IR 391: Directed International Relations Field Study

    This course is designed to help students build a connection between their academic studies and career possibilities in International Relations. Course requirements bridge the academic-practitioner divide by encouraging students to explore the link between practical experience of their internship and the knowledge gained from coursework and research. The goals of the course are geared towards assisting students in:

    1. Developing a strong pre-professional understanding of the careers open to them after graduation and what steps to pursue

    2. Developing concrete capabilities necessary to succeed professionally after graduation

    3. Reflecting on how their studies inform their professional practice and vice-versa.

    Program Advisor: Iva Bozovic

    POSC 395: Directed Governmental and Political Leadership Internship

    Alternatively, students can enroll in POSC 395 and opt instead to join a 5-6 person student team and conduct 100 hours of research with a prominent partner on policy issues facing local, state, and federal government. Students develop solutions to real-world challenges, such as mass transportation, climate change, homelessness, broadband access, educational disparities, and wildfires. The research team is supported by the Unruh Institute through biweekly meetings and review of research proposals. At the conclusion of the semester, each team presents their final recommendations to the partnering organization and provides them with detailed research and policy suggestions. Prior research partners have included: California Strategies, California State Senator Ben Allen’s Office, Civic Health Project, Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center, LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s Office, and Nature Conservancy.

    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 must meet with an Internship Associate to pursue these internship opportunities.  If you wish to obtain an internship through the Center for the Political Future’s Unruh Institute of Politics, please contact or visit CPA 263 for more information. 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




    If you are interested in participating as an internship provider during the Spring 2024 semester, fill out our Internship Provider Intake Form. Please reach out to the Unruh Institute of Politics at if you have any questions.

    While students gain practical experience and build relationships in the world of politics, employers reap benefits such as the influx of new ideas, the opportunity to attract potential employees, and the contributions of motivated students whose class grade depends in part on their employers’ satisfaction with their work.

    Learn more about CPF’s Internship Programs and Scholarships from this video highlight.

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    4 diverse students in Sacramento, ai generated
    4 Diverse Students outside, ai generatred

    University internship programs provide students with the opportunity to earn internship credits, enabling them to gain valuable real-world work experience while making progress toward their degrees.