Political Science Education and the Profession

Internships for Credit: Linking Work Experience to Political Science Learning Objectives

Kevin Lucas Capital University
For undergraduate Political Science students, the possibility of receiving academic credit while completing an internship is often an appealing option. However, for faculty members given the responsibility of supervising these experiences, it can be difficult to establish clear guidelines regarding what a student must do – in terms of where the student does his/her internship, the type of on-the-job tasks the student performs, and the type of complementary academic assignments that the student must complete – in order to receive academic credit that can be applied towards completion of the Political Science major. Based on an examination of syllabi that a number of colleges and universities use for credit-bearing Political Science Internship courses and reflections on my own experiences, I generate a list of suggested “best practices” designed to ensure that students deserve the academic credits they receive and to ensure that their internship experiences do indeed enhance their marketability.