Internship FAQs

What is an internship?

An internship formally integrates the student’s academic study with practical experience in a cooperating organization. It is an off-campus activity designed to serve educational purposes by offering experience in a service learning1, business, non-profit, or government setting.

Do I have to be a registered student to do an internship?

Yes, you must be registered at SSU in the semester you complete an internship for units.

How many hours a week are required?

You must work 45 hours per semester for each unit, or about 3 hours per week.  So for example if you register for a 4-unit internship, you must work 180 hours during the semester.

What are the other requirements for an internship?

You will set up specific responsibilities with your onsite supervisor.  You are also required to meet with your professor throughout the semester and write a paper relating the internship to the political science discipline.  Additional work such as a journal may be assigned.

How are internships graded?

Internships are graded on a Credit/No Credit basis.  No incompletes will be assigned.

How will my professor verify that I actually did the work for the internship?

At the end of the semester you are required to turn in a letter from your onsite supervisor certifying that you have satisfactorily completed the hours and work agreed to in your Internship Agreement.

Can I do an internship even though I’m already registered for 16 units? 

Yes.  And you do not have to petition for a waiver of university regulations for the excess units.

How many units of internship can I apply toward my degree?

A maximum of 6 units of internship and special studies units may be counted toward the major. 

Who sets up the internship?

Students set up their own internships with a community partner.

Can I do an internship with any group or organization that I want?

No.  The agency and internship must have some relationship to government, politics and/or the law.

How do I register for an internship?

You use a different process to register for an internship than you would for other classes.   All internships must be approved the department Internship Coordinator.  Your first step is to contact the Internship Coordinator to make sure your internship is appropriate for Political Science Department credit.  Next, get a copy of the Internship Agreement Form and take it to your onsite supervisor to fill out and sign.  Then take the form to the Internship Coordinator for their approval and signature.  Once that is done, give the form to the Political Science Department staff that will take it from there. 

How do I find an internship?

It is the student’s responsibility to find an internship.  The Political Science Department’s Internship Coordinator can help with ideas.   Current internship opportunities are posted on the Political Science Department Internship and Opportunities webpage.

Other possibilities include: 

The County of Sonoma

The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County

Sonoma State’s JUMP Program

Sonoma State’s Career Services Office