Policy Studies offers a program of study that combines the intellectual breadth of liberal arts and science with practical concerns of politics and industry to prepare the next generation of leaders in a globalized society. The internship experience is a critical part of this mission.
At the outset we emphasize that each student majoring in Policy Studies must accept personal responsibility for finding, applying for, and securing an internship that satisfies the Policy Studies degree requirement. This process may be and often is time-consuming. Students are encouraged to start early, check application deadlines, and make full use of the internship-related resources available to Lafayette College students. Throughout the internship application process, the faculty and staff affiliated with the Policy Studies program and the Office of the Gateway Career Center offer guidance, counseling, workshops, databanks, partnership agreements, and access to a far-reaching alumni network.
Students receive course credit for the internship upon completion of PSTD 400, “Policy Internship and Seminar.” A student may enroll in PSTD 400 simultaneously with actual internship work, or during the semester immediately following the internship work. Students enrolled in PSTD 400 are expected to produce a report that builds on and extends the real world lessons of the workplace experience. The workplace experience and subsequent seminar and report in PSTD 400 are tailored to a student’s specific theme of concentration. For students who qualify for the Honors Program, the work accomplished in PSDT 400 ideally would emerge into an Honors thesis (PSTD 495 / 496).
A satisfactory policy-oriented internship approved by the Policy Studies program Chair is required. The internship should be tailored to a student’s theme of concentration and typically will take place at the sponsor’s site. Under particular circumstances the internship might be completed on campus or at another location relevant to the project, such as a national capital. Following the internship, students participate in a seminar (Policy Studies 400) to build on the lessons of the internship experience and to prepare a report. This seminar and written report must be completed by the end of the semester after the internship to receive credit.
Policy Studies internships typically adopt one of the models described below.
Start early! Application deadlines are months or even a year ahead of the internship period. As an example, a fall semester U.S. State Department internship has an application deadline of Nov. 1 of the prior year.
W. Mark Crain
112 Simon Center
Tel: (610) 330-5315
The Gateway Career Center
201 Hogg Hall
Tel: (610) 330-5115