Undergraduate Paper Award
Other Opportunities
Post-graduation Opportunities
Des Moines Internship Program


Undergraduate Paper Award

The Advisory Board for the Department of Political Science has established an annual undergraduate paper award competition. Receiving a paper award is a nice addition to your resume as you begin your job search or apply to graduate or professional schools. And the awards come with cash prizes!

There are no set guidelines on the length or type of paper considered. For example, if you are writing a 6-page policy memo or a 20-page research paper, both are eligible and will be evaluated based on the writing assignment given by the professor. A professor may nominate a paper you wrote in the spring, summer, or fall within the previous school year. The first step is to suggest your paper to the course professor, or the professor may contact you recommending that you submit for the competition.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Wenfang Tang, will contact you for a copy of the paper for the committee of faculty reviewers. The committee will select three finalists. Those finalists will be asked to work with their professor to revise the paper and prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the Advisory Board.

The three finalists will then make their presentation to the Advisory Board at the annual meeting in April. The Advisory Board will then vote for a first, second, and third place winner. The award for first place is $500, second place is $250, and third place is $100. The awards will be presented at the board meeting.

If you have any questions about the paper award competition, please contact Prof. Wenfang Tang.

View this year's winners of the undergraduate paper award.


Contact the Pomerantz Career Center for information about internships available to UI students, including the Government Internship and other internships described below. Other internship opportunities are posted on the bulletin board outside of room 140 Schaeffer Hall.

Internship with Congressman Bruce Braley

Congressman Braley seeks fall interns in his Washington, D.C office.  Interns should possess an interest in the legislative process, as well as strong written and verbal communications skills.  Congressional Interns are unpaid, but school credit can be earned through participating universities.  Internships are available year-round.  Preference will be given to those available full-time, but part-time internships may be available.

Washington, D.C. Internships:
Internships in Congressman Braley’s Washington, D.C. office allow students to gain first-hand exposure to the policy making and legislative process. Intern duties include answering constituent phone calls, summarizing incoming constituent mail, researching legislative issues, and assisting with correspondence to constituents.  Interns will also have opportunities to attend congressional hearings and tour historic sites.
Application Procedure: Please contact Congressman Braley’s office to receive an internship application.  Applications, including a cover letter and resume, should be returned to the Intern Coordinator via fax or email.

Congressman Bruce Braley
ATTN:  Intern Coordinator
Phone:  (202) 225-2911
Fax:  (202) 225-6666
Email:  Braley.Internships@mail.house.gov

Application Deadlines:  Fall internship applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Internship with Governor Terry E. Branstad

The Office of Governor Terry E. Branstad  is proud to offer an outstanding and diverse internship for undergraduate, graduate and law students.  Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds are committed to providing quality opportunities for students to learn and gain valuable skills.  The program is designed to meet the individual needs of students and assist the Governor's Office in meeting the goals of the office.

The Governor's Office is unable to compensate students financially for their internship, but will work with each intern and his/her college to assist with college credit for the experience.  Interns will garner experience at the center of state government, the opportunity to network with people from the executive and legislative branches and the chance to earn the recommendations from members of the Governor's Office. Interns must be able to work at least 16 hours per week.

Please fill out this internship application and return to Josh Wilson, Public Liaison, josh.wilson@iowa.gov with your resume and cover letter.

Internship with Senator Harkin's Office
Internships in Senator Harkin's office are an excellent opportunity for a valuable and unique education about the federal legislative process. Interns assist the Senator's staff in the areas of legislation, press, and communications. Intern responsibilities include performing office duties, writing and researching current legislative issues, and acting as general project support to the staff.

The intern program is specifically designed for college undergraduates. Scholastic credit is often possible but those arrangements must be made with the head of the program for which credit is being earned. The office accepts applications on a rolling basis.  http://www.harkin.senate.gov/students/intern/

Internship with Senator Grassley's Office
Responsibilities include performing clerical tasks, researching legislative issues, helping to host visiting constituents, and acting as general support to Senator Grassley’s staff. 

To apply: visit http://www.grassley.senate.gov/. Please fill out the application completely, attaching current (although they may be unofficial) transcripts and two letters of recommendation. It is important for recommenders to have sound judgment on the applicant's work ethic and professionalism. These materials may be submitted to Josie Rundlett via e-mail or fax (202.224.6020).

Internship with Senator Franken's Office
Interns will be paired with a legislative assistant who matches their issue area of interest, and will assist this staffer with policy research, as well as attend committee hearings and other Senate events. They will be a vital component of keeping the office functional, by assisting with the constituent mail process and managing the front desk. In addition to assisting the office, interns will receive unique career development opportunities. Through working with legislative staff and meeting with senior staff and the Senator, interns will be able to make an informed decision about what areas of political work interest them. By making full use of the career development courses offered in the Senate, interns will know how best to succeed in a political career in the area that they enjoy the most.

If you are interested in an internship in Senator Franken's office, please send a resume, cover letter indicating weekly availability, and three references. Washington, D.C. applicants: please send information to interns@franken.senate.gov, or fax it to (202) 224-0044. Please do not mail any applications because of the Senate’s mail delivery delay.

Applications must be received by the deadline, depending on which term you are applying for:

  • Fall Internship – July 15th
  • Spring Internship – November 15th
  • Summer Internship – March 15th

If you are applying for the fall or spring session, please include the days and hours you are able to work. In the summer session, interns are expected to work full-time unless enrolled in summer courses. We will work with universities that offer academic credit. Senator Franken accepts all applications for internships; however, Minnesotans will be given preference. All internships are unpaid. If you have questions, contact Jason Phelps (UI Political Science alumnus).

Capital Semester in Washington, D.C.
This program, sponsored by The Fund for American Studies and held at Georgetown University each fall and spring semester, is an academic internship program for undergraduates interested in public policy, international relations, economics, and the nonprofit sector. For more information, go to www.DCinternships.org/CS

The Hawkeye Caucus
The Hawkeye Caucus is part of the University of Iowa's Federal Relations division. It will be implementing many strategies that are used today from campaigns to policy advocates and everything in between.  This real world applicable experience can only be obtained through an internship and interacting in an ongoing project. The Hawkeye Caucus will be an ongoing, long-term, sustained effort to change the perception of the University statewide as well as be an advocate for the University with the legislature.  The daily and yearly goals of the Hawkeye Caucus will change as will the expectations of the students participating.  One thing is guaranteed; these students will be on the frontline of shaping opinion while affecting policy. Responsibilities will include Creating a Plan, Implementing a Communication Plan, Survey Creation, and Interpreting the Results. Please contact Professor Lai if you are interested.

The Washington Center Internship Program

London Semester Internship Program

  • Administered by the Tippie College of Business
  • Examples of internships: working for a progressive criminal law practice in central London, working in the legal department of a charitable organization, and working with a member of parliament
  • View information here

The Republican Party of Iowa First in the Nation Internship Program

The Republican Party of Iowa offers full and part-time internships during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. Applications require a resume, one letter of recommendation, a 200 word personal statement, and a completed RPI application.    Click here for more information and an application.

An RPI internship gives undergraduate students an opportunity to both witness and participate in the political process in Iowa.  Interns should anticipate handling everything from media credentialing to basic office management.  RPI can work with the university to offer course credit, however, RPI internships do not offer compensation.

Government Internships — 1, 2, 3 s.h. (POLI:4900; 030:191)

Undergraduate internships in state or national legislative office, executive agency, or election campaign official. Offered Satisfactory/Fail basis only. Consent of instructor required. Does not count towards major or minor in Political Science. However, the course will be counted in the 50 semester hours of credit from one academic department maximum that the University of Iowa accepts toward the 120 semester hours needed for a BA, BS, or BLS degree. Students may not take this course more than twice for a total of 6 credit hours.


  1. Student is to work approximately 10 hours/week over a 15 week period which equals 150 hours of office work for three hours credit. Credit may be prorated for fewer hours of office work (100 hours equals 2 credit hours; 50 hours equals 1 credit hour.
  2. Student is to provide a job description, signed by immediate supervisor. May choose state or national legislative office, executive agency, or election campaign official.
  3. Student is to provide a detailed log of activities for a typical one-week period.
  4. Student is to provide a file of illustrative paperwork.
  5. A letter of appraisal is to be sent by the supervisor to the faculty director of the internship.
  6. The student is to provide a five-page paper evaluating the internship experience.

Other Opportunities

Post-graduation Opportunities

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship is a competitive national program that provides college graduates the opportunity to work in Washington, DC, with one of twenty-six participating public-interest organizations focusing on international security issues.  The program has awarded 128 fellowships since its inception in 1987 and is offered twice yearly, in the spring and fall.  It lasts from six to nine months and provides a stipend, health insurance, and travel costs to Washington.

Paul Revsine
Program Director
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
322 4th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 446-1565

American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship Program
The APSA minority fellowship program is for students pursuing a PhD in Political Science who are members of an underrepresented group for the 2013-2014 APSA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), APSA will fund twelve fellowships. Funded APSA Fellows will receive a $4,000 fellowship disbursed in two $2,000 payments at the end of each academic year provided that the student remains in good academic standing. APSA will also send letters of support to designated graduate programs on behalf of those students who are awarded fellowships. Awards are based on students' course work, GPA, personal statement, extracurricular activities, resume, GRE scores, and recommendations from faculty.