In addition to the opportunities below, the department regularly sends announcements about new internships via email to the entire enrolled POLS student body. Students are also encouraged to directly contact elected officeholders (including members of Congress) at their local offices to request information about internship opportunities. To stay aware of other opportunities, join the Canvas course offered by the National & International Scholarships and Fellowships Program (NISFeP).
Offered Annually: The James R. Galbraith Fellowship from the Pat Brown Institute
The James R. Galbraith Fellowship is a local public policy internship under the supervision of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs. For 10 weeks, undergraduate and graduate students are placed at a political, business or community worksite, where they learn more about the public policy implementation process. Past internship placements include the Office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the Office of State Senator Bob Huff, the Office of State Senator Gloria Romero, and the Office of Congressmember Hilda Solis. Students complete the program with a better understanding of how public policies are formed and carried out, and how policies affect local communities. Fellows are selected on the basis of academic competence as well as demonstrated interest in public policy. Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time as a student at Cal State LA and possess a minimum 3.0 GPA. The selection process begins annually during the fall semester. Download Application.
Offered Annually: Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Internship
The Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Internship is a unique program that has served Cal State LA students for over three decades. Each year a limited number of highly motivated seniors in any undergraduate major are selected to participate in an internship program conducted by several Los Angeles Superior Court judges. Judicial interns are assigned to a different judge/mentor each term, alternating between criminal and civil courts. Interns gain first-hand familiarity with numerous aspects of the judicial process by observing trials, in-chamber meetings, and other legal proceedings. Through discussions with their judge/mentors, interns gain critical insights into the adversarial system and are exposed to differing jurisprudential perspectives. Contact Prof. Martin Adamian for further information and to apply.
Offered Annually: California "Capital Fellows" Program
Administered by CSU Sacramento, but open to graduates of any 4-year university, the Capital Fellows program consists of 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows, and 10 Judicial Administration Fellows who receive an outstanding opportunity to engage in public service and prepare for future careers, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California. Fellows in each program work for 10-11 months, receive health benefits and a monthly stipend, and have the status of employees of Sacramento State University. The fellows work as full-time members of a legislative, executive, or judicial branch office, and are typically given assignments with a significant amount of responsibility and challenges. Fellows also enroll as graduate students at Sacramento State and receive graduate units from the Sacramento State Government Department or Public Policy and Administration Program. The enrollment fees are paid by the programs.
Application deadlines for the Capital Fellows Program are in early February of each year. General application information can be found on the Capital Fellows Program website. Students who seek to apply should contact a professor in the Political Science Department for further advice. In addition, students should contact the Cal State LA National Scholarships Office for further assistance.
Offered Annually: Panetta Congressional Internship
Each fall, the Panetta Institute hosts students for its Congressional Internship Program beginning in mid-August through mid-November. The semester-long public service experience was created by Leon Panetta and is sponsored by the Panetta Institute. Today, it is considered one of the finest congressional intern programs in the nation. Following two weeks of classes at the Institute, twenty-five students travel to Washington, D.C. They will serve eleven weeks as interns in the United States House of Representatives, in the offices of both Republican and Democratic members. Students are nominated by university presidents from the California State University campuses. Each intern is selected based on an exemplary scholastic record as well as interest in politics, policy and public service. In order to ensure that merit is the determining factor for participation, the Panetta Institute covers all expenses associated with the program including tuition, airfare, lodging and assistance for living expenses. The Institute’s financial support allows students from all socio-economic backgrounds to participate. Here is the story of one Cal State LA student who participated.
Students who seek to apply should contact a professor in the Political Science Department for further advice. The application deadline is usually in fall, to start in the following fall. In addition, students should contact the Cal State LA National Scholarships Office for further assistance.
Offered Annually: "Cal State DC Scholars" Program in Washington, D.C.
The Cal State LA Political Science Department supports the Cal State DC Scholars Program run by the CSU Fullerton Political Science Department. The program is described as follows: "Since 2006, the Cal State DC program has offered students opportunities to study and intern in our nation's capital. Through our program, students enroll in full-time academic units while interning in Washington. Internships can be with congressional offices, executive agencies, museums, security firms, business groups, political parties, advocacy groups, non-profits, and a variety of other offices in and around Washington, D.C. Juniors, seniors, and graduate students from all majors and CSU campuses are encouraged to apply. The program is neither partisan nor ideological and welcomes students from all political persuasions."
For the summer program, students will enroll in two courses through CSU Fullerton Extended Education. Credit for "POSC 402: Cal State DC" at Fullerton can be transferred to CSULA to give students credit for "POLS 4000: Power and Policy in Washington: Congress and the President" and credit for "HUM 496: Internship" can provide CSULA credit for "POLS 3950: Community Service in Political Science." Thus, students can earn a total of six units from this experience, with the three for POLS 4000 directly applicable as a POLS elective and the three for POLS 3950 applicable towards the total CSULA graduation unit requirements of 180 units. Students can apply directly through Cal State DC Scholars website but should notify the Cal State LA Political Science Department Chair in advance.