Topeka and D.C. Internships
What is this Washington D.C. Internship Program?
KU's Washington Intern Program began in 1984, and since then, more than 600 students (mostly from KU, but many from Wichita State, Kansas State, Fort Hays, and others) have participated in this intensive, semester-long Washington experience. Almost all interns have considered their overall experience among the two or three best things they did as undergraduates.
Internships take place during the spring semester of each year. Students spend the entire semester in Washington, and work at full-time internships, which provide the best possible experiences. The internship runs from early January through May 1, although some individual positions extend into May. Intern seminars which feature notable speakers, ranging from senators to Washington Post reporters to think-tank scholars. We often have White House officials conduct personal tours.
Students search out full-time intern positions that will be interesting and carry considerable student responsibility, with assistance from the Department and internship specialists in the in the University’s career center.
Students have a variety of possible full-time internship possibilities, ranging from working in congressional or executive branch offices, independent agencies, lobbying organizations, political consulting firms, campaigns and administrative agencies.
Students who take part in the Washington D.C. Internship will complete courses POLS 494 - Washington Semester Intern Seminar and POLS 496 - Washington Semester Field Work.
What is the Topeka Public Service Internship Program?
The Topeka Public Service Internship Program consists of KU students working with state elected officials, agency administrators and lobbying organizations to learn more about state government and public service. Internships are offered during the spring semester of each year. Most interns work for the Kansas Legislature.
Internships take place during the spring semester of each year at the State Capitol in Topeka. They generally begin the second week in January and run through the end of the semester in May. Students should plan a minimum of two days a week in Topeka. Students are matched with legislators, agency administrators and lobbyists. They have the opportunity to learn how state government works through research on public policy issues, constituent correspondence, committee work, bill tracking, and helping the citizens of Kansas in various capacities.
KU undergraduate and graduate students of all majors are eligible and invited to take part in this internship program. The Topeka Public Service Internship is not a paid internship, but the Legislature does pay $600 for commuting expenses.
Students can earn up to six hours of course credit for their field work depending on the amount of time dedicated to their internship. Fieldwork is graded as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory based on evaluations by your internship advisor. Fieldwork counts toward your political science major credits. Students can earn three hours of credit for enrolling in the seminar. These hours do not count toward your political science major credits. Seminar participants are given a letter grade based on their research paper and participation in seminar meetings.
Students who take part in the Topeka Internship will complete courses POLS 492 - Field Work Politics & Policy-Making and POLS 495 - Topeka Semester Intern Seminar.