivalent; and a minimum of 9 INR credits at the 3000/4000 level.
  • POS 4941 Legislative Internship: Opportunity to gain practical experience by working in the offices of an elected representative in local, state, or national government on legislative activities.
    Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor; POS 2041 or its equivalent; and POS 3424, POS 4122, POS 4182 or POS 4188.
  • POS 4944 Judicial Internship: Opportunity to gain practical experience by working with a judge, state attorney, public defender, or public interest organization on legal or judicial activities.
    Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor; POS 2041 or its equivalent; and POS 3283, POS 3603, POS 3604 or POS 4284.
  • POS 4945 Executive Internship: Opportunity to gain practical experience by working in the offices of a county manager, mayor, governor or president.
    Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor; POS 2041 or its equivalent; and POS 3152, POS 3413, POS 4182 or POS 4188.
  • Washington Center Internships: Administered through The Washington Center (TWC), an organization providing opportunities for semester-length programs of internship and coursework in Washington, D.C. Scholarships are available. Students should have completed at least nine 3000/4000-level credits in their majors before attending TWC. See The Washington Center for further information.

Requirements for enrollment as an intern include:

  • A student wishing to enroll as an intern should consult with the Director of Internships early in the preceding semester in which they wish to intern, and receive written permission to enroll.
  • Students should have at least a 3.0 overall GPA.
  • Students must submit the written recommendation of a PIR faculty member who can attest to the student’s integrity, professionalism, maturity and ability to assume responsibility. The student should request that their faculty recommender send an email supporting their internship to the Director of Internships in the preceding semester in which they wish to intern.
  • A written proposal and agreement by the student and the internship supervisor identifying the placement, the work to be done, the internship hours, and the person who will be supervising the student at the internship site. Please note, while a student may do some office-type work (answering phones, stuffing envelopes, etc.), the experience should be primarily designed to utilize the skills of a college graduate.
  • Students who are accepted as interns are expected to represent the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Green School of International and Public Affairs, and Florida International University in the community. Professional attire and exemplary behavior are required. Failure to represent the university in a positive manner will result in the termination of the internship and a failing grade.