Why Intern?

By far the most common and successful experiential opportunity available to any college undergrad is participating in an internship. An internship can be so important to getting a job that it is cited by many alumni as "the most valuable aspect of their undergraduate experience".

An internship can bridge the difficult transition between completion of an undergraduate education and the job market. Internships are a great mechanism for students to explore and apply their course work to real world situations. It also provides an opportunity to see if a particular career or industry is what they really want to pursue after graduation. The skills and experiences obtained prove invaluable in securing a job after graduation or being accepted to graduate school. Most importantly, student interns gain valuable experience and prove to themselves and potential employers that they can survive in the professional workplace.


Internships/Field Study

UCSC Politics Students can take advantage of opportunities for internships and/or field study at four levels of politics and government: 

At the local level, the Department encourages students to pursue internships with City Council, County Board of Supervisors offices, within city agencies like the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, or local non-profit organizations

At the state level, UCSC students are eligible to apply to participate in the UC Center Sacramento internship program.  UC Center Sacramento offers placements in a wide range of fields in the state capital, including government, education, law, business, and the non-profit sector.  The quarter-long program of internship and study is available for academic credit, and students may participate during any quarter of the academic year, or over the summer.  For more information, see Graduating seniors may be interested in the Capital Fellows program coordinated by CSU Sacramento State for year-long post-graduation positions in state-level executive, judiciary, or legislative offices.  For more information, see

At the national level, UCSC sends approximately 20 students a quarter to the Washington-based UCDC program.  Open to undergraduate juniors and seniors in all majors, the UCDC Program allows students to take classes and intern at one of the many organizations or agencies in the nation’s capital while fully enrolled as UCSC students and earning academic credit.  Internship placements are geared toward student interests and range from Capitol Hill and government agencies, to research, nonprofit, or media organizations, to museums, galleries, or theaters.  UCDC students who take an upper division Politics course while in DC may use that course for one of the upper division electives required for the major.  For more information, contact Marianna Santana, UCDC Program Coordinator (831-502-7307, or see the website of the UCSC UCDC program ( or of the UC Washington Center (

At the international level, UCSC Politics students are eligible to apply for internship and field study opportunities through the UC Education Abroad Program.  These include parliamentary internships in Australia, Ireland, and Scotland; Summer Global Internships offered in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Berlin, and Cape Town; field research and internship programs in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Paris; and internships through the Global Cities program in London.  For more information see

For additional field study or internship opportunities check:

Politics Department's bulletin board (outside Merrill 25)
UCSC Career Center InternshipInformation

Course Credit via POLI 198
It is possible to earn academic credit for internship or field study work via Independent Field Study (POLI 198). While not automatic, you can arrange for course credit by having a Politics faculty member act as your sponsor for Independent Field Study. You and the faculty sponsor will need to agree upon the type and amount of coursework to be completed for credit. This agreement is spelled out on the Independent Study Form and is signed by you and the faculty sponsor. When the form is complete with all of the necessary signatures, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator will issue a call number to enroll. 5 credits earned in POLI 198 may be approved through the course substitution process to fulfill one upper-division elective in the Politics major.