Internship Requirements

Introduction: The Public Policy major at Gettysburg College requires students to complete an internship for academic credit. Students should take PP 221 and participate in an internship information session before undertaking their internship. Most students complete their internship during the summer before their junior or senior year. Public Policy internships can be local, national, or international in orientation. Internships offered through some off-campus study programs and the fieldwork component of some SIT programs also may fulfill the Public Policy internship requirement.

Summary of Internship Guidelines: Students doing summer internships for academic credit for the Public Policy major must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 160 hours of work during the internship, documented per instructions from the faculty sponsor;
  2. Submit a one-page summary of their internship experience describing the organization, their duties, and their assessment of the experience. This summary is due to the faculty sponsor by September 5 following summer internships;
  3. Prepare a 15-20-page policy concept paper during the semester following their internship. This paper should link the internship experience to relevant scholarly literature on policy theory or policy analysis. For example, a student completing an internship as a legislative aide in Congress could write a paper synthesizing specifics of the experience with the literature on agenda setting. The paper is due to the student’s faculty sponsor no later than September 30th for summer internships. Please refer to the policy Concept Paper guide when preparing this paper; and
  4. The final grade for the internship is based partly on the paper and partly on the internship supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s performance during the internship. The internship is graded on an A-F basis. The credit fulfills the Public Policy internship requirement and counts toward the College’s 32-course graduation requirement.

Steps in Registering and Preparing for a Summer Internship in Public Policy for Academic Credit:

  1. A student seeking a summer internship should work with the Center for Career Development to identify possible internships late in the fall semester or very early in the spring semester. The student should also consult with his or her faculty advisor in the Public Policy major about securing an internship. Often, the student’s faculty advisor in the major will serve as the faculty sponsor for the internship. But the faculty advisor may also suggest other faculty members who would be more appropriate internship sponsors, given the substantive area in which the student is seeking an internship.
  2. Once a student secures an internship, he or she must complete a learning contract to be approved by both the faculty sponsor and the internship site supervisor (Instructions). The learning contract sets the requirements for the policy concept paper and sets forth all other expectations of the faculty sponsor and internship supervisor.
  3. The learning contract must be submitted to the Chair of the Public Policy Program for approval for credit towards the Public Policy major. Students should talk to the Chair in the early stages of the process to make sure that the internship will fulfill the major requirement. Although the Center for Career Development’s deadline for completing the learning contract is June 15, Public Policy majors who want to do a summer internship are strongly encouraged to complete it before May 1st.
  4. Students should participate in an internship information session during the semester prior to the internship. For example, a student doing an internship in summer 2020 should attend an information session in spring 2020.
  5. Students doing internships should register for PP 470 (Public Policy Internship) for the semester during which they will submit the policy concept paper. For example, students who undertake an internship in summer 2020 should register for PP 470 in fall 2020.
  6. Students should meet with their internship adviser during the semester prior to the internship to establish the supervisor’s expectations for how the student’s hours will be documented and what the supervisor expects in addition to the 15-20 policy concept paper.