The University of Illinois does not typically give academic credit for internships. However, the department does facilitate or direct certain internship programs with internship courses for which you can earn academic credit.

Illinois in Washington

Through Illinois in Washington, students are able to live and work in Washington, DC for a semester or a summer term. During the fall and spring semesters, the program allows students to earn twelve hours of credit: six hours for classwork and research projects associated with an internship (PS 491 Government Internship), and six hours from courses offered by faculty in the Washington, DC area. In the summer, students can earn six hours in PS 491 for classwork and research projects associated with an internship.

Full program details and application materials are available on the Illinois in Washington website.

Champaign County Public Defender Program

The department in collaboration with the Pre-Law Advising Services and the Champaign County Office of the Public Defender directs an internship in the Public Defender's office for up to five undergraduates per semester. Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office.

Students apply for the internship in October for the following spring semester and in April for the following fall semester. Application details will be publicized to Political Science students via email as well as posted on the Pre-Law Blog

Local Internships

The Champaign-Urbana community offers a variety of sites suitable for students to intern and explore issues related to political science, among them: civic management, legal process, and legislative representation. During the fall and spring semesters, Professor Henehan conducts a class to assist students in presenting themselves, locating, applying, and interviewing for, and hopefully, selecting internships. She helps to maintain good relationships with internship sites, and her internship class helps students assimilate experiences on internships to their curricular experiences.

Questions? Contact Professor Marie Henehan

Individual Study

An internship can be the basis for an individual study. Students must work these projects out as you would for any other individual study arrangement. Students cannot earn credit directly for job-related work at an internship site. Also, written work completed on the job does not in itself constitute academic work; the faculty sponsor must supervise and direct any work done for academic credit. Students must have at least sophomore standing and be in good academic standing to choose this option.