Political Science Internships
State Legislative Internship Program
Two or more upper division students are chosen through a competitive process in the Fall semester to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly for 12 hours of credit for the Spring semester. Six of these hours are counted for upper division political science credit and six count for elective credit. The students work with our local legislators, and they complete a journal or research paper at the conclusion of the legislative session for their grade and to document their service.
Dr. Lauren Harding directs the Legislative Internship Program for the Spring semester.
State Gubernatorial Internship
The internship program for the governor's office is similar to the legislative internship in that it is a Spring semester program which gives 12 total hours of credit - six of which will go toward upper division major hours and six of which will be counted as upper division elective hours.
National Political Party Internship
The political party internship at the national level involves variable credit up to 12 hours for a student who spends an entire semester or summer in Washington, D.C., working with a member of Congress or spends the equivalent time working in a Congress member's district office. Less time, for instance part of a summer vacation, will result in less credit. The student keeps a journal of casework and activities while participating in the congressional internship.
Dr. Lori Maxwell directs the state gubernatorial internship and the national political party internship.
Comments from Past Interns:
Students interested in the internship should read these statements.
"The legislative internship was extremely difficult but equally rewarding. The amount of hands-on work I did for our state made me feel like a part of the team--that made all of the hard work worth it." - Bailey Barnes
"Interning in the state legislature was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was interested in politics prior to the internship, but after being so closely involved in the legislative process, I plan to pursue a political career. Once it gets into your blood you will be addicted for life! " -Marsha Gail Smith
" My internship experience has been an invaluable learning opportunity. Before I came
to work at the legislature I had been involved in state politics for four years. However,
the five months I spent in Nashville provided me with new insights. I tell anyone
interested in applying for the internship to be aware there is a lot of work involved.
Some days you feel like a slave, and you wonder how making coffee everyday can possibly
be enhancing your education. However, you don't realize what a unique opportunity
this is until you reflect on what you knew when you started and compare that to what
you have learned by the end of session. I recommend the internship to anyone who wants
to learn more about Tennessee state politics." -Kim Renae Nelson
"The Legislative Internship Program has provided me with a broad range of experiences. I have gained a deeper understanding of how bills become law. From the committees to the floor, the interns are able to work with their members throughout the process. I recommend the internship for both political science and non-political science majors. This is because it provides students with a deeper understanding of how our political system works, as well as how it directly affects the people." -Leslie Colleen Griffin