Applied Politics

You are here

In addition to your usual political science coursework that introduces you to theories and methods of understanding politics, we also offer a number of hands-on learning experiences, internship opportunities, and short courses with political experts. These applied politics opportunities are an excellent way to build transferable job skills and begin to network for your future career.

Hawkeye Poll:

The Hawkeye Poll is a cooperatively run public opinion survey headed by Professor Fred Boehmke. You will have the opportunity to engage in every aspect of designing and fielding a scientific survey. Information about past Hawkeye Polls is available here.

You can also earn course credit while participating in the poll through the following course:

Hawkeye Poll (POLI:3001; 30:101:001):

The Hawkeye Poll course covers the basics of survey design, sampling, question wording, interpreting responses, and writing press releases; students work together to help design questions as part of the Hawkeye Poll, a collaborative teaching and research enterprise in the Department of Political Science.

Iowa Policy Research Organization (IPRO):

IPRO is a unique opportunity for students to engage in the analysis of critical public policy issues for the state legislature and non-profit organizations. See more at the following website:


Internships are an excellent way to acquire job-related skills and build your resume while you are still in college. Check out the following opportunities:

Washington Center Internships

Des Moines Center Internships

For more opportunities, see the Department of Political Science Information on internships.

Applied Politics Short Courses:

The Department offers special topic (1 credit hour) courses on current relevant political issues in the Fall and Spring semesters. These courses are taught by distinguished lecturers and run generally for one to two weeks. These seminars are fantastic opportunities to learn from and network with well-known political experts who will share their knowledge and hard-earned experience with you during the peak of the campaign season and beyond. These courses have received rave reviews from students. If you are interested in practical politics, or want to run for public office some day, these courses will offer you a great deal of insight into how politics actually works on the state and national level.

For more information, visit ISIS for a listing of the current Special Topics courses (POLI:3701; 030:192) offered during the semester.