Internship Advisor

Michael Trevathan
332 Bexell Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-3703

Internship Overview

All Political Science majors and minors are eligible to participate in an internship. An educated and marketable Political Science graduate benefits by enriching their classroom studies in a practical work environment. An internship is a way to gain credit for government or law-related work experience. It's also a great way to explore and understand the workday realities of the legislative, judicial, and administrative processes. Political Science interns work with state, federal, and local officials, and with national and international organizations.


What do Political Science Interns do?

Internships should provide a meaningful and practical experience, not just copying and filing.  Some examples of things interns have done are: research for a legislative campaign, research for a legal case, working on phone campaigns, drafting materials and documents, and implementing programs.


How do I find an internship?

There are three ways: create it through personal contacts in an area of interest; check our weekly emails on the PS listserv for internship requests we receive; or brainstorm with the PS Advisor or Internship Coordinator.

Want to visit Washington, D.C.? There are internship opportunities with House and Senate office, the White House, and many other organizations, think tanks, and corporate offices.

Want to study abroad? Internships are available in many countries.  For more information about doing an internship abroad, visit OSU's Office of International Programs website.

Interested in working locally?  Check out the following websites:

Some examples of recent internships include:

  • Benton County Democrats
  • Benton County Republicans
  • CAUSA – Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Coalition (Salem)
  • National Firefighter Training and Carding Association
  • Oregon League of Conservation Voters (Portland)
  • Reynolds Law Firm (Corvallis)
  • Local, State & National Campaigns:
    • Metro Council President Tom Hughes (Portland-Metro area)
    • Commissioner Mary Stern (Yamhill County)
    • Representative Greg Walden (Oregon)
    • Representative Kurt Shrader (Oregon)
    • Senator Jeff Denham (California)
    • Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon)
    • Senator Richard Devlin (Tualatin, Oregon)
    • Jerry Jackson for Benton County Commissioner
    • Former Senator Mitt Romney for President


How Do I Get Political Science Course Credit?


  • Meet with the Internship Coordinator to get approval for your internship to count for course credit, and to complete the necessary steps in order to register.
  • Sign up for a minimum of 2 credits of PS 410 (max 12 credits). 1 credit equals 30 internship work hours.  Depending on the internship, students may do the hours all at once (an intensive 2-week program totaling 60 or more hours), spread across a term (2 credits = 6 work hours/week X 10 weeks = 60 hours/term) or even spread across multiple terms.
  •  Journal: Students must keep a journal throughout their internship. The length depends on how many credits students are enrolled in. For example, for 2 credits, students should write at least 10 pages. Journals should not simply list duties, but serve as a space for reflection and to draw connections between internship experiences, PS coursework and students' PS degree.
  •  Evaluations: Students must undergo two sets of evaluations, once at the midpoint and once at the end of the internship. Students evaluate their own work, and internship sponsors evaluate student work. Students will discuss midpoint evaluations with their sponsors.
  • Students may also sign up for 2 credits of PS 406, which involves an additional reading and writing component to the internship, though this is not required.
  • You should enroll for course credits during the terms in which you participate in an internship. If students elect to also enroll in PS 406, all course requirements must be completed prior to receiving credit for PS 410.


What Makes a "Good" PS Internship?

While you are searching for and/or selecting an internship, keep the following points in mind:

  • Is there someone at the organization that can serve as my sponsor? This person should mentor students, be available for questions and have the time to complete the two required evaluations.
  • Will the internship be connected to my coursework and PS degree? Remember, student journals must include connections between internship experiences and your PS courses.
  • Remember that Political Science is a broad field. Even internships that might not initially appear "political enough" really are. Politics and policies are everywhere. Be creative and critical.



I've Found an Internship, Now What Do I Do?

  1. Make sure you understand course requirements explained in greater detail in the Internship Overview document. If you have additional questions, contact the Internship Coordinator.
    > Internship Overview
    > Internship Requirements & Checklist
  2. Meet with your sponsor. Look over these documents together, fill out the intern-sponsor agreement, sign it, and submit it to the Internship Coordinator.
    > Internship Sponsor Requirements
    > Intern-Sponsor Agreement
  3. Meet with the internship coordinator to go over the form and confirm student requirements. After this meeting (in person or online / over the phone for Ecampus students), students can begin the registration process.
  4. Begin your internship and start journaling.
  5. At the midpoint of  the internship, complete both evaluations. Submit via Canvas.
    > Intern Mid-Term Self-Evaluation
    > Sponsor Mid-Term Evaluation
  6. At the conclusion of the internship, complete both evaluations. Submit the student evaluation via Canvas. Sponsors will submit directly to the Internship Coordinator.
    > Intern Final Self-Evaluation
    > Sponsor Final Evaluation
  7. Complete and submit, via Canvas, the journal and the student evaluation of the internship.
    > Student Evaluation of Internship
  8. Use the internship checklist to keep you on track.
    > Internship Requirements & Checklist