Des Moines Internship Program (DMIP)

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The Department of Political Science Des Moines Internship Program (DMIP) gives undergraduate students the opportunity to live in Des Moines for a full semester or summer while interning in one of many positions in the business, non-profit, and government sectors.  Interns in the DMIP gain real-world working experience, make important connections, and build their leadership skills and résumés while working toward the completion of their University of Iowa degree.

The program accepts up to 15 students each fall, spring and summer semester. Admission to the program is competitive. Students must be in academic good standing (UI, cumulative, and major GPA must be a 2.0 or higher) to be considered for admission.



The DMIP requires students take two courses for a total of up to 12 s.h. in the spring semester. Students enrolling for summer or fall will take one course for up to 9 s.h. Students who need to maintain fulltime student status may supplement their program credits with additional online UI coursework. Most students find that they can participate in this program and still meet their intended graduation date, but all students are encouraged to talk with their academic advisor to assess how the internship program fits into their academic plan.

Required courses:

Each semester students are required to enroll in POLI:3124 Political Science Des Moines Internship, for up to 9 s.h.. The course includes weekly assignments designed to help students link their internship experience to their UI coursework and to their career goals. This course is elective credit; it does not meet minimum requirements in the political science major.

In the spring semesters students enroll in POLI:3123 State Politics in Iowa, 3 s.h., graded credit. This course is taught at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center in Des Moines. It is an introduction to Iowa government and politics with emphasis on Iowa Constitution, founding and history, political institutions, voting, political parties, mass movements and interest groups; evangelical movement in Iowa, immigration, and Iowa's role in national politics given the state's first-in-the-nation caucus. This course is approved as an upper-level course for political science majors and is used in a number of interdisciplinary undergraduate programs.



Students may pursue internships in the government, nonprofit and business sectors.  Interns are expected to maintain a 30 – 35 hours per week work schedule at their internship sites. The DMIP works with the interns and the sites to ensure that the anticipated job duties build professional skills—this will not be a semester of filing paper! Once admitted to the DMIP students meet with program faculty to discuss potential sites that align with the students’ academic and/or professional goals. It is important to note that admission to the DMIP does not guarantee placement in an internship. Students must apply for, and be hired into, an internship.  Résumé and cover letter writing assistance is available.

University of Iowa students have had valuable internship experiences at a number of sites in Des Moines. Please see below for just a few of the many potential internship sites.

  • Iowa Attorney General’s Office
  • Office of the Governor of Iowa
  • Iowa Senate Democrats
  • Iowa Senate Republicans
  • Iowa International Center
  • Iowa House Democrats
  • Iowa House Republicans
  • Iowa Secretary of State Office
  • Iowa Senate Republican Caucus
  • The World Food Prize
  • Republican Party of Iowa
  • Iowa Democratic Party
  • City of Des Moines
  • Iowa Department of Human Rights
  • Iowa Civil Liberties Union
  • Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services
  • U.S. District Court
  • Des Moines Downtown Chamber
  • Iowa Campus Compact

And many others…



There is no additional program fee associated with the DMIP; students pay regular tuition and fees based on the number of semester hours of enrollment. Because most internships are unpaid, students are encouraged to plan in advance with regards to budgeting for housing and other expenses for the semester.



The Department of Political Science, through the generous support of private donors, has some funding available to students to help offset the cost of participation in the DMIP in the fall and spring semesters.This funding is not available to summer interns. In order to be eligible for the funding students must:

  • Be admitted to the DMIP program
  • Accept an unpaid internship position
  • Be declared a political science or international relations major prior to the middle of the fall session
  • Amount of award varies depending on the funding available and the number of eligible students each semester.



Students are responsible for finding their own housing. The University of Iowa does not offer housing in Des Moines.



For more information regarding the Des Moines Internship Program please contact Martha Kirby at