School of Social Sciences and International Studies

Political Science and International Studies Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

We encourage our students to gain experience and practical knowledge outside of the classroom by participating in internships. Internships for political science majors or minors may be arranged with area state legislators, congressional district offices, Dayton-area metropolitan governments, and governmental and policy advocacy agencies and organizations in Washington, DC. We have pre-law internships as well for students in legal studies and related disciplines.
These internships complement classroom work and give you a chance to apply knowledge and develop valuable interpersonal and career-related skills.

Would you like an opportunity to get more involved in the community and to apply your degree? Our political science internship and volunteer opportunities will do just that.

Did you know?

You can complete a political science internship for three upper-level credits. In your plan of study, you can complete up to two internships for credit (six credits total) that will fulfill your upper-level political science credit requirements. This is a great way to get real-world experience, meet people with similar interests, and meaningfully contribute to the community.

Internship Opportunities

Students spend 12–15 hours per week on site with their supervisor and will have a few assignments connected to the experience (journal, final paper, professionalization seminar, etc.). Most of these opportunities are unpaid, but we do have the occasional paid internship.

A résumé, internship application (PDF), and advance approval of the internship supervisor are required for all internships. Students should reach out to the Political Science internship supervisor at least one month in advance of an academic semester to get everything set up.

Many of these opportunities require interviews. Internships are available throughout the year.

Political Science Internship – PLS 4819/6819

Internships in areas such as state legislature, congressional districts, campaigns, local/city, and Washington DC.

Specific opportunities:

  • Representative Mike Turner’s Office: This paid internship gives students an opportunity to work in Rep. Turner’s constituent services office. Respond to constituent request and help to complete casework for the representative.
  • City of Fairborn: This is a paid internship to help Fairborn with their downtown business incubator.
  • Village of Yellow Springs: Opportunity to work on a Climate Action and Sustainability Plan for the village.
  • SOCHE Internships: Internships with the City of Dayton and surrounding area (external application process)
  • There are internships available in Washington, DC for academic credit. Interns write an assessment of the experience at the end of the assignment. For information about an internship in Washington, DC, please check out the following website: The Washington Center.

Pre-Law Internship – PLS 4821/6821

Students intern 12–15 hours per week in regional law offices, including prosecutors, public defenders, and private practices. Assist attorneys, participate in outreach program activities, and observe trials. A great way to explore the legal profession before committing to law school.

Specific opportunities:

  • Dayton City Prosecutor: Opportunities to shadow the attorneys in court and assist with tasks such as complying with discovery demands, etc.
  • Dayton City Prosecutor: shadow the attorneys in court and assist with tasks such as complying with discovery demands, etc.
  • Greene County Prosecutor’s Office: students work with prosecutor David D. Hayes and Megan Hammond.
  • Wright State Office of General Counsel. Work with official university lawyers.
  • Wright State Student Legal Services – work with the official lawyers that help Wright State students
  • Other opportunities, such as working with federal district judge Michael Newman and Magistrate judges in the US Southern District may also be available.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Not enough time for an internship? You can complete these short-term volunteer opportunities based on your own schedule. These opportunities can provide insights that help you figure out what you’re interested in and can also serve as ways to gain experience in the field and connect with other professionals. Throughout the year, we receive numerous requests for student volunteers and possible internship opportunities. We do not endorse any political party or organization.

    You can set these up on your own, but we are always willing to help you.

    • Local chapters of the Republican and Democratic Party regularly have opportunities to volunteer.
    • Local civic organizations in the area are always looking for volunteers (these could turn into internships too with a larger commitment). Here is a non-exhaustive list of local nonprofits.

    If you would like to discuss any of these opportunities or if you have another idea or opportunity, contact the Political Science internship supervisor:

    Lee Hannah, Ph.D.


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