Internship Opportunities

 We offer a wide range of internship opportunities in Political Science and International Relations. Nearly all students will benefit from completing one or more internships, so think seriously about the options open to you.

Please contact Dr. Lisa Langenbach  / Peck Hall 252 / (615) 898-2710 /

  • If you have any questions about receiving credit for your internship
  • For questions about the Tennessee Legislative Internship
  • For questions about the Washington D.C. Internship program

What You Will Find on This Page

  1. Why an Internship?
  2. Where Will You Find the Time for an Internship?
  3. Internship Opportunities
  4. Finding an Internship that is Right for YOU

1. Why an Internship?

Internships allow you to do several things that are important:

  • they allow you to investigate different possible careers within Political Science and International Relations;
  • they allow you to gain practical work experience that will be attractive to future employers, law schools, and graduate schools;
  • they allow you to gain professional experience—working in an office, professional communication, professional etiquette, and so on; and,
  • they allow you to establish valuable contacts for your future job search.

Given these benefits, nearly ever Political Science and International Relations major will benefit from completing at least one internship. Completing a couple of internships, allowing you to experience several different aspect of a particular career path, will be even more valuable. 

2. Where will you Find the Time for an Internship?

Students often say that they would like to one or more internships, but can't do so and meet all of the requirements for General Education, their major, and their minors and still graduate on time. It doesn't have to be this way.

First, do not just assume this is the case without talking to your academic advisor first—it is usually possible to find a way to make it happen.

Second, think very seriously about minoring in Political and Civic Engagement. Nearly all internship credits can be used toward the minor requirements, and thus completing internships (one, two, or three different internships) will be an integral part of your program. Instead of internships as something additional to fit into your program, if you minor in Political and Civic Engagement they will be an essential part of your program.

  • Think About Doing an Internship or Service Learning in Another Country

    Today, study abroad programs include options for internships abroad, public service work abroad, and field research. You can find exactly the type of experience YOU want and will benefit from the most. MTSU, for instance, is affiliated with Experiential Learning Abroad Programs (ELAP), which offers structured internship and service learning opportunities year-round, in a variety of fields, yielding valuable personal and professional experience. ELAP allows you to combine going abroad with an internship experience and civic engagement. ELAP offers overseas internship programs in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. If you are interested in this type of hands-on, internship experience overseas, look at the ELAP web site and talk to the nice folks in the Office of Education Abroad, located in Jones Hall. 

3. Internship Opportunities

Again, we want you to complete internships, and, thus, we have many opportunities for you to do so:

PS 4040: Pre-Law Internship: 
The Pre-Law Internship is open to student who want to gain practical experience in private law offices, as well as the offices of prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, and judges.

PS 4270: Political Campaign, Non-Profit/NGO, Interest Group Internship:
The Political Campaign Internship program is a special course in which a student works for a political campaign or lobbying/advocacy group at the national or local level in order to directly experience the elements of campaigning for public office or public policies.

PS 4290: Public Service Internship:
The Public Service Internship program is a special course in which a student works for a governmental agency at the national, state or local level. Some internship experiences with private (non-government) organizations are acceptable if both the organization and the job that the intern is to carry out deals substantially with government agencies or government policies.

PLEG 4010: Para-Legal Internship:
The Paralegal Internship program is a special course in which a student works for a law firm or law-related agency in order to observe the workings of the legal system in practice and gain paralegal work experience.

PS 4360: Tennessee Legislative Internship:
The Tennessee Legislative Internship places students to work full time each Spring semester while the the Tennessee Legislature is in session. Students work either in a members legislative office or as a staff member for standing committee. This is a PAID internship and selection is competitive. Applications are accepted early each Fall semester for placement in the Spring semester.

PS 4280: Washington Internship:
The Washington Internship involves spending a semester with The Washington Center in Washington D.C.. Students complete a 12 credit hour internship (tailored to each student's career goals), and a 3 credit seminar. Selection is competitive and applications are typically accepted each Fall semester for the following Spring and Summer terms.

4. Finding an Internship that is Right for YOU

We have students find an internship that they want, and then we pick up and administer this internship. This requires you to think about places where you would like to gain work experience, pick up the phone, and make some cold colds to places where you would like to work.

So, think about the experience you want, and start calling relevant agencies, offices, and campaigns and ask if you can intern with them. Simply introduce yourself, explain that you are an MTSU student majoring in Political Science or International Relations, what your career goals are (in a sentence or two, no more), and ask if you can intern. Be polite, to a fault. You may get a few "No" responses, but, with very minimal effort, almost all students find an internship placement that is exactly right for their interests and career goals.

  • For a comprehensive list of offices and agencies that have accepted  Political Science and International Relations majors as interns in recent years, i.e., places where you might start your search for a valuable placement, click here.

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