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Political Science Internship Program

The Political Science department is pleased to be able to offer a variety of internship opportunities to students.  Internships allow students to gain first-hand experience to relate their academic preparation to work settings.  Students also often discover new areas of interest, make valuable connections, and receive job offers at the conclusion of their internships.  Graduating Political Science majors, when asked the highlight of their academic experiences at UK, commonly single out their internships as the most-enriching things they've done.  We encourage talented and ambitious Political Science majors to plan their studies so that they can fit internships into their curriculum. 

There are a variety of internship opportunities for Political Science students.  Students often volunteer or take jobs with elected officials, government agencies, political campaigns, non-proffits, nonpartisan organization, law firms, and the like.  We also offer more structured programs in Frankfort and Washington, DC.  See the menus below to learn more about the primary paths students pursue when they are interested in internships, some recent opportunities that have come across our desks (Summer Tab; Local, Regional, and Remote Opportunities tab), and a list of previous internship placements (Internship Placements Tab) to get an idea of the type of internship political science students experience.

Path 1: Kentucky Legislative Internship Program (KLIP)

The UK Department of Political Science conducts a Kentucky Legislative Internship Program (KLIP) every spring semester to align with the Commonwealth's legislative sessions in the Kentucky General Assembly.  This comprehensive legislative boot camp can serve as the culminating experience of a PS major's studies, or it can be a great launching point for students earlier in their academic careers who intend to continue their study of the political process or to go on to additional political work on the national level. 

What is it?  KLIP gives UK undergraduates a comprehensive experiential education related to legislative process, with a focus on Kentucky state politics, by combining extensive hands-on experience in the Kentucky assembly (assisting an individual legislator) with intensive academic exploration of the scholarly literature relevant to their internships (by enrolling simultaneously in relevant PS department courses).  The interns also periodically gather with the rest of their cohort in the program, sharing advice and experiences.  

Note that the Commonwealth’s legislature has both long (no more than 60 legislative days in even-numbered years) and short (no more than 30 legislative days in odd-numbered years) sessions that meet each spring.  The KLIP program varies in a manner consistent with these long/short sessions.

Student requirements and recommendations for the KLIP program include:

  • Enroll in 3 credit hours (odd years) or 6 credit hours (even years) of PS 399 Internship.  Students must be able to work in Frankfort all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as on Wednesday afternoons.
  • [Even years only] Enroll in a special seminar for interns (PS 492), worth 1 credit hour, taught either on campus or in Frankfort.
  • [Even years only] Enroll in PS 476G Legislative Process, PS 557 Kentucky Government and Politics, or  PS 458 State & Local Government, taught on campus MWF mornings and worth 3 credit hours (although students who have already taken the course still could be allowed to participate).  Note that we will make every effort to offer one of thess three courses every even-numbered spring.  Students can still participate in the KLIP program if these courses are not offered.

Students wishing for more than the required credits may sign up for additional course work as long as doing so does not conflict with the internship obligations.

Who can apply?  You must be a UK Political Science major/minor or a pre-law student in good standing. You must have completed 9 hours of political science (or other relevant) course work before the spring semester in which you wish to intern.  Entrance into the program is competitive, and selection of Legislative interns will be based on academic record, relevant experience, and perceived ability to perform as an intern.

When do you apply? Each fall the political science department will put out a call for applications.

Applications for Spring 2023 due on October 31. Apply for spring 2023 here.

Path 2: WilDCats at the Capitol and Washington, DC Internships

WilDCats at the Capitol

WilDCats at the Capitol is the internship program for students wishing to work in Washington, DC. It is a collaborative program between the UK President’s Office, Student Government, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Political Science department.  This program allows students to intern either for a full semester (fall or spring terms) or during the summer.

Watch the video below for a description of this opportunity:

For more information and to apply, visit the WilDCats at the Capitol page here.

 

Other Internship Opportunities in Washington, DC

Although WilDCats at the capitol works to place students in internships, students who find their own internship in Washington DC are also eligible to participate in the program. And, some internships, like those with government agencies, require students to apply independent of their internship programs and far inadvance. Here are some resources for students interested in finding their own internship or applying for internships, then in the next section, we include more details about applying for internships in the federal government.

  • Log into Handshake and search for positions that are specifically posted for UK students and alumni. Handshake is exclusive to UK students and is the preferred online job resource for employers specifically seeking UK students. The Career Center posts internships and jobs (local, national and global), upcoming events, employer info sessions, and more.
  • Glassdoor is an online job board linking you to thousands of jobs. You can research companies, employee reviews, personalized salary tool, etc.
  • LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development. You can use LinkedIn to display your resume, search for jobs, and enhance your professional reputation by posting updates and interacting with other people.
  • GoinGlobal is a database that contains country-specific career and employment resources for more than 80 locations. You can use job searching resources, learn about work permits/visa regulations, resume guidelines, interview tips, etc.
  • College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University maintains a list of internship postings in Washington, D.C. here.
  • For Internships inInternational Relations & Foreign Policy, Dr. Meredith Loken from University of Massachusetts-Amherst has compiled a hyper-linked list of 109 organizations that have paid and unpaid internship programs. Check out all the available opportunities here.
     

Other organizations in DC with reoccuring internshp opportunities include:

  • The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) hires undergraduate and graduate level interns for semester long internships throughout the year.
  • The ACLU is regularly hiring interns in their Washington DC office (as well as other offices--NYC and San Francisco). ACLU internships are often paid. You can view their internships here.
  • The Center for International Policy has a paid internship program.
  • The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) regularly seeks interns.
  • National Women's Law Center offers year-round academic credit internship program and a paid summer internship program. NWLC offers stipends in the amount of $100.00 per month, not to exceed $600 for the period of the internship to defray the cost of food and transportation to interns who are receiving college/university credit.
  • The Hill has a very active internship program that covers our editorial and creative departments.

 

Internships in the Federal Government

Some of the best internships in Washington DC are in the federal government. Often times, students must apply for these internships themselves. Although we regularly place our interns in congressional offices, we cannot typically place students in government agencies. They require a separate application that students must submit far in advance. Students who want an internship with a federal agency typically must plan a year in advance.

The Congressional Research Services developed a report to help students navigate this process. They summarize their report in this way: "Although there are many opportunities in the federal government for internships, fellowships, and other work experience, there is no comprehensive source to assist in locating these opportunities. This report describes internet resources for prominent and popular opportunities for internship, fellowship, and work experience programs within the federal government. The report is intended as a selective guide for students of all levels: high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate. It provides information on legislative, executive, and judicial branch opportunities and links to several aggregators of jobs data. The introduction provides a number of insights to assist applicants on understanding terminology, timing applications, and expectations for types of work involved." You can access a copy of the report here.

In addition to this very useful report, here are some links to federal government internship programs that are popular among our students.

 

Diversity Opportunities in Washington, DC

We would also like to bring your attention to a number of diversity opportunities featured in the Congressional Research Services report. Many of these are paid opportunities. 

  • Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies: The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)offers internship and fellowship opportunities for Asian Pacific Americans to encourage participation in the political process. All positions include a stipend and round-trip airfare to Washington, DC.
  • Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Internship and Fellowship Programs: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF)offers an internship program, including a specialized communications program, as well as several fellowship programs, including the Donald M. Payne Foreign Policy Fellowship, and programs focusing on energy, health policy, and technology and cybersecurity. All the fellows programs aim to provide research and policy analysis opportunities for persons with graduate or professional degrees. All CBCF programs include either a salary or a stipend and housing.
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Internship and Fellowship Programs: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)Summer Internship Program provides undergraduates with the opportunity to work in congressional offices. Interns receive housing, round-trip transportation, and a stipend. The CHCI has two fellowship programs available. Both he CHCI Public Policy Fellowship Program and the Graduate Fellowship Program provide graduate students, or recent college graduates, with the opportunity to obtain experience in public policy. The range of placements includes congressional offices, federal agencies, media, business federal affairs offices, advocacy groups, and government-related institutions. Fellows receive round-trip transportation and a stipend.
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program: The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)National Internship Program (HNIP) recruits undergraduate and graduate students from all academic majors for paid summer and semester internships at federal agencies and private companies in Washington, DC, and throughout the country. Interns may also receive round-trip transportation and housing.
  • Minority Access National Diversity and Inclusion Internship Program: This is a paid internship program for undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants are selected by federal agencies and other participating organizations in the Washington, DC, area and elsewhere. Interns receive stipends and may receive assistance with travel expenses.
  • Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship Program: The Udall Foundation offers American Indian and Alaska Native students the opportunity to work in congressional offices, federal agencies, or the White House for the summer. Interns receive round-trip transportation, housing, and a stipend.
  • Women’s Congressional Policy Institute Congressional Fellowshipson Women and Public Policy Program: The program provides graduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to work for eight months in congressional offices as legislative assistantson policy issues that affect women. This program went by the previous names of Women’s Research and Education Institute (WREI) Congressional Fellowships, and Women’s Policy, Inc. Congressional Fellowships.
Path 3: Local, Regional, and Remote Opportunities

 

The department works hard to secure internship opportunities at local and regional offices. Below are some opportunities and resources we hope students consider.  These are not formal arrangements with partner offices, so students should (1) apply for opportunities themselves using the information below and (2) follow the procedures in "Path 4" below to receive course credit for these positions.

Regularly Occuring Internships in Lexington and the Region

Kentucky State Government: The state government regularly has internship opportunities available for college undergraduates. This personale website contains current internship listings here.

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass: Interns get a wide-arrange of experience– in-depth training on government benefits (including Medicare, Medicaid, Waiver Services, SNAP benefits, etc.), are active in policy research to both remain abreast of the constantly evolving landscape of benefits as well as resources that can serve our clients,   have the opportunity to directly engage clients to provide advocacy and support, and have a front-row seat to the practice of law. This flyer has information about internships. To apply contact Mr. Mason King directly: mking@lablaw.org.

The (Kentucky) Secretary of State's Office: welcomes high school juniors and seniors, college students, and graduate school students to gain experience through internships. Interns have opportunities to work with the office of elections and the land office, as well as the State Board of Elections. Interns also participate in the Office's civic outreach efforts. A Secretary of State's Office Internship is a great way to learn more about the office and contribute to the important services it provides. Hours are flexible, and opportunities are available year-round. If you would like to be an Intern in the Office, please fill out and return an application here.​​

Council of State Governments: The CSG is headquartered in Lexington Kentucky. They regularly host interns from the University of Kentucky. Click here for internship opportunities for undergraduate students and here for opportunities for graduate students. More information about their internship program is available here.

The Borgen Project: The Borgen Project is a non-proffit committed to fighting proverty. Lexington internships are available at The Borgen Project. The organization offers internships in Lexington, KY and positions are available in various areas including public relations, writing, editing and political science. Internships in Lexington can be done at home, but interns must tune into bi-monthly conference calls, assist with fundraising, and submit weekly assignments.

Kentucky Office of Homeland Security: KOHS is always accepting internship applications for internships. Internships are very competative so interns are encouraged to apply early. Click here for the KOHS internship page.

Kentucky Democratic Party: The KDP regularly hosts interns. Check their website for information and applications.

Kentucky Republican Party: The RPK regularly hosts interns. Check their website for information and applications.

Senator Mitch McConnell Internship: The McConnell internship program provides college students with the opportunity to enhance their education while working in a fast-paced office of a national leader. Participation in the program allows interns the ability to gain valuable inner-office experience as well as increase their knowledge of issues important to both the Commonwealth and our country. A few part-time internships are offered in the Senator's state offices, which are located in Louisville, Lexington, Fort Wright, Paducah, Bowling Green and London. Internships in the state are issued on a volunteer basis and are geared toward interns seeking to earn college credit by working in the Senator's office.

Devin Law in Lexington, Kentucky: hosts interns in the summer, spring, and fall. Interns will help prepare documents for Court, such as pleadings (motions, responses, discovery, etc.), will aid with filing, and also do errands (runs) for firm business such as delivering documents to opposing counsel’s offices or other firm business. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Carl D. Devine, Esq. at Devine Law, PLLC via email: cdevine@familylawkentucky.com.

Community Scholars Program: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement offers its Community Scholars Program to Federal Work-Study eligible students during the academic year. This nine-month commitment allows students to fully engage with a community organization, nonprofit organization or government agency in a longer-term internship experience. Students will participate in professional development sessions and receive EXP 396 academic credit. For additional information on this program, please visit the Community Scholars Program page. The application for this program is now open. For questions, please contact Amanda Royer: amanda.royer@uky.edu.

 

Virtual Internships

Virtual Student Federal Service: U.S. citizen college students can make a real difference in the work of the U.S. government through the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS). VSFS harnesses the expertise and digital excellence of U.S. citizen students to move the work of their government forward on multiple fronts. Since 2009, thousands of VSFS eInterns have expanded the efforts of the U.S. government around the world – from dorm rooms to libraries and coffee shops, to wherever the students happen to be. This year, there are more government agencies than ever participating, working on issues from culture to corrections and from energy to education. Read more & apply on their website.

Human Rights Measurement Initiative Internship: The Human Rights Measurement Initiative offers remote internships to students at all levels, from all parts of the world. They particularly welcome interns from the Global South and those who have difficulty accessing internships because of their locations, or other reasons. Applications are welcome throughout the year, with start dates every quarter. HRMI is an independent, non-profit, global collaboration of academics and practitioners. They measure human rights, and track the progress of countries. You can see annual scores on their Rights Tracker. HRMI interns quickly become core members of the team, and are able to contribute their thoughts and opinions in all areas of our work, as well as doing a range of useful, important tasks that help HRMI serve the human rights community with relevant data. They are looking for highly-motivated, reliable, senior students with a demonstrated interest in international human rights. The ability to learn to work with data is important. They are able to tailor your internship to suit your skills and background. HRMI is a globally-distributed, friendly team. For more information, and to get in touch, please visit the HRMI website.

Chicago Project on Security and Threats: CPOST has multiple internship opportunities for summer internships where students can work as research assistants on our various projects.

The Borgen Project, a non-proffit social justice organization, has a number of remote opportunities. You can read about their organization and apply for internship opportunities here.

EMILY's list has a remote internship program. In order to be eligible for participation in the internship program interns must reside within the United States for the duration of the program, be available to work between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm EST, and commit to staying on board for a minimum of 10 weeks. Interns are able to participate in the program in a full-time or part-time capacity, working no less than 20 hours each week. EMILY’s List pays a stipend of up to $1,200 per month, depending on the intern’s monthly schedule. Learn more here.

Blue Future has a remote campaign internship program, consisting of part-time remote internships for students on campaigns across the country, provides a tangible and meaningful way for college students to work directly for a campaign without needing to leave their college campus.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva offers some remote opportunities.

Other Resources

UK's Stuckert Career Center Handshake: This is an excellent resource provided by UK to look for new internship and other career development opportunities and events.

Community Organizational Needs Database: This tool allows students to filter organizations based on sectors of interest and organizational needs.  You can likely find a position here that fits your interests, passions, and skillset.

Kentucky Nonprofit Map: These Google-based maps identify hundreds of nonprofits in Lexington and across the Commwealth, including many locations in students' hometowns and counties.

LearnHowToBecome.org offerrs A Guide to Internships Finding Hands-On Experience Locally & Abroad.

Path 4: Choose your own adventure

We encourage students to seek out their own internship opportunities.  Each semester, many of our students earn internship credit by working with political campaigns, local government agencies, non-profits, and law offices.  These are enriching experiences, and we are delighted when our students earn credit towards their degree with this type of work.

Watch the video below for an example of the experiences our students find with these types of internships.

Simply working at a job, even a professionally enriching job, does not necessarily contribute to a liberal-arts education.  On-site supervisors can teach the skills needed to carry out necessary tasks, but there’s no guarantee that supervisors will encourage interns to look beyond the job at hand and contemplate how it fits within the student's overall academic curriculum. 

Our internship course, PS 399 (sample syllabus here), provides students with an opportunity to embed early work experiences within the liberal-arts education they are pursuing.  To earn credit, students not only must serve in a job with some connection to Political Science, they also must read a modest amount of social-science scholarship related to the internship.  They communicate regularly with the Internship Director or another Faculty Sponsor within the Political Science department – sometimes to seek advice or guidance, sometimes just to share their progress, but always with the expectation that they will show they are thinking abstractly or scientifically about the job and its techniques.  Finally, they write reflective papers connecting their job(s) to the scholarly readings.  Thus, in addition to (1) exhibiting the skills learned on the job and (2) documenting that they have gained abstract knowledge about the topical area in which they are working, the course has a third beneficial outcome, which is that students (3) show that, as professionals, they can perform a job successfully yet still think critically about the work they are performing.

Step 1: Finding the Internship.  The Political Science Department typically lacks the resources to find internships for undergraduates (aside from the research internships that students sometimes coordinate with our own faculty, as explained below).  Students who wish to enroll in PS 399 first must line up work that will qualify under the program.  Discretion ultimately rests with the Internship Director, but in general the student’s employment must include substantial exposure to political, governmental, or legal institutions, and much of the work must involve some level of learning or individual discretion (rather than, for example, simply photocopying, stapling and/or delivering documents).  Students receiving internship credit usually take paid or unpaid employment with one of the following:

  1. government agencies (whether local, state, or federal, including legislative staff)
  2. political parties or campaign organizations
  3. interest groups or other policy-related organizations (e.g., non-profit research)
  4. judicial institutions (whether local, state, or federal)
  5. law firms and other legal organizations (e.g. county attorney’s office)
  6. the news media if primarily writing on government or politics

If you’re unsure of where to start your internship search, visit handshake to search internships available for University of Kentucky students.  Students should also review the weekly Political Science newsletter for internship opportunities. All opportunities that come to our department are announced in the newsletter. There are also a number of reoccuring opportunities listed above in the Local, Regional, and Remote Opportunities section.

Step 2: Contact the Internship Director.  Prior to formal approval of the internship (step 3 below), students should contact the Internship Director, Dr. Barnes, at tiffanydbarnes@uky.edu to provide initial information about the potential internship.  Students should answer the following questions in their email:

  1. What are the start and end dates of your internship?
  2. What is the name of the organization you will be interning for?
  3. What will your duties be in your internship and, briefly, describe how the work will connect to the Political Science major?
  4. How many hours a week will you average at your internship?
  5. How many hours total will you work during the semester?
  6. What is the name and contact for your supervisor?

The Internship Director will use this information to determine if your internship is eligible for political science credit and how many credit hours you can earn for your internship. 

Once the Internship Director has approved the student’s proposal, s/he will provide an override that allows the student to enroll in PS399. Once you are granted an override to enroll in the class, students must go online and enroll in the class the same way they would sign up for any other class.

Step 3: Signing Up for the Course.  Students may earn up to six (6) credit hours in PS 399 during a given semester, for a total of no more than 12 credit hours of the 120 required to graduate.[2]  The number of possible credits in a given semester depends on how many hours the student will be working at the internship, as well as on the scope of the academic work the student is willing to perform.  See the sample syllabus (here) for a table that provides guidance on how many credits students should expect for their internship.

Step 4: Securing Formal Support of the Internship Director (step 4a) and the Internship Supervisor (step 4b)

Step 4a: Formal Support from the Internship Director[1].  The Internship Director is in charge of the academic side of the internship.  To secure formal support for the internship, students must complete and submit a Learning Contract Form (here).  This contract lays out the academic requirements for PS 399 coordinated between the student and the Internship Director.  These requirements will typically include (1) ongoing communication, (2) required readings, and (3) written evaluation(s).  See the sample syllabus (here) for a more thorough explanation of these requirements. All forms will be submitted via Canvas once students are enrolled in PS399. Students who do not submit this required form can not earn credit for the class. 

Step 4b: Formal Support from the Internship Supervisor.  While the Internship Director is in charge of the academic side of the internship (as explained in Step 3a above), the Internship Supervisor is the onsite person in charge of the job duties that the intern performs at the internship.  This person will usually be someone who is in charge of the office where you will intern, such as the office manager.  In addition to the Learning Contract coordinated with the Internship Director above, students must also complete a Memorandum of Agreement (here) with the Internship Supervisor. This form must also be turned in via Canvas. Students who do not submit this required form can not earn credit for the class.

Once students have completed Learning Contract (Step 4a) and Memorandum of Agreement (Step 4b), they should submit them to the Internship Director.  Submissions will be made via Canvas no later than within the first two weeks that classes start. Submissions will not be accepted via email.

Step 5: Exit Evaluation.  Internship Supervisors will be asked to provide an evaluation for each student at the end of the term, and students cannot pass the course without either (a) achieving a favorable evaluation or (b) receiving an official waiver from the Internship Director.  It is the student’s responsibility to provide the Internship Supervisor with the Exit Evaluation Form (here).  As noted in the form, the Internship Supervisor may return the form directly to the Internship Director or give it to the student for submission.

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[1] Note that students may secure sponsorship from another faculty member in lieu of the Internship Director to supervise the academic component of internships.  This commonly happens when a faculty member’s research overlaps with the content of the internship (e.g., our Judicial Politics faculty commonly sponsor internships for students working at legal offices).  In most cases, however, the Internship Director guides internships.

[2] Note that internships do not always accommodate the semester’s academic calendar.  As long as a majority of the hours on the job take place during the regularly scheduled semester, the Internship Director may count work performed in the weeks before the session starts when determining the number of credit hours for which a student is eligible.  (However, students who perform work in advance hoping to receive internship credit do so at their own risk, because the Department only gives formal approval to the Learning Contract and planned course of study when the semester gets underway.)  Similarly, if the student can afford to take a temporary "I"ncomplete grade at the end of the semester, the Internship Director has the discretion to count work hours completed after the semester's grades are due.  Either way, the student still must complete the academic course requirements necessary to earn such credit before a grade may be entered.

 

Path 5: Research internship with faculty

Students interested in performing research with faculty are encouraged to do so, and we commonly have many students each semester enrolled in PS399 to perform research with faculty.  These opportunities usually begin with students contacting faculty to see if they can support their research.  Faculty also sometimes reach out to students with research opportunities.

View the video below if you’re interested in how undergraduate research internships support students.

If faculty agree to research internships, they have the discretion to proceed how they wish in terms of paperwork and agreements, provided that the Internship Director approve of the plan.  Faculty frequently use the PS399 syllabus template (here), require a Learning Contract (here), and align work with PS399 Path 3 (see above).  Faculty may also devise their own syllabi and modify the Learning Contract to suit the agreement coordinated with the student.  Faculty willing to supervise a research internship should communicate with the Internship Director to assure that student experiences align with department goals and university rules.

Once the faculty sponsor, student, and the Internship Director have a mutually-agreeable plan, the Internship Director will instruct the student on how to enroll to earn PS399 credit for their research experience.

Funding Opportunities

Internships can be costly.  Students often have to break leases, forgo income from paid jobs they would be doing otherwise, and take on additional costs for transportation, moving and living.  However, students should never assume that they cannot afford to be an intern.  The Political Science department is firmly committed to supporting students as much as possible to assure that our internship opportunities are available to all students.  There are several routes to secure financial support for your internship.

  • Scholarships provided by the College of Arts and Sciences (here).  Note that the Robert and Anne Trunzo Scholarship in Political Science and Pre-Law (here) is a common source of funding for PS interns.  Students are automatically considered for the Trunzo scholarship when they apply to either KLIP or WilDCats at the Capitol for the fall or spring terms.  However, students must apply for Trunzo funds for all opportunities during the summer term.
  • Funds provided by the Student Government Association (here; also see Wildcat Wardrobe here)
  • Funds provided by the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (here).
  • Scholarships provided by the University (here).
  • Funds provided by the Political Science department (see the “Support for Internships and Financial Need” tab here).
Summer
As we learn about internship opportunities available for Summer we will post them here.

 

The Summer Civic Leaders Program is a paid summer internship experience where Federal Work-Study eligible students engage with the community and a cohort of their peers. The Summer Civic Leader Program, provides Federal Work-Study eligible students with the opportunity to work for eight paid hours per week with a community organization, nonprofit organization or government agency. These opportunities could be in Lexington or your hometown. In addition to the work you will complete through your internship, students will also attend professional development sessions, allowing them to grow both professionally and personally with a cohort of their peers. The program will typically run from mid-May to mid-August. For more information on this program, please visit the SCL website here. Applications for students can be found here. For questions, please contact Amanda Royer: amanda.royer@uky.edu.

 

AppalachiaCorps: Through this program, students will engage in 16 hours of paid internship work at community organizations, nonprofit organizations or government agencies located in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. Students will also engage in professional development opportunities with a cohort of their peers. To explore this program further and express your interest in joining the AppalachiaCorps program, please visit the UK Appalachian Center’s website here. For questions, please contact Amanda Royer: amanda.royer@uky.edu.

 

Community Scholars Program: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement offers its Community Scholars Program to Federal Work-Study eligible students during the academic year. This nine-month commitment allows students to fully engage with a community organization, nonprofit organization or government agency in a longer-term internship experience. Students will participate in professional development sessions and receive EXP 396 academic credit. For additional information on this program, please visit the Community Scholars Program page. The application for this program is now open. For questions, please contact Amanda Royer: amanda.royer@uky.edu.

 

The Panorama Project offers motivated and open-minded students from across the U.S. an opportunity to understand experiences and opinions that are different from their own by collaborating on pieces of media that explore pressing issues in U.S. politics. If you want to learn more or apply to The Panorama Project, click here.

Chicago Project on Security and Threats: CPOST has multiple internship opportunities for summer internships where students can work as research assistants on our various projects. You can visit their website here.

Human Rights Measurement Initiative Internship: The Human Rights Measurement Initiative offers remote internships to students at all levels, from all parts of the world. They particularly welcome interns from the Global South and those who have difficulty accessing internships because of their locations, or other reasons. Applications are welcome throughout the year, with start dates every quarter. HRMI is an independent, non-profit, global collaboration of academics and practitioners. They measure human rights, and track the progress of countries. You can see annual scores on their Rights Tracker. HRMI interns quickly become core members of the team, and are able to contribute their thoughts and opinions in all areas of our work, as well as doing a range of useful, important tasks that help HRMI serve the human rights community with relevant data. They are looking for highly-motivated, reliable, senior students with a demonstrated interest in international human rights. The ability to learn to work with data is important. They are able to tailor your internship to suit your skills and background. HRMI is a globally-distributed, friendly team. For more information, and to get in touch, please visit the HRMI website.

World Wildlife Fund has multiple paid virtual internships available this summer supporting their business and conservation departments. WWF is looking for ALL majors: Policy, Communications, Human Resources, Finance, Forests, Oceans, Climate, Wildlife! The internships will pay $15/hour for an 8-week full-time position, starting at the end of June through early August. Students will also receive a one-time $100 stipend for materials needed to be successful in their job (e.g., to support internet bills). Check out their website for details.

Devin Law in Lexington, Kentucky: hosts interns in the summer, spring, and fall. Interns will help prepare documents for Court, such as pleadings (motions, responses, discovery, etc.), will aid with filing, and also do errands (runs) for firm business such as delivering documents to opposing counsel’s offices or other firm business. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Carl D. Devine, Esq. at Devine Law, PLLC via email: cdevine@familylawkentucky.com.

Internship Placements

 

UK political science students have worked with political campaigns, the Governor's Office, Kentucky State Legislature, Members of Congress, Executive Branch agencies, private sector companies and non-profit/non-governmental organizations across Kentucky and in Washington, DC. Some of these opportunities are facilitated through our various programs (e.g., WilDCats at the Capitol and KLIP), while others are the result of students finding their own internships. Below are some of the internships our students have held in recent years.

Internships in Lexington and the Region

Government Offices

  • Kentucky General Assembly (Numberous State Representatives and Senators)
  • Legislative Research Council
  • Senate Majority Office
  • House Democratic Caucus
  • Republican Caucus Chair’s Office
  • Legislative Staff Services, LRC
  • Kentucky Senate Democrats
  • Governor’s Office of Constituent Services
  • Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy
  • Congressman Bett Guthrie’s District Office
  • Congressman John Yarmuth’s District Office
  • Congressman Andy Barr’s District Office
  • Commissioner’s Office, Kentucky Department of Agriculture
  • Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Vice-Mayor’s (Steve Kay) Office
  • Kentucky Office of Homeland Security
  • Office of the (Kentucky) Secretary of State in Frankfort, Ky

Political Campaigns

  • Kentucky Democratic Party
  • Republican Party of Kentucky
  • Andy Beshear’s Governor Campaign
  • Matt Bevin’s Governor Campaign
  • Amy McGrath for Congress
  • Amy McGrath for Senate
  • Team Mitch Internship Program
  • John Hicks for Congress Campaign

Lobbying, Consulting, and Research  

  • MML&K Government Solutions
  • Commonwealth Alliances
  • Top Shelf Lobby, LLC
  • Council of State Governments
  • Babbage Cofounder

Legal and Judicial Internships

  • Devine Law, LLC
  • Wilson & McQueen
  • Robinson & Havens, PSC
  • Gary C. Johnson PSC
  • Fayette Circuit Court 4th Division
  • Pretrial Services, Kentucky Court of Justice
  • Boyle and Mercer Counties Family Court, Kentucky

Non-Profits

  • Center for Grieving Children and Families
  • Historic Properties, Monumental Women of Kentucky Committee
  • Healing Communities Study
  • Crime Fighters Annex
  • Kentucky Refugee Ministries

 

Internships in Washington DC

  • Representative Andy Barr
  • Governor Matt Bevin
  • Representative Sanford Bishop
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn
  • Representative James Comer
  • Representative Brett Guthrie
  • Representative Darin Lahood
  • Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
  • Representative Thomas Massie
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • Senator Rand Paul
  • Senator Rob Portman
  • Representative Hal Rogers
  • Representative Harley Rouda
  • House Democratic Budget Staff
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of State
  • NASA
  • UPS Global Affairs
  • The White House
  • The Wilson Center
Resources

Stuckert Career Center: The career center at University of Kentucky has a number of resources to help students search for, prepare for, and succeed in their internships. You can browse their website here, and we would also like to point you to a few specific resources available to UK students:

  • UK's Stuckert Career Center Handshake: This is an excellent resource provided by UK to look for new internship and other career development opportunities and events.
  • Tips on finding a job or internship.
  • Contact Stuckert Career Center and make an appointment to review/update your resume.
  • Interviewing tips.
  • Participate in On-Campus Interviewing: Every year, the Career Center hosts local, state, and national companies who come to campus specifically to interview and hire UK students and alumni for seasonal, part-time and full-time jobs and internships. To access the schedule of interviews and register for upcoming interviews, visit Handshake.

 

Although every office and internship will come with different expecations, here are some resources to get you started thinking about professional dress code and how to navigate this aspect of your internship.

Wildcat Wardrobe is a free-professional clothing service for all students at the University of Kentucky. The Wildcat Wardrobe works to support and prepare all students for success in their future careers.