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Academics / Departments & Programs / Politics and Economics / Student Experience / Internships

Why an internship?

The internship opportunities through Calvin's politics and economics department provide majors with excellent paths to learn through practical experience. As an intern, you might work in a variety of national, state, and local executive and legislative offices, businesses, governmental and non-governmental agencies, political campaigns, party and interest group organizations, think tanks, advocacy groups, and law-related organizations (e.g., courts, law firms). Students interested in international relations may also consider internships in international business or non-government organizations (NGOs). Internships may take place anywhere and throughout the calendar year.

Finding an internship

While the department will help prospective interns find a suitable organization, students themselves are ultimately responsible for identifying and contacting a sponsoring organization.

Students should consult the following resources:

Internship Credit 

Students can gain credits for their internship experience. Register for an internship seminar course and pay tuition based on the number of credits. Contact the internship coordinator to register for POLS 380 at the beginning of the semester you'll be completing your credit internship; retroactive internship credit is not granted.

Students may apply up to 4 SH of internship credit to the Political Science or PPE major, or up to 2 SH of internship credit to the International Relations major. Calvin University will apply up to 12 SH of internship credit toward the 124-SH graduation requirement.

Students should discuss with their faculty advisor how much internship credit to request.

Credit internships normally count as electives. Some academic departments allow a second internship for credit towards graduation (not another elective). 

In addition to POLS 380, the departments also offer a POLS 383 course during the fall, spring, and summer terms. This 1-credit internship course is pass/fail. Internships must be approved by your academic advisor prior to enrolling in the course. Contact the Career Center if you have questions about taking the 383 internship course.

If you are not eligible for an internship course, you can still complete a non-credit internship to gain professional experience. If you are unsure what is best for you, contact your career coach for assistance.

Other opportunities

The McGregor Fellows Program offers summer research positions with Calvin faculty members. Also worth considering are NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, the University of Michigan ICPSR summer program, and the American Economic Association Summer Training Program. Don't forget to explore student publishing opportunities at AEA as well.

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