Qualified students who wish to deepen and expand their government experience may undertake internships, community-based learning programs, experiential learning courses and in self-directed study. The department encourages close student-faculty relationships through independent study projects and the honors program. Government majors are also strongly encouraged to participate in one of St. Lawrence’s semester abroad or off-campus programs. For further information on these and related off-campus programs, visit

Senior Year Experience Internship (GOVT 480)

Occasionally, the Government department offers its majors an opportunity to earn a full unit of credit while undertaking a local internship. Students will spend at least eight hours per week in their internship, acquiring practical experience in politics, public policy, law, or community activism. Students reflect on the field experience by writing a research paper related to the internship, keeping a journal that reflects on the field experience in a scholarly way, analyzing readings related to the internship placement and attending a weekly workshop designed to help them conceptualize their experiences. After registering for the course in the fall, students will work with the faculty member teaching the internship workshop to identify and secure an internship for the spring. Prerequisites: Government 103 and 290, an overall GPA of 2.8 or better and permission of instructor.

Summer and Semester Internships

Students who undertake an internship over the summer or during the semester can receive a 1/2 unit of credit by meeting the following requirements:

  • Identify a member of the Government Department faculty willing to serve as an advisor.
  • Complete a minimum of 100 hours at the internship site.
  • Keep a journal updated once a week and submitted weekly to the advisor on Sakai or via e-mail, describing the work and reflecting on it from a scholarly perspective.
  • Complete a selection of readings (kind and amount to be agreed on with advisor) on the agency or policy area of the internship; submit brief book or article reports on the readings.
  • Complete a research paper or other written project (the details of which are decided with the advisor) on a subject related to the internship.
  • An evaluation from the internship supervisor.
  • Students must secure an advisor and meet with them to come to an agreement on the details of the above requirements before the internship begins. Students may not retroactively receive credit for an internship.

For summer experiences, credit for the internship will appear on the transcript the semester following the internship. While this course will earn university credit, it may not count as one of the upper division electives for the major.

Semester in Washington Programs

Government majors have the opportunity to participate in two different off-campus study programs in Washington, D.C.  Both the American University and The Washington Center semester programs include a substantial for credit internship for which the Government Department offers credit. For more information about these programs, visit the St. Lawrence University CIIS website.

Government related internships application deadlines

CIA Student Opportunities, Undergraduate Internship Program

The application period for Summer employment goes through October 15. Applications for winter, spring, and fall employment should be sent nine to twelve months before the desired start date.

State Department Internships

Application deadlines: Summer -- November 1, Fall -- March 1, Spring -- July 1

Freeman Foundation SLU China Internship program

The application deadline is generally around April 1, but please read the program information to see the exact date for this year.

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