A culmination of the coursework

The Public Policy undergraduate internship provides students the opportunity to see how policy skills and knowledge they have developed in their core courses apply in a real-world context. It also gives students a chance to gain exposure to different jobs in policy and advocacy.   Yadira Paz-Martinez PPS’25 interned with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and with U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo of Colorado.

Read about Yadira's experience

The required internship was instituted by the Sanford Faculty and Dean. The criteria for the internship is updated as necessary by Sanford Faculty and guidance for what satisfies the internship requirement is revisited annually by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and shared with Sanford Undergraduate Internship Advisors and the Undergraduate Program Student Services Coordinator, who partner in assisting students as they complete the requirement.

  • All Public Policy Majors, Program II Majors, and Inter-Departmental Majors must complete an internship that satisfies the requirement before they can graduate.
  • Students should complete their internship during either the summer after Sophomore Year or summer after Junior Year.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 350 hours of an internship to meet the criteria of the requirement.
  • Students can request to combine two internships during the summer to meet the 350-hour requirement. (Students complete two internship records and two personal evaluations but submit only one final Internship Reflection.)  Each of the two internships must last a minimum of 100 hours. 
  • Academic-year internships (fall/spring) are not permitted, unless students are completing their internship through the Duke in DC Spring Semester program, or students enroll in 2 (two) consecutive semesters of the same Bass Connections project. (The Bass Connections program director sets the number of hours. A summer and an academic year internship in Bass Connections or the Duke in DC program cannot be combined.)
  • Students cannot begin their internship until their Experience form has been completed in Handshake and has been approved by a Sanford Undergraduate Internship Advisor and the onsite Internship Supervisor.  If students begin their internship prior to these approvals, the hours will not count toward the required 350 minimum. 
  • Students cannot submit a past internship to satisfy the requirement.

Students must complete at least 3 of the following 6 required courses to complete a required internship. (One course needs to be PUBPOL 155, PUBPOL 301, or PUBPOL 302/GLHLTH 210.)

  1. STA 199L Intro to Data Science or STA 101L, STA 102L, STA111L, STA 130L, STA140L, STA 198L or ECON 104
  2. PUBPOL 155 Introduction to Policy Analysis
  3. PUBPOL 301 Political Analysis for Public Policy
  4. PUBPOL 302 Policy Choice as Value Conflict or PUBPOL 330/GLHLTH 210 Global Health Ethics
  5. PUBPOL 303 Microeconomic Policy Tools
  6. PUBPOL 304 Economics of the Public Sector

This reduced requirement allows students to complete the internship in the summer after either sophomore or junior year. However, students are encouraged to complete as many public policy core courses as possible before completing the internship, to be stronger internship applicants and to gain a more robust experience.

Please review the Sanford Career Services website for more information about the internship requirement.

Career Services

Sanford's Career Services Team supports undergraduate students with securing internships that fit their policy area interest and unique skills, backgrounds, and preferences, and supports policy employers with their talent needs. It offers assistance with:

  • Resume & cover letter writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Internship search strategies

And more!

Connect with Sanford Internship Advisor

Combining interests for an internship

A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, a Public Policy major, and Documentary Studies certificate student, Quinn Smith spent his summer interning in Ada, Oklahoma, working with Chickasaw Nation Productions, the Nation’s media production company.

Read more about Quinn Smith