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Photo of Boise state sign and Idaho CapitolStep-by-step procedures for registering for an internship

  1. Identify and contact sponsoring agency about internship possibilities. If you need ideas about what kinds of organizations accept interns, feel free to check with your advisor, the Career Center, and the department internship coordinator (Dr. Vaughn). A helpful place to start is the Career Center’s website about internships:
  2. If the agency is interested, then apply for the internship by going to the BSU Career Center website and filling out the “Internship Application for Academic Credit”. Here is the link to the career center page where you’ll find the link to the application:
  3. You MUST then complete the Career Center’s Orientation Workshop. You can access the workshop from the Career Center profile you created when filling out the application (step 2 above). The workshop is a power point presentation that takes about an hour to view, followed by a short quiz. Your internship will not be approved until you complete the Orientation Workshop. Once you complete the application and workshop, your application will transmit electronically to the political science internship director for approval.
  4. You may receive 1 academic credit for each 45 hours of internship work completed. The most common arrangement is to work 10 hours a week for the semester (135 hours total), which would yield 3 academic credits. But, depending on the situation and approval of both the internship supervisor and the political science internship director, you may work as few as 45 hours (1 credit) for the semester or as many as 540 hours (12 credits). Once you complete and submit the application, it will transmit electronically to the political science internship director for approval.

Note: Although the university allows students to apply as many 12 total non-classroom credits (internships, independent studies, etc) toward graduation, the Political Science Department will only accept a total of THREE (3) such credits to apply to the major in the form of upper-division Political Science electives; in order to graduate you must complete six such credits, but only three can come in the form of internship credits. Any additional internship credits (i.e., between 4 and 12) will count toward your 40 required upper division elective hours. Students considering internships are strongly encouraged to discuss how credits will be applied to their degree plan with their advisor before applying.

  1. Next, if your internship application is approved by the department’s internship coordinator, the individual you listed as your internship supervisor will then receive an email asking for their approval. Once they respond as directed in that email, the registrar’s office will be automatically notified. Within one or two weeks they will create a course that will be added to your schedule. You will receive a notification email about this, but be sure to check and confirm the class has been added after that time frame.
  2. Please note that each step of this approval process can take time. You should be sure to communicate with both the department coordinator and your internship supervisor as this process develops in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

Assessment Procedures

  1. Internships in the Political Science Department are graded on a pass/fail basis. Whether you pass or fail is determined by (a) your supervisor’s assessment of your performance and (b) your successful and timely completion of the written requirements of the internship.
  2. An important part of the assessment process is the evaluation of your performance by the intern supervisor in the sponsoring agency/organization. Toward the end of the semester, we send the supervisor a confidential evaluation form to complete. This assessment of your performance is weighted heavily in determining whether you receive a pass or fail. It is very important that you are punctual, responsible, responsive and conscientious in carrying out your internship duties. You should occasionally seek feedback from the internship supervisor, asking if there are areas in which you need to improve.
  3. Over the course of your internship experience you will receive 3-4 essay prompts from the internship coordinator. You are required to reply to these questions within one week; responses must be between 500-750 words in length and can be submitted via email. Responses should be submitted via email to Dr. Vaughn at
  4. At the end of the internship, you must also write a brief (1 full page per credit earned) assessment of the internship experience. Questions to consider when writing this assessment include: What did you do? What did you learn? How did this experience supplement your academic experience? Did you find the internship experience worthwhile? What can be done to improve it? Again, this final essay should be submitted via email to Dr. Vaughn at If this essay is not submitted before final grades are due for the semester in which you are receiving your internship credits, you will receive an Incomplete. This will be changed to a pass or fail after you submit your final essay.

NOTE: The Political Science Department expressly prohibits our interns from engaging in direct lobbying during the internship period.

University Policy on Internships (Policy 3060)


Things to Consider

Consider two or three possible areas in which you would like additional experience.

Review the listing of possible internship opportunities or current postings. Is something of interest? If so, carefully review the application procedure for that particular internship announcement. In most cases, you will be asked to submit a cover letter and a resume to the agency, legislator, or nonprofit organization. You will probably interview and, if successful, you will then go to the Boise State Career Center website to fill out a form for academic credit.

You may also want to look at the lists of internship opportunities that are not current. In many cases, an internship deadline may have passed or it might not be a current internship opportunity. However, that agency has shown an interest in working with interns in the past. It may be that they would be interested again. Don’t worry if you do not see the exact internship that you had in mind. Many students develop their own internships. If there is a particular agency or policy area in which you’d like to work, then you should do a little research about the internship opportunities that may be available. Most organizations post information about their intern programs on their website.

It is a good idea to check the internship announcements on the board outside the Political Science Office. Many agencies place announcements approximately one month before the next semester begins and these announcements keep coming in through the first month of a semester.

photo of students at city hall


Opportunities in Idaho

Ada County Juvenile Court Services

Juvenile Court offers internship opportunities for a variety of disciplines throughout the school year. ACJCS staff determine the placement of an intern in an area or program of the court, and there may not be opportunities at all times of the school year for every intern seeking a placement. All interns must pass reference and criminal background checks.

Deadline: Rolling

Ada County Sheriff’s Office

There are a variety of internships available. Possibilities include: Pretrial/Electronic Monitoring, Inmate Learning Center, Misdemeanor Probation, Property and Evidence, Medical Unit, Community Resources, Records Division, Human Resources and Training Unit.

Deadline: Rolling

Idaho Democratic Party 

The IDP internship program is a way for individuals to explore the political world and discover if it is a good match for their personality and future goals. The average internship lasts three months and includes a keystone project for each intern. Interns usually work between 10-20 hours per week. The program is designed to be a four year/semester program to give politically inclined students a well rounded political experience. Although not required, advancement through the program is a competitive process and is dependent on the students own initiative, motivation, and ability.

Deadline: Interviews are scheduled for the start of each semester.

Representative Raúl Labrador

An internship in Congressman Raúl Labrador’s office is a temporary, unpaid position of public service assisting constituents of Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.  As part of the pursuit of educational objectives, the internship provides hands-on experience in administrative and legislative support, as well as valuable insight into the workings of federal government.

Deadline: Spring: November 1, Summer: March 15, Fall: August 31

Opportunities in Washington, DC


International Affairs and Public Policy focused Capital Semester program in Washington, DC.

Deadline: Early application deadline is March 1st. Students who apply for this deadline will receive a 5% discount on their tuition balance as well as priority consideration for scholarships.

Defense Intellegence Agency Internships

DIA has released its vacancy announcement for the 2018 summer legal internship. This is for a 10-week paid internship within the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Office of General Counsel

Deadline: Applications are due by September 6, 2017

FBI Honors Internship Program

The Honors Internship Program is a 10-week, paid internship for college undergraduate and graduate students. While exploring our exciting career options, students work side-by-side with FBI employees at our Washington, D.C. area headquarters locations, or in field offices around the country.

Deadline: The application period for the 2018 Summer Honors Internship Program and Collegiate Hiring Initiative is open from August 25th, 2017 until October 15th, 2017.

Office of U.S. Senator James E. Risch

Senator Risch’s internship program provides a unique experience that invites students interested in public service to observe U.S. democracy at work and participate in the legislative process. Internships are available year-round in the Washington, D.C. office. The program is open to undergraduate students of all majors, and while preference is given to Idaho residents, all students are encouraged to apply.

Deadline: Spring: November 1, Summer: March 1, Fall: June 1

Public Service Fellows Internship Program

The Partnership’s Public Service Fellows Program provides the opportunity for current students and recent graduates to develop professional skills while helping transform how government works. Our fellows do substantive, meaningful work that is integral to our day-to-day operations, programs and activities. Duties vary across our teams, but include event planning, research, writing and working with outside partners, including federal agencies and universities.

Deadline: Spring 2018 application period is open September 5 through November 3. Announcements will be made in early December.

Representative Mike Simpson

Intern duties can vary greatly depending on how much responsibility you are willing to take on. An internship is not designed to emphasize what you already know, but your ability and desire to learn something new.

Deadline: Rolling

Representative Raúl Labrador

An internship in Congressman Raúl Labrador’s office is a temporary, unpaid position of public service assisting constituents of Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.  As part of the pursuit of educational objectives, the internship provides hands-on experience in administrative and legislative support, as well as valuable insight into the workings of federal government.

Deadline: Spring: November 1, Summer: March 15, Fall: August 31

The Heritage Foundation Young Leaders Program

The Young Leaders Program is a 12-15 week internship program that provides a full educational program while at The Heritage Foundation.  Working up to 37.5 hours, an intern has the opportunity to learn from experts in a variety of fields by way of policy briefings, in-house mentorship, accountability of work, and a First Principles Series.

Deadline: Spring 2018 (runs January 8-April 20): September 24, Summer 2018 (runs May 21-August 10): January 21, Fall 2018 (runs September 10-December 7): June 3

The White House

A select group of young men and women from across the country dedicate their time, talents, energy, and service to better the White House and the Nation. These committed citizens become part of the White House team. The assignments given to an intern on any given day could include: conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events. While interns’ responsibilities and tasks vary by department, all interns are united through weekly events, including a speaker series and small group meetings exploring different policy aspects within the Executive Office of the President. Most importantly, the internship experience emphasizes community, and interns participate in service projects at schools and non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C.

Deadline: Spring 2018: September 8, Summer 2018: January 12

WISH Internships

WISH Internships is dedicated to providing qualified students with quality internships in their field. We are a division of Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH), a Capitol Hill institution that has served interns, internship coordinators and universities for 20 years. Through the internship placement and oversight process, we create an educational environment where students can identify their career prospects while enhancing their employment credentials.

Deadline: Spring: November 1, Summer: April 1, Fall: June 15. Notification of decision will be made within one week of application.

National Opportunities


The Borgen Project

The Borgen Project offers several internships, some of which are at the Seattle headquarters, and others of which are located nationally. Available Seattle Internships include: Donor Relations or Social Media. National Internships include: PR/Marketing, HR, Writer, Journalism, Political Affairs, Editor and Publishing.

Deadline: Varies

Location: Seattle or National

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Internships and fellowships with the EPA are designed for those interested in improving the health and well-being of Americans by ensuring that we have clean air, pure water and well-protected lands. There are a variety of paid and unpaid options available.

Location: Opportunities available at Washington D.C. headquarters, ten regional offices, and labs and research centers throughout the nation

Deadline: Varies

International Opportunities

Émigré Memorial German Internship Program

The Émigré Memorial German Internship Program–German State Parliaments (EMGIP) is a fellowship program that provides U.S. and Canadian students with internships at a German state parliament (Landtag). Internships afford students an excellent opportunity to gain government work experience, improve their advanced German language skills, and learn about German culture firsthand. It is ideal for students planning on pursuing careers at a regional level of government in the United States or Canada, or who have an interest in a specific policy issue such as the environment, education, or healthcare.

Insight Global Education: Semester in Development

The Semester in Development is a semester-long program that is open to undergraduate students of all disciplines. The program is based entirely overseas in Kampala, Uganda, and is unique as it combines studying and interning. While abroad, participants enroll as part-time visiting students at Makerere University, studying one day a week and earning transferable credits. The remaining four days a week have participants interning with a locally run organization in a field directly related to the student’s academic field.

Deadline: Spring 2018: November 15

The GREEN Program

Programs present students with the opportunity to get close-up and personal with their academics, interests and passions by exploring one of the host countries (Iceland, Peru, Hawaii or Japan) for a short-term period of 8-10 days. Programs focus on: 1) Renewable Energy and Sustainability, 2) Water Resource Management and Sustainable Practices, 3) Sustainable Water, Food and Energy Systems, or 4) Disaster Mitigation and Nuclear to Renewable Transitions.

Deadline: Varies for program, and desired session (available over spring, summer and winter breaks).

U.S. Department of State Internship

The U.S. Department of State Student Internship Program is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to work in U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world, as well as in various bureaus located in Washington, D.C. and at Department offices around the United States. This program is designed to provide substantive learning experiences in a foreign affairs environment.

Deadline: Spring: July 1, Summer: October 15, Fall: March 1

Photo of interns

photo of Justin VaughnInternship Coordinator:

Dr. Justin Vaughn
Environmental Research Building, Rm. 5123
Boise State University
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725-1935
ph: (208) 426-2515
fax: 208.426.4370