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Local Internship Research Program

The Political Science Department invites talented students to participate in the Local Internship Research Program, where you will receive academic credit while working at a local internship. Professor Maysa Nichter, the Law & Politics Initiative Director, is the person in charge of this program as the Local Internship Director, and can be contacted at Please use the email subject: "Local Internship Research Program" when contacting Professor Nichter about the opportunity. 

Students will participate in a local (San Diego/Southern Orange County area) internship. Internships may be with local state legislative or congressional district offices, city or county offices (non-zonal or planning activities), or non-government agencies/interest groups (NGOs). 

Students should seek out their own internship opportunities. The Internship Director may also assist students to find a suitable placement.

Please read below for more information about the Local Internship Research Program.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must have:
  • Passed at least 90 units;
  • A 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA overall;
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher in political science;
  • Completed POLI 30 (D); and
  • Completed at least two upper-division political science courses.

How to Apply

  1. Connect with Professor Nichter about your internship to verify that it is acceptable for POLI 197SD.
  2. Prepare a cover letter and resume
  3. Complete the Local Internship Research Program Form.

Types of Internships

Students can participate in a variety of internships for the Local Internship Research Program.

Most often, these include: local congressional and state legislative field offices; local governments, including mayoral, city council, and county commission offices; and interest groups and other NGOs (non-governmental organizations), locally based.

Examples of recent internships:

- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's district office
- U.S. House Representative Duncan Hunter's district office
- U.S. House Representative Scott Peters' district office
- California State Senator Joel Anderson's office
- Sarah Boot for City Council Campaign
- Allen Theweny for El Cajon Mayoral campaign
- San Diego County Taxpayers' Association
- United Nations Association of San Diego
- United States Attorney's Office--Southern California District
- San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

How it Counts Toward the Political Science Major

Participants will enroll in the Local Internship in Political Science, POLI 197SD, which is available each quarter during the academic year. After completing POLI 197SD, students may also enroll in the Local Internship Research Seminar, POLI 194SD, in the Spring quarter. In the POLI 194SD course, students write a research paper or complete an equivalent project under the direction of Professor Nichter. The topic of the research seminar will be individualized for each student and coordinated among the internship granting office, the student, and Professor Nichter.

  • The Research Seminar (POLI 194SD) will count as one upper-division elective for the major (taken for letter grade).
  • The Local Internship Seminar (POLI 197SD) will not count towards the Political Science major (taken as Pass/No Pass), but may be counted as credits towards graduation. Students can complete POLI 197SD up to two times, for a total of 8 quarter units. Please check with your College to inquire how the internship units will apply to your overall graduation requirements.