POSC 395: Directed Governmental and Political Leadership Internship

POSC 395 is designed to give students firsthand experience in the world of politics. Placements are available with elected officials, political consultants, non-governmental organizations, state and local government agencies, environmental organizations, political parties and campaigns, interest groups, political media and more. Internships provide exciting opportunities to participate in the political process and help students gain insight into the nature of political institutions and learn about important policy debates.  Internship opportunities also help students obtain practical experience and build invaluable relationships with potential future employers, all while earning college credit.

POSC 395 is an upper-division course which can count toward the Political Science major/minor, as well as other majors/minors (e.g. International Relations, Human Rights, Peace & Conflict Studies).  The primary requirements of the internship course are to work at your internship for the required number of hours per week, and to fulfill the assignments required for the class. 

Prior to meeting with an internship coordinator, please fill out the POSC 395 Pre-meeting Intake form found here.


To search for internships, click here: 
Searchable Internship Database

POSC 395: California Policy Research Internship

USC students who enroll in POSC 395: California Policy Research Internship will have the opportunity to conduct extensive research and analysis on a major public policy challenge facing California.

Students will take part in a team-based research project where they will work to develop potential solutions in their respective policy areas by conducting interviews with policy experts and reviewing academic and policy reports and other primary and secondary sources.  At the conclusion of their internship, each policy group will present their work to leaders in the realm of policy, politics, and public service. 

How to Receive Course Credit

You receive course credit by enrolling in POSC 395. This course requires D-Clearance. You must complete an internship agreement form signed by both you and the supervisor at the office where you will be working before you can receive D-Clearance.

Spring 2015 Downloads
Fall 2014 Downloads


Have additional internship related questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

USC Schaeffer Government Service Fellows Program

The Schaeffer Government Service Fellows Program encourages USC's most talented undergraduate student scholars to pursue careers in government service through high-level summer internships with elected officials and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.

Category One: Congressional and Federal Agency Internships
USC has worked with members of the California congressional delegation to provide four internships. The placements will be in the Washington offices of the following US Representatives: 

Karen Bass (CA-37, D)
Kevin McCarthy (CA-23, R)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40, D)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34, D)

In addition one internship will be provided in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Applications for Category I Internships have passed.

Category Two: Student-Secured Internships
Students may also apply for a stipend to support a local, state or federal government internship that they identify and secure. Internships should be focused on government service, rather than volunteer work in some other setting. Applications for Category II Internships are due Monday, February 16, 2015 at 11:59pm. 

Finalists will be selected by a campus faculty panel and invited to interview. Schaeffer Fellows will be awarded a stipend of $5,000 and each Fellow will be paired with a USC alumni mentor based in Washington, DC (Category I) or the location of the student-secured internship. 

Eligibility and the Application Process
Current USC sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative USC GPA and should have completed coursework that prepares them for the internship.

The following application materials are required:

Completion of an online information form
Two faculty letters of recommendation
A one-page resume
An 800-word statement of purpose
A supplementary writing sample (optional, but suggested)

For more information about the USC Schaeffer Government Service Fellows Program visit: or contact Erica Lovano McCann at 

  • 3518 Trousdale Parkway, Von KleinSmid Center 263, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0045
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 8964
  • Fax: (213) 740 - 3167
  • Email: