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Description of Undergraduate Internship Course

The undergraduate internship (POSC 4600) is a three-credit hour course that counts toward your degree, but with some big differences. There is a significant level of independence in that there are no class lectures (only scheduled but informal meetings with the instructor), there are no tests or exams, and students write assignments intended to develop their practical skills and to reflect on their university experience. But most important is the work placement.

The bulk of the course is built around working eight hours a week for 12 weeks with a government agency, political party, interest group, or non-governmental organization (NGO). Students and employers will be required to abide by a "Learning, Confidentiality and Professional Conduct" agreement and maintain a work log of activities. The position is normally unpaid, although increasingly some employers are choosing to extend some form of remuneration. The course also involves occasional meetings as a class to discuss your placements, analyze readings, and report on your papers.

The course grade is usually based on the following three major elements. There are no tests or exams.

  • an evaluation done by the person who supervises you at work;
  • government-style writing assignments whose topic is related to your placement; and,
  • critical, reflective essays that consider how your education fits or does not fit with your placement.

A sample course outline can be located on the undergraduate courses section of our Website.

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