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The Political Science Internship (POLI 193) is available to Political Science majors who would like to obtain credit for internship work in government or public service. Effective fall 2015, majors will have to have completed six (6) credits of coursework in the major in order to enroll in POLI 193.

POLI 193 includes both an internship and an academic component. POLI 193 is graded pass/fail only and does not count towards the Political Science major. The student intern is required to work at least 8 hours per week, for a minimum of 100 hours, at the internship agency. In addition to the hours worked, the student must, under the supervision of the faculty supervisor, write a research paper or complete a comparable project, and keep a journal of internship activities. To receive three hours of academic credit, the student is expected to devote at least nine (9) combined hours per week on the internship and the academic component of the course. All students registering for POLI 193 must complete the Online Internship Learning Contract by the following deadlines:

  • Fall and Spring semesters: The contract must be completed and approved by the Friday of the second week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first.
  • Summer semesters: The contract must be completed and approved by the Friday of the first week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first.

Please note: in addition to completing the Online Learning Contract, students should print a copy of the Internship Agency supplementary form (below) and upload it as an attachment of the learning contract.

Please note: Students will not be able to register for POLI 193 after the add period. For more information about POLI 193, please contact the Director of Internships, Robert Jenkins.

Click here to access the Online Learning Contract Manager (OLCM)

Click here to access the Internship Agency supplementary form

Frequently Asked Questions

Purpose of Internship
Types of Internships
Tasks of Interns
Academic Credit
Faculty Supervisor
Approval Deadlines
Procedure for Approval
Internship Requirements
Internship Learning Contract
Accessing the Learning Contract
Grading
UNC Internship Funding Sources

Purposes of the POLI 193 Internship:

1. To provide students the opportunity to earn academic credit while obtaining appropriate, practical work experience demonstrably related to the study of political science;

2. To enable the student to develop the research basis necessary to write a high-quality research or project paper on a topic related to the intern’s work at the agency or organization.

Types of Allowed Internship Agencies or Organizations:

The work of the sponsoring agency must be meaningfully connected to the study of political science. It is the student’s responsibility to find his or her own internship; however, the Director of Internships is available to provide assistance and information. Students can also visit the UNC Career Services Internship Office website.

Tasks of Interns at Agencies:

While some routine administrative tasks are required of any professional employee, it is expected that the majority of the intern’s work will be directed towards the substantive mission of the agency and that the tasks will be of a quality and nature that will justify the award of academic credit. (For example, in an agency that serves clients, the intern must have recurrent contact with the client population whose problem(s) the agency is addressing.)

Academic Credit & Limitations:

1. POLI 193 is limited to Political Science majors only.

2. A student is limited to three (3) hours of academic credit for a POLI 193 Internship.

3. A student is limited to one (1) POLI 193 Internship.

Faculty Supervisor:

The faculty supervisor must be a member of the Political Science Department. Note: administrative staff in the department, including the undergraduate coordinator, cannot serve as faculty supervisors. The student is responsible for finding and confirming a faculty supervisor with whom to work; if necessary, the Director of Internships can be applied to for assistance. Students who find internships are not guaranteed a faculty sponsor therefore, students are advised to secure a faculty supervisor early. A template version of the Internship Learning Contract is available here, for initial advisor planning sessions.

Internship Approval Deadlines:

All students registering for POLI 193 (Internship in Political Science) must complete the Online Internship Learning Contract by the following deadlines:

  • Fall and Spring semesters: The contract must be approved by the Friday of the second week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first.
  • Summer semesters: The contract must be approved by the Friday of the first week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first.

Please note: Students will not be able to register for POLI 193 after the add period.

Procedures for Prior Approval of Internships:

  • Fall and Spring Semester Internships: If the student will be working at an internship during the fall or spring semester, the student should arrange the internship, find and confirm the faculty supervisor, and complete the online internship contract during preregistration the semester prior to the internship. However, in the event that this is not possible, the Online Internship Learning Contract should be completed and approved by the Friday of the first week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first.
  • Summer Session Internships: Students who are interested in doing a summer internship can receive academic credit during the summer session or during the fall semester immediately following the internship.
    • Summer session credit: A student may complete a summer internship for summer session credit only if the student secures a faculty sponsor who will be available to the student during that session. The contract must be approved by the Friday of the first week of classes or by the first day of the internship, whichever comes first. The requirements for summer session internships are the same as for POLI 193 internships during the fall and spring semesters.
    • Fall semester credit: Summer internships will be considered for approval only if the student has obtained a faculty supervisor, completed arrangements with the agency, and completed the online internship contract by the first day of the internship. Credit for POLI 193 is earned and the research or project paper is completed during the fall semester following the summer internship.

Internship Requirements:

  • Time Requirement: The student intern is required to work at least 8 hours per week, for a minimum of 100 hours, at the internship agency. In addition to the hours worked, the student must write, under the supervision of the faculty supervisor, a research paper, or complete a comparable project, and keep a journal of internship activities. To receive three hours of academic credit, the student is expected to devote at least nine combined hours per week on the internship and the academic component of the course. The same minimum number of hours is required for summer and summer school session internships.
  • Research Paper or Project Requirement: A high-quality research or project paper on a topic related to the internship is required. The length of the paper, the date due, and the topic are to be determined by the faculty supervisor and the intern.
  • Journal Requirement: The student is required to keep an internship journal containing daily entries. These entries should set out the intern’s activities at the internship that day, the intern’s impressions and perceptions of those activities, reflections on how that day’s work relates to the student’s service and learning objectives, and actions that the student plans to take at the placement in the future based on what the student learned that day.
  • Agency Evaluation Requirement: The intern is responsible for providing the Agency Evaluation Form to the agency. The completed form must be turned in to the faculty supervisor in order for the intern’s final grade to be assigned. The faculty supervisor determines what weight will be given to the student and agency evaluations, the journal, and the paper or project. The faculty supervisor is responsible for providing this information to the intern at the beginning of the internship.
  • Meeting with Faculty Supervisor: The intern is required to meet periodically with the faculty supervisor to discuss the research or project paper, the student’s progress, and any internship-related problems. The number of meetings, times, and dates are to be determined by the faculty supervisor. If problems arise at the internship the student is required to contact the faculty supervisor immediately.

Internship Learning Contract:

The Online Internship Learning Contract sets out the POLI 193 requirements and the particular tasks and goals for that student’s internship as determined by the agency, student, and faculty supervisor. The student is responding for submitting the Internship Learning Contract through the Online Learning Contract Manager system, including the supplementary Internship Agency Supervisor form that must be completed and signed by the agency supervisor and uploaded as an attachment with the contract. The student is responsible for providing a copy of the completed contract to the agency. Click here for a copy of the Internship Agency supplementary form.

Accessing the Online Internship Learning Contract:

The POLI 193 Online Internship Learning Contract can be accessed using the Online Learning Contract Manager (OLCM) system and the intern’s ONYEN and password. For complete instructions on how to access the system and complete the contract, click here.

Grading:

POLI 193 is graded pass/fail only and does not count towards the Political Science major. The faculty supervisor’s grade is the student’s final grade.

Internship Funding Sources at UNC:

Internships are an essential way for undergraduates to gain career experience. University Career Services offers a listing of possible sources of funding for UNC-CH students pursuing summer internships.