Internships & Professional Development

Explore Options

The Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership was founded in 2017, with a mission to equip student leaders with the education, skills, and experience to be successful public servants, while connecting with communities across the State of Colorado. We oversee internship programs with Local, State, and Federal Government partners, and we host events, workshops, and forums for student and community audiences.

Internships allow students to explore their career options by supplementing their coursework with real-world experience. Internships help students explore opportunities that suit their taste and provide opportunities to connect with people who may help with future employment.


CSU in D.C. Internship

Undergraduate students spend a semester in Washington, D.C. and earn 15 credits through CSU. The program includes the completion of a professional internship, seminar, and colloquium while in D.C. CSU enrolls up to 10, upper-level undergraduate students in this program. The program is open to students in all colleges and majors.

Local Government Internships

The Department of Political Science partners with the Cities of Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, Loveland, and Larimer County to provide internship opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.


Colorado Legislative Internship

Each spring semester, a group of students travels to the State Capitol in Denver every Tuesday and Thursday to intern for State legislators, General Assembly committees, or lobbyists. More than 1,100 students have completed the Colorado Legislative Internship. Open to all majors; preference is given to graduating seniors.

Academic Credits

To receive academic credit for internships, students must enroll in up to six credits of POLS 486 (A or B), three of which may count towards the political science major requirements. Students receive academic credit for the learning they can demonstrate through the internship. Assignments typically include completing a daily journal and a paper linking the work to political science theories and concepts covered in the students’ coursework. As a rule, students are expected to work 50 hours per credit. Arrangements for academic credit must be completed before the internship begins.

For Legislative internships, please contact Department Chair, Robert Duffy.

For all other internships, contact Sam Houghteling.

Career Preparation

The political science major provides students with knowledge and skills applicable across a broad spectrum of employment in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Political science majors are prepared to be independent and critical thinkers, discerning and active observers and listeners, and persuasive communicators. Our alumni have successful careers as policy analysts, lawyers, city administrators, campaign specialists, lobbyists, nonprofit managers, teachers, and business leaders.

Additional Resources

Follow us on Instagram @CSUPoliSci ! It’s one of the best ways to learn about events on campus, exciting internships and more!

In addition, the CSU Career Center offers helpful career resources and a database of employment opportunities that connect students and alumni with employers. For more resources specific to the political science field, the American Political Science Association offers in-depth resources on career opportunities for political science majors.