Political Science Interns

The Political Science Internship Program

The Political Science Internship Program has placed more than 250 students in professional positions over the past ten years. The department offers placements in government offices, non-profits, private businesses, law offices, and other occupations pertaining to the civic, political, and legal world.

Application & Selection Process

The Intern Director (Professor Mike Yawn) initiates a call for applications each semester. For the Fall semester, the application process occurs in July and August; for the spring semester, the process occurs in November and December; and for the summer semester, the process occurs in April and May. 

Interested students should submit an application and resume in an appropriate format. Applications and resumes can be emailed to Professor Yawn at mike.yawn@shsu.edu, given to a student worker in CHSS 490, or dropped in Professor Yawn's door tray (CHSS 477).  Applications will likely be taken through the first week in August, but earlier submissions are preferred.

Applications and resumes will be reviewed by a SHSU selection committee (consisting of the LEAP Center Director, LEAP Center staff, and intern alumni). The LEAP Center will then work with selected students to apply for positions that provide the best fit. Student applications and resumes will be submitted to partner agencies, and agency supervisors will select the students they wish to interview. Students are encouraged to be open to multiple opportunities. The more interviews the students accept, the greater chance they will have of being selected. Following interviews, both students and agency supervisors will rank their preferences, and LEAP Center staff will work with all parties to find the best match.

While the selection criteria depends on the needs of agencies and the quality of intern pool, the selection committee considers the following qualities:

  • Academic Performance
  • Reliability and Professionalism
  • Participation in LEAP Center and Closely Related Events
  • Interviews and interactions with faculty and staff
  • References

Internship Requirements

To be considered for the internship, students must agree to abide by the program's code of conduct, register for and remain enrolled in POLS 4095, and must fulfill the responsibilities of the agency. The internship is not a "class" in the traditional sense. Students attend a mandatory orientation at the beginning of the semester and complete three assignments throughout the semester, but their primary responsibility is to do quality work at their intern agency. Students will receive a grade for their internship, and students who fail to complete the internship or fulfill its requirements will receive an F. For the part-time option, students will earn three hours of credit. In paid internships (with the City of Huntsville) the student must work 16-20 hours per week; students in unpaid internships must work approximately 10 hours per week. For the full-time option, students work full-time at their agencies and earn six hours of credit.

Credit for internships cannot be given after the fact. If you are interested in a specific internship, please check with the Intern Director Mike Yawn to see about the feasibility of receiving credit. Credit will not be given to students who do not meet the regular qualifications, for internships with family or friends of the family, or with agencies without institutionalized procedures.

Partnering Agencies

City of Huntsville

  • Huntsville Main Street
  • Wynne Home Arts Center
  • City Secretary's Office
  • Huntsville Planning Office
  • Huntsville Public Library
  • Huntsville Police Department

City of Willis
Law Offices (District Attorneys' Offices and Private Firms)
Congressional Offices (District and Washington, DC)
State Legislative Offices (District and Austin)
Private Businesses
Non-Profits and Think Tanks
Political Campaigns
Political Consultants
Department of State
Federal Bureau of Investigation
State Law Enforcement Agencies

Former Interns

Former participants in the Political Science Internship Program have gone on to impressive careers in diverse fields. Emily Johnson now works for the Sunset Commission in the State Legislature; Blake Roach is a field representative for Governor Greg Abbott; Ariel Leaf works as a District Representative for Texas Senator Charles Schwertner; Melva Gomez works for Texas Representative John Otto; Megan Bryant works for one of the largest non-profits in the world, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Laken Jenkins works for Coats Rose PC law firm. Moreover, the Political Science Internship Program is an excellent stepping stone to the Austin Internship Program. Of this year's ten Austin Interns, six previously participated in the Political Science Internship Program.


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