PSCI 396 or 397

PSCI 396 or 397 – Which internship should I take?

The Department of Political Science offers two different kinds of internship within the department. The department allows you to take up to two internships—you may elect to take one, one of each, or two of the same kind.

Class Number Class Name Internship Type How Evaluated
PSCI 396 Internship Seminar Project-based internship
  • 25% Journal
  • 25% Supervisor’s evaluation
  • 25% Process component
  • 25% Outcome component
PSCI 397 Internship in Administration Apprenticeship-based internship
  • 25% Journal
  • 25% Supervisor’s evaluation
  • 50% Policy paper

Learning Contract

For both PSCI 396 and PSCI 397, you will need to fill out a Learning Contract, which is available from the Hart Career Center.

The Learning Contract must be signed by you, your department contact (currently Professor Simeone), and your community supervisor before you can be registered for the course. Since these contracts are often signed in the week or weeks just before the term starts, you will not be able to sign up for the internship class using Banner during the regular November or March times.

If you feel uncomfortable with only three classes, sign up for an alternate, which you can drop as you add the internship class in the fall, spring, or May term.

About PSCI 396

In PSCI 396, you will work on a project that is agreed upon ahead of time and specified in the Learning Contract. Sometimes a project will change during the semester, but you will need to get your supervisor and professor to sign off on a project at the beginning of the term. Projects may be ongoing—as Action Research Center (ARC)-sponsored projects frequently are—or negotiated by you before the term.

The process component covers any evidence of civic skills you have amassed during your internship. Examples include action plans, meeting agendas and minutes, survey questionnaires, and any work that documents your progress in attaining civic skill. The outcome component is basically the substantive result of your work—it may be a conference that you organized, survey results, a procedures manual, etc.

If you choose PSCI 396, you must attend a weekly learning community meeting (always scheduled Thursdays at 12:10–12:55).

About PSCI 397

In PSCI 397, you will work as an apprentice with a community expert. You may learn many routine or technical skills pertaining to the field you are learning—whether law, city management, or some other area. In addition to these skills, there must be an academic component to the internship, which the policy paper allows. The policy paper reminds supervisors that they have an obligation to give you time to explore one substantive area, optimally employing the skills you have learned.