Honors Congressional Internship Program


About the Honors Congressional Internship Program

The five members of the United States House of Representatives and the two senators from Connecticut, in partnership with the Honors Program and Department of Political Science, are offering students interested in the workings of the US government the chance to spend the entire spring semester working in one of their offices in Washington. As a full-time Congressional intern, UConn interns become part of that particular congressperson’s team of staffers. Interns participate in staff meetings, attend committee meetings, research and write reports, and visit other offices on Capitol Hill. Interns also assist with your office’s constituent services including helping manage telephone and mail correspondence between your congressperson and his/her constituents, as well as leading constituent tours of the U.S. Capitol Building. Interns may even have the chance to contribute to the writing of new legislation. Interns work full-time and as such, are fully integrated into the operations of the office. This opportunity provides not only first-hand knowledge about our federal government, but also a distinctive professional experience. Governmental internships can be practical experience for students of all majors and especially for those interested in political science, history, and law.

Application Process and Eligibility

This exciting hands-on, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, is available to all UConn students (whether or not they are in the Honors Program) in their sophomore, junior, or senior years with a 3.0 GPA or above. 

Applications are competitive.  Interested students will be asked to submit an application, résumé, writing sample, and non-negotiable UConn Education Abroad application fee.  Selected applicants will move on to internal UConn interviews for selection and potential placement.  Finally, candidates who are chosen to continue through the process will work with Honors and Political Science to compose, assemble, and send materials to their placement site’s intern coordinator office in Washington, DC for final approval.

Coursework

You will receive 15 UConn credits while on this program, three of which will be Honors. The professor will meet with you several times during the semester to help you integrate your work and real world experience. In addition, they will teach a three-credit W course on the U.S. Congress for graded Honors credit.

The credits for this program will be issued as follows:

  1. Political Science (POLS) 3991. Supervised Field Work (12 credits, S/U).  Students will enroll for 12 internship credits that are usually taken through the Department of Political Science. As part of this internship course, students keep a journal and write short papers on the organizational structure, policy issues and challenges facing the office. In addition, this course will incorporate a public service component. Political Science Students can count up to 6 of this credits towards their major. Please note that students majoring in fields other than Political Science may be able to acquire internship credits through other departments.
  1. Political Science (POLS) 2998WH. Political Issues: Congress in Theory and Practice (3 credits). This course will provide students with the both the theoretical framework for the internship and a research opportunity. In addition to becoming familiar with the literature on Congress, students will learn how to research federal archives and conduct legal histories. Students will also receive three major trainings on how to conduct research on Congress in government agencies. Students are expected to write a research paper and make a public presentation of their findings at the conclusion of their internship. Political Science students will receive 3 credits towards their major. Honors credit.

Academic Year 2019-2020 Dates for the Program

September 6, 2019: Information Session, 1947 Room, Babbidge Library, 4 PM.  Hear from the program coordinator, program faculty, and past program participants to ask questions about the experience and application process.  Open to all interested students.  Attendance is not mandatory to apply.

October 1, 2019: Applications DUE via UConn Education Abroad Terra Dotta.

October 7-8, 2019: First-round internal UConn interviews for selected candidates with Honors and Political Science.

Mid-to-late October: Selected applicants prepare application packets to send to selected Congressional offices.

November 8, 2019: Preparation Session I for selected participants, 1947, Room Babbidge Library, 4 PM.

Late November: Notification of placement acceptance received from Congressional offices.

Early December: Preparation Session II for selected participants, location and time TBD.

January 4, 2020: Program begins in Washington, DC.  Internships start the following Monday.

April 16, 2020: Last day of the program.

Quotes from Past Participants

“The best part of the Honors Congressional Internship in DC is the chance to become immersed in our nation’s capital. From living in the heart of the city, to working in the Capitol building and giving back to the city, one can expect to learn and grow both as a UConn student and an American citizen. After completing this internship and program students can expect to gain practical knowledge about the inner-workings of the U.S. government and can learn how to balance their school lives with a 9-6 job.”  —Matthew Kren, Class of 2017, History and Political Science

“Having the opportunity to be an intern in Washington, DC has been an eye opening experience. Having the opportunity to meet and have discussions with numerous UConn alumni that have excelled in their careers has truly helped me to discover the different career paths I am able to take after graduating from UConn. During the Semester in DC, I was constantly learning about the inner mechanisms of Congress, which are not discussed in classroom texts or lectures. While I have acquired many new skills from the internship itself, I truly believe that many of my skills were developed outside of the internship. For instance, having a fulltime internship, classroom assignments and wanting to explore the city has taught me to wisely manage my time so that I am able to accomplish all those things successfully.” —Abhishek Pradhan, Class of 2017, Political Science

“My college experience has been shaped in large part by the four months I spent interning in Washington, D.C. As a congressional intern, I learned about the complexities of government relations and the policy-making process. As a resident of our nation’s capital, I attended networking events, became involved in community service, explored a beautiful city and made lifelong friends from across the country. I have since returned to D.C. to participate in a service trip and complete another internship using the connections I made during my initial D.C. experience to help me succeed.” —Natalie Vieira, Class of 2015, Resource Economics

Want More Information?

Please consult the program brochure on UConn Education Abroad’s Terra Dotta website for the full brochure, including the application.  You can find the information and application by clicking “Programs” at the top of the page, then searching for “Honors Congressional Internship Program” using the text box.

General questions may be directed to the Honors Programming & Events Office, 860-486-1616, honorsevents@uconn.edu