College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


The Department of Political Science at Cal Poly, Pomona, supports the "polytechnic" philosophy of "learning by doing" and encourages its majors to undertake an internship as part of their academic program. There are several internships available to students in the California Government every year on a competitive basis and several well-established internship programs in Washington, D.C. There are also many internships that "pop up" unexpectedly. The best approach is to meet with your advisor in your sophomore year to let him or her know of your interest in doing an internship in your junior or senior year. They can let you know of the relevant timetables for the established internships and they can keep your name on file for those internships that we learn about at the last minute.

For more information on internships, contact Dr. Jill Hargis (

Jill Hargis

Internship Advisor

Dr. Jill Hargis:

Fieldwork in Political Science

Some students may decide to take on an internship well before senior year. If these non-paid internships are connected to government in some way, students may be eligible to receive course credit. With permission of the instructor, students must enroll in one of the four political science fieldwork courses: PLS 471, 472, 473, or 474. To earn these units, students are also assigned class assignments. These courses qualify as upper-division major electives and students are limited to enrolling in 8 units total. To participate in fieldwork, contact Dr. Jill Hargis ( 

Senior Internship

Senior Internship is part of our senior capstone requirement. Seniors are required to participate in either Senior Internship OR Senior Thesis. In Senior Internship, students find their own non-paid internship and are required to complete 200 hours before the end of winter quarter of their senior year. Students also enroll in PLS 481 for fall and PLS 482 for winter. The culmination of Senior Internship is also accompanied with a 20-30 page paper and a presentation. If you have questions about Senior Intership, contact Dr. Jill Hargis ( 

Judicial Internship

Every winter, the department enrolls a number of students in Judicial Internship. Students meet as a class, but shadow various Pomona Courthouse officials over the duration of the quarter. Judicial Internship gives students an opportunity to see how the court system works firsthand. Students are able to enroll in CLS 381/381A for upper-division major elective credit. Call for applications, which includes a letter of recommendation, usually is in October. Interested students should speak to Dr. Jill Hargis ( 

Panetta Internship

Open to juniors, the Panetta Internship is a university-wide search for a Cal Poly Pomona student to represent our campus at the CSU-wide Panetta Congressional Institute. Students are sent to the Panetta Institute in Monterey Bay every summer, followed by being placed in a congressional internship in Washington DC for fall. This internship is all-expenses paid. Applications are due every January and include an interview process. Interested students should speak with their advisor. 

Previous Panetta Interns

2013 - Bryce Brady and Kaitlin Ward
2015 - Nafisa Ahmed and Mary Ashley Cherney
2016 - Naomi Alexander and Joshua Ebiner

Other Internships

JusticeCorps - JusticeCorps members will be trained to provide legal information to self–represented litigants to assist them with resolving important legal matters. Members will be placed at one of 12 service locations located throughout the County of Los Angeles. Applications for the school year become available in December and are typically due in April. (Link)

Internships Related to Political Science

The following is a general list of internships related to political science that students might find interesting. These are supplanted by examples of internships that our students have had in the past. If you're broadening your internship search, examine some of the broader categories in this list:


1. Candidate Campaigns

2. Initiative campaigns

3. Political Parties (eg. Republican Party of Orange County, Democratic Party of Los Angeles County)

4. Representative district offices: CA Assemblyperson, CA Senator, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator

5. Sacramento: CSU Semester in Sacramento, Sacramento legislative office

6. Washington D.C.: Panetta, CSU Fullerton DC Scholars program, legislative offices (CA members' DC offices)

7. Political consulting: (eg. Close the Gap, Clint Reilly)


1. Special districts: school districts, water districts, university administration

2. City governments: your local city gov. office (eg. Garcetti gang prevention office, Temecula emergency management office, water and utilities, school districts

3. County - Los Angeles Board of Supervisors (Hilda Solis), Orange County supervisors, San Bernadino supervisors,

4. California government agencies: Coastal commission, Water board

5. National: EEOC


1. Judicial Internship

2. Public defenders, district attorneys, county level

3. Law enforcement, parole offices, juvenile rehabilitation camps

4. Court internships

5. Justice Corps

6. Self-help centers


1. Homelessness

2. Health care (Day One)

3. Children/Youth (CASA)

4. Prison/Rehabilitation (Prison Education Project)

5. Rights organizations (eg. NOW MALDEF, NAACP, ACLU, Human Rights Campaign)

6. Environment: Sierra Club, Coastkeepers, Greenpeace