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, or questions about the Washington D.C. Internship program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why do an internship?
  2. Where will I find the time for an internship?
  3. What sorts of internship opportunities does the PS/IR Department offer? 
  4. How do I find an internship that is right for me?

1. Why do an internship?

  • Get real world professional  job experience.
  • Try out a career field. Is it for you?
  • Make contacts in your desired field for future letters of recommendation.
  • Do good in the world by helping refugees, battered women, animal rescues, homeless, children and others.
  • Help your political party win in the local, Congressional, and presidential elections.
  • See firsthand how local or state government actually works. 
  • Learn a new skill. Improve skills. Meet people. Get off campus. 
  • Get credit for hands-on work rather than reading, writing, and studying for tests. 
  • Earn credits toward your major, minor, or toward the 120 credits needed to graduate. 
  • Earn a grade  for your internship and improve your GPA!

And, believe it or not… I always have quite a few unclaimed internships. 

What sorts of internship opportunities are available? Depends on what you want to do.

  • Do you want to work for a lawyer or court, judge, DA or legal entity?  PS 4040 or PS 4290
  • Or do you want to work for a public affairs/ lobbying firm doing policy research?  PS 4271
  • Or do you want to work for a local government in one of their departments, such a Finance or Administration or Probation/Parole? Or for an agency of the State of Tennessee or federal government?  PS 4290.
  • Or do you want to work for a political campaign or political candidate running for office? Or work for an advocacy / interest group working for policy change?  PS 4271.
  • Or do you want to work for a non-profit organization helping people, the planet, animals, or any group of people?  PS 4270.

Dr. Lisa Langenbach says: I have all of these!  You can do any or all of them. You may do 2 or more internships that count toward a major or minor in the PS/IR Department.  

Contact Prof. Langenbach to figure out which internships are best for your career plans or interests!

2. Where will I 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. What sorts of internship opportunities are available to me?

All Pol Sci, Pre-Law, International Relations, Public Policy & Management majors and minors are encouraged to do two internships as part of their program. Dr. Langenbach can help you find good internships that fit your career goals and interests and give you real world professional work experience. 

These are our internships and a bit about them:

PS 4040 Pre-Law internship. Requires you to have passed PS 2440 first, and most attorneys want you to have had legal writing also. Work for a private attorney -- in corporate, family, international, criminal, general or immigration law, and other areas. Or work for a judge, court, District Attorney, or Legal Aid. You may do this internship twice. 3 credits and a grade. 

PS 4270 Non-Profits internship. Work for any non-profit organization anywhere -- no pre-requisites, no minimum GPA, no minimum credits needed. Anyone can do it. Work for any helping organization anywhere doing anything. You may do this internship twice. 3-12 credits and a grade.

PS 4271 Campaign and Politics internships. No pre-requisites, no minimum GPA, no minimum credits. Anyone can do it. Work for a candidate, political party, campaign, lobby firm, any political entity. You may do this internship twice. 3-12 credits and a grade.

PS 4290 Public Service Internship. Work for any government agency -- local, town, city, county, state of Tennessee, other state, federal.  No pre-requisites, no minimum GPA, no minimum credits. Anyone can do it. Also: Work for courts, judges, District Attorneys -- these legal ones require PS 2440 first. You may do this internship twice. 3-12 credits and a grade.

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 member's legislative office or as a staff member for standing committee. This is a paid internship ($400 per week) and selection is competitive (min 60 credits earned and minimum 3.0 GPA).  Only in Spring semester. We choose 10 people every year. Applications come out in early September.  You may do this internship twice. 3-12 credits and a grade.

PS 4280 The Washington Center. Spend all spring, summer or fall semester in Washington, D.C., and earn 15 credits, work full-time at your choice of internships in D.C. Comes with a big scholarship to pay nearly all of the costs.  Housing and credits included.  Competitive, minimum 60 credits earned and minimum 3.0 GPA.  We choose up to 8 people every year.  Applications come out in early September. You may do this internship once. 15 credits and a grade.

For more information, to start planning your internships, to sign up for internship credits, contact Prof. Langenbach!

And: don't be afraid to ask questions!

4. How do I find an internship that is right for me?

We have ​many internship opportunities that you may find interesting, or you may find your own. ​​ You should think about what sorts of things you want to do and the purpose of your internship.  First, contact Prof. Langenbach at about planning for your internship(s). She can give you suggestions, lists, and point you in the right direction to find the perfect internship for you. 

Follow Us!

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon

For Student Handbooks, the Virtual Mentoring Program, and Scholarships/Awards click on STUDENT RESOURCES in the navigation

For information on Careers, Research and Internship opportunities, Study Abroad, Law Schools, and Graduate Schools click on STUDENT RESOURCES and then STUDENT SERVICES PORTAL