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Fred Harris

Beginning with the 2006 fall semester, The University of New Mexico established a scholarship program to allow its students to travel to Washington, DC to learn firsthand how federal policy is formulated in our nation's capital. The program's objective is to provide undergraduate students who have an interest in public policy the opportunity to participate in public service by observing and contributing to the policy-making process. The internship experience helps students understand the challenges and rewards of public life and develops their leadership skills.

Each semester, up to five selected interns travel to Washington, DC to work in NM delegation member offices. We anticipate many will use their internship experience as a springboard into careers in our nation's capitol, while others will choose to continue their education by entering into graduate school.

Undergraduate students with a minimum of 60 earned credit hours and a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average are eligible to participate. (60 earned credit hour minimum may include classes in progress at the time of application.) No particular major or disciplinary background is required. Students will acquire skills and experience that will serve them well no matter what career they choose.

Up to five interns will be selected for either the spring 2017 or fall 2017 semester. Each intern will receive a $5,490 award to help defray associated costs. Interns are required to complete 12-15 credit hours as specified by the Department of Political Science. Please note that the department will select interns for BOTH the spring 2017 and fall 2017 semesters in fall 2016.


To apply, submit the following materials as a complete packet to the Department of Political Science, Attn: Steven Romero, Room 2061, Social Sciences Building, on or before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016.  All applications must be typed.

  • Application Form
  • Resumé
  • Two letters of recommendation (Note: One letter of recommendation should come from a faculty member or administrator)
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Lobotrax degree audit printed from Loboweb

Alumni Feedback

Use this link to read feedback comments from some of our former interns: Alumni Comments

NM State Legislature

The Department of Political Science is now accepting applications for the 2017 New Mexico State Legislative Internship program. Iinformation sessions will be held in room 2069 of the Social Sciences Building (#78 on the campus map), at 12:00 on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 and at 9:30 on Thursday, November 17th, 2016.

Selected interns will be in a unique position to observe, first-hand, the operation of the legislature. Participants in the program will be assigned to members of the New Mexico State Legislature for one week during the 2017 legislative session. The intern reports at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning of their assigned week, works full-time, and resides in Santa Fe until released at the close of the week's legislative session. Interns receive a stipend of $500 to help cover their expenses. Preparation for the internship includes a full-day of orientation in Santa Fe. Interns must register for one hour of academic credit. They are required to submit daily journals and a short summary paper to the internship coordinator. Upon the completion of the internship and the fulfillment of these requirements, interns will be assigned a grade of credit (CR) or no credit (NC).

 Any questions about the program should be directed to Professor Timothy Krebs at


To apply, submit the following materials as a complete packet to the Department of Political Science, Attn: Steven Romero, Room 2061, Social Sciences Building, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016. All applications must be typed.

POLS 291 and POLS 491 internships place students with professionals working in political parties, government agencies, or other public organizations. Interns work closely with both the field supervisor in the public organization and with the faculty instructor. Internships allow students to observe how professionals and professional organizations operate on a daily basis and afford to students multiple opportunities to apply academic skills and knowledge while contributing to an organization’s operation. Through an internship, students have the chance to learn through experiences, insofar as the workplace, office, or agency becomes a text for analysis and reflection.

Please email Michael Rocca at either a) before Final Exam Week during Spring 2017 or b) during the first week of classes of Fall 2017 for more information, for a list of open internships, and for times to meet to obtain instructor permission for registering for the POLS 291 or POLS 491 course.


Students must obtain prior permission of the instructor in order to enroll in POLS 291 or POLS 491 credits. The following requirements must be completed by no later than Friday prior to Final Exam Week, as listed in UNM’s Final Exam Schedule.

  • An intern must complete at least sixty-four (64) hours of applied, supervised experience for each hour of academic credit.
  • All writing assignments must be completed.
  • Each intern must complete a final paper analyzing what s/he has learned.

Important Information on Internships 

  • POLS 291 and POLS 491 are open to all majors.
  • No more than three (3) hours of internship credit in POLS 291, and no more than a total of six (6) hours of internship credit in POLS 291 and POLS 491 combined, or POLS 491 alone, may be counted toward the major in Political Science. No more than three (3) hours of internship credit, either POLS 291 or POLS 491, may be counted toward the minor in Political Science.
  • An intern will receive Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC). Credit will be based on a) completion of each weekly writing assignment, b) completion of the final paper, c) and the supervisor’s final confirmation that all required internship hours were completed in a satisfactory manner.
  • The internship emphasis is on learning through supervised interactions with professionals, and Political Science interns do not ordinarily receive salaries. Insofar as internships are designed to place students with professionals, internships are not the equivalent of volunteerism.
  • The number and range of internship placements varies each semester and is dependent on the needs/preferences of public agencies. That is, while UNM’s Political Science Department seeks to provide numerous internship openings each Fall and Spring, whether particular campaigns, offices, and agencies ask for interns is beyond the ability of the Political Science Department to control.
  • No POLS 291 or POLS 491 internship credits are offered during the summer.

A Step-By-Step Overview of How to Do a 291/491 Internship:

  1. During Fall or Spring Semester (not during Summer, for Professor Rocca is away from UNM/email over most of Summer) email Professor Rocca at to determine whether there are internship openings.
  2. If there is an open internship, these are the general steps for seeking an internship position: a) obtain a description of the internship opening and contact information from me; c) follow the directions and apply for the internship; d) if offered the internship, ensure that you can accommodate the supervisor’s work schedule and that you will be able to balance the internship hours with your other classes; e) if you accept the internship offer, email Professor Rocca to confirm your acceptance, to designate your preference for POLS 291 or POLS 491, and to provide to your Banner Student ID #; f) as soon as the department receives confirmation from your supervisor that you have been offered the position, that s/he can guarantee you the required hours for academic credits, and that s/he agrees to confirm your hours and evaluate your work by no later than the Friday before Final Exam Week and as soon as I receive your information in “e” above, I will enter your permission to register for either POLS 291 or POLS 491.
  3. You must then formally/officially register for POLS 291 or 491. As you enter Banner to register, be certain to notice that you have the Banner option of registering for 1, 2, or 3 academic credits/hours so be certain to input into Banner the correct designation of credit hours you wish to receive (remembering that you must complete a minimum of 64 hours of actual work in the internship for each 1 hour of academic credit).
  4. Complete all your required hours in your placement and complete each weekly assignment each week. Contact Professor Rocca immediately if problems or questions arise.