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About the Washington D.C. Congressional Internship

Background

In 1999, University President Donald Haragan established a scholarship program to allow Texas Tech students to travel to Washington, D.C. to learn firsthand how federal policy is formulated in our nation's capital. The program's objective is to provide students who have an interest in government and public policy the opportunity to participate in public service by observing and contributing to the legislative process. The internship experience helps students understand the challenges and rewards of public life and helps develop their leadership skills.

More than 180 Texas Tech students have traveled to Washington D.C. as a part of this program. Many have used their internship experience as a springboard into careers in our nation's capitol. Others have chosen to continue their education by entering into graduate or law school or have began careers in other fields with a greater knowledge of the workings of our federal government.

Internships

The President's Congressional Internship Program is offered every Fall and Spring semester, as well as during the Summer in conjunction with the regular summer school sessions. Each semester, approximately 10 students are chosen to participate as interns in the program. Interns live and work in Washington, D.C. for the duration of the semester-long internship for which they are chosen to participate. Interns are placed in either a Congressperson or Senator's office based on the intern's interests in issues, personality, hometown, and abilities. They work full-time, 40-50 hours per week based on the individual office, and the internships are unpaid.

Before leaving for Washington, D.C., interns will attend orientation sessions to help prepare them for the experience and familiarize them with guidelines and responsibilities expected of interns. They also attend socials to get to know their fellow interns.

Academic Credit

Each undergraduate intern will be enrolled in a minimum of six hours at Texas Tech University while interning in Washington, D.C. Undergraduates will be enrolled in POLS 4398 – a political science practicum class. Each graduate student will be enrolled in a minimum of three hours of IS 5000. These credit hours are earned through the intern’s work on Capitol Hill. Both the undergraduate and graduate classes are a complement to the work being completed in the congressional offices. Interns are considered full-time students at Texas Tech while they are in Washington, D.C., due to the number of hours they work each week and the assignments they fulfill while interning.

Political Science Undergraduate Minor

Through the internship, undergraduate interns, who are not already majoring in political science, have the opportunity to earn a political science minor. For the minor, students will earn nine hours of political science credit while in Washington, D.C. With completion of the internship and in addition to the six hours of political science core curriculum required of all undergraduates, students may choose between a TTU International Politics or Comparative Politics class to complete the minor. This is an excellent opportunity for knowledge base-expansion and continued resume building.

Scholarship

Each intern will receive up to $4000 in TTU scholarships to help defray the costs associated with the internship and living in Washington, D.C. The scholarship covers all housing costs, and any remaining amount may be used to cover day-to-day expenses while in D.C. Interns are responsible for their tuition (students receive an off-campus waiver for most fees), travel to-and-from Washington, D.C., and entertainment.

Qualifications

To participate in the program, it is preferred that undergraduate students have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and have completed a minimum of 60 semester credit hours before the semester they wish to participate in the internship. Graduate students with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 are also eligible to participate.

No particular major or disciplinary background is required to apply for an internship. Students will acquire skills and experience through the program that will serve them well no matter what career or field of study they choose.

Other Important Qualifications:

To apply for the internship, click here.