Why do an internship?

Majors in our department are strongly encouraged to complete an internship as part of their undergraduate experience. Internships offer students the opportunity to work in a professional setting, guided by practitioners in the field with academic supervision by the college. Students in the Law & Society program are required to fulfill at least one three-credit internship.

  • Help students identify career goals and formulate plans for graduate study
  • Provide job experience in a professional setting
  • Offer contacts (often invaluable for post-graduate job search or graduate school applications).

If you are interested in setting up an internship for credit, you must enroll in GLB 400, HIS 400, LAW 400, or POL 400, depending on your major or minor.  Please contact Dr. Philip Benesch ( for more information.

The Office of the Registrar plays a critical role in the process as well. Be sure to obtain, complete, and return the Internship Agreement Form if you expect to receive credit for your internship experience.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has developed the six factors below to evaluate whether a worker is a trainee or an employee for purposes of the FLSA: 1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction; 2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees; 3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation; 4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded; 5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and 6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training. If all of the factors listed above are met, then the worker is a “trainee,” an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the worker. For further information, see

Requirements for interns receiving academic credit in HIS/GLB/LAW/POL 400

  1. The student will write a journal entry each week to be uploaded via the journal link on the POL/GLB/HIS/LAW 400 Blackboard page. The journal is the single most important component of your assessment; please complete journal assignments in a timely and professional manner.
  2. The student will maintain a log of hours: please use an Excel spreadsheet to enter the hours for each week and to keep a “running total” of hours for the semester; a print-out of the spreadsheet, signed by the on-site supervisor, must be handed to the faculty supervisor at the end of semester. You are reminded that for EACH hour of internship credit, you MUST complete a minimum of 45 hours of work (not including lunches or breaks) at the placement; it is your responsibility to ensure that the requisite number of hours is attained by the completion of the semester.
  3. The student is expected to maintain regular contact with the academic supervisor throughout the semester.
  4. The student will write a term paper (MS Word format preferred) on a topic related to his/her internship (length of the paper = 2-3 pages for each credit); it must be uploaded via the Canvas/Turnitin assignments link.
  5. The student must receive faculty supervisor approval for both the paper topic and the bibliography/list of sources from which the paper is to be drawn.
  6. The faculty supervisor will send a mid-term and an end of semester evaluation checklist to the on-site supervisor to assist his/her assessment of the intern.
  7. The faculty supervisor will be in phone and/or email contact with the on-site supervisor during the semester to check that all is going well.
  8. If time permits, and/or circumstances require, the faculty supervisor will visit the internship site when both the intern and the on-site supervisor are present.


Scholarship and Fellowships

We encourage our students to consider applying for one or more exciting national and international scholarship and fellowship opportunities, such as the Fulbright, the Udall, and the Truman Awards. A current list of awards, including a brief description of the program, eligibility requirements, and application deadlines, is available through The Center for Career Development.

Interested students should contact Dr. Philip Benesch, Associate Professor of Politics and the College's Faculty Director for External Scholarships and Fellowships, at

Departmental Honors

Majors in Applied History, History, Global Studies, or Politics may apply for departmental honors. Students write an honors thesis on a subject of their choosing, under the guidance of an honors committee made up of three faculty members.

The student is required to defend his or her thesis publicly, at which time the committee determines whether the project is worthy of honors. If successful, the student’s diploma will state that he or she received departmental honors, and this also will be listed in the graduation program.

Students who are interested in pursuing honors should contact a professor in their discipline to discuss their proposed project. This is a two-semester commitment, and the expectations and demands of an honors thesis are much higher than a regular class paper.

We strongly recommend that students complete their thesis and defend it during the semester prior to the semester they plan to graduate. That allows time for the student to make minor revisions after the defense, which is a common requirement. This will be particularly important for Global Studies or Politics majors who are using honors to meet a requirement for graduation. Moreover, the final semester is typically particularly busy, and we believe that students are likely to be able to devote more time to the thesis in the previous semester.