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15 Political Science Internships for High School Students

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An internship focused on political science is a good idea for high school students interested in pursuing a political science major in college and, ultimately, a career in government, politics, or public policy. A political science internship looks great on your college resume, builds your network, and gives you an inside look at a life in politics.   


Senate Page Program


A spot in the Senate Page Program is one of the most coveted internships among students with an interest in political science. Page positions are available both during the school year and over the summer and combine employment in the Senate (performing tasks like delivering messages) with rigorous academic coursework. Rising juniors and seniors who are 16 or 17 years old, U.S. citizens, and have a GPA of at least 3.0 are eligible to apply. 


1. Lisa Murkowski Senate Page 


Alaska high schoolers will want to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in one of the nation’s most prestigious programs. Students will live in Washington, D.C., and get the opportunity to meet some of the nation’s most prominent leaders and listen to debates over pressing political issues, all while continuing their studies. They’ll also get an up-close look at the fast-paced environment of one of the country’s most influential Senators. 


2. Maggie Hassan Senate Page


New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster received his first page appointment in 1829, and the U.S. Senate has welcomed young students to assist in its day-to-day operations ever since. Senator Maggie Hassan’s office continues the tradition, welcoming high-achieving juniors and seniors from New Hampshire between ages 16 and 17 to play a role in the functioning of the federal government. These students continue their schooling while working for a Senator hailing from a state known for its first-in-the-nation presidential primary and large role in national politics. 


3. Sherrod Brown Senate Page 


Paging for Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown provides an exciting opportunity to participate in the impressive Senate Page Program—working for a U.S. Senator while also living and learning in the nation’s capital. It also provides a unique perspective of working in one of the country’s most recognizable swing states. 


Stage Legislature Page Programs


With only 30 pages serving per session, the Senate Page Program is extremely competitive. State legislatures provide an excellent alternative for high schoolers who want to gain personal experience working in government. 


4. Alabama House of Representatives Page Program


The Alabama House Page Program allows young Alabamans between the ages of 10 and 18 to get an up-close look at the inner workings of state government, observe committee meetings, and meet others with an interest in politics. Pages are typically tasked with running errands for members and staff, delivering messages, and obtaining copies of bills, resolutions, amendments, substitutes, and other official documents for members. Students interested in applying for a page position should contact their House member. 


5. Washington State Legislature House Page Program


Since 1891, the Washington State Legislature House Page Program has provided young Washingtonians the opportunity to participate in the process of state government—performing duties such as presenting the flags and distributing amendments during legislative sessions. This week-long experience is open to students between ages 14 and 17, and participants receive $35 a day for their work. Those interested in the page program are encouraged to contact their member of the House of Representatives. 


6. New Hampshire State Senate Page Program


The New Hampshire State Senate Page Program allows high school students to connect with state legislators and have a personal experience with the workings of state government. Student pages are tasked with jobs like distributing documents and making photocopies, and are also given “front row” seats in the Senate Chamber for observing the legislative process. 


Other Political Science Internships


Numerous internship opportunities for students with an interest in political science exist outside of the federal and state page programs and can provide students with direct experience working in politics and government. 


7. State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills Internship 


By interning in the governor’s office, Maine students can gain valuable firsthand experience with state government, learning how a state governor serves their constituents. Internships are offered on a seasonal basis and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Participants are required to work a minimum of 12 hours a week and qualifying students receive a stipend. 


8. Pasquines Internship 


The non-profit news organization Paquines is dedicated to bringing U.S. territories—and the impact that federal issues such as those involving politics, policy, design, and innovation have on them—into the national conversation. The organization is always searching for unpaid, virtual interns who are passionate about politics, public affairs, writing, and reporting to assist in a variety of positions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 


9. International Leadership Foundation Youth Leadership Academy 


This program is designed to promote the civic awareness and economic effectiveness of the AAPI community by developing its next generation of leaders. High schoolers will participate in lectures, seminars, and hands-on projects in fields such as international relations and public policy while gaining a better understanding of the federal government and legislative process. This program is open to current high school students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are involved in their communities. 


10. Internships for New York Congressmen/Congresswomen  


Numerous New York members of Congress offer internships to high school students in their district offices. Internship hours are flexible during the school year, but two days of work are required in the summer. College students are preferred, but high schoolers are considered on a case-by-case basis—so polish your resume and show off your maturity to land one of these exciting internships. 


11. Political Research Associates (PRA) Internship Program


PRA produces research and analysis on issues such as reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, racial/immigrant justice, civil liberties, and economic justice. Internships pay $17 an hour and usually consist of 150 hours total over 10-12 weeks. PRA strongly encourages people of color, LGBTQ persons, and women to apply. The internship is mainly focused on college students and recent college graduates, but they will consider candidates who are otherwise a great fit—so sell yourself and show them you’re meant to fill an internship spot! 


12. U.S. Department of the Treasury Student Internship Program


The U.S. Department of the Treasury offers a handful of interesting internship opportunities (including positions for students with an interest in studying political science) for high school students who are accepted at an accredited college or university. Internships are unpaid, but the experience students get working in a cabinet-level federal agency, exploring a career in the public sector, and building a professional network is invaluable. 


13. Department of Education Student Trainees Volunteers


This eight- to ten-week program allows students 16 years of age or older to build professional and personal skills while working in a field of interest. Internships are available in a variety of areas, including fields of interest to prospective political science majors like educational policies and project management and communications. 


14. Show Me Integrity Fellowship Program


The Show Me Integrity coalition is a cross-partisan organization focused on creating a more effective and ethical government in the state of Missouri by eliminating dark money in politics, fighting against government corruption, and increasing voting accessibility.  Fellowships are available in departments throughout the organization—including Marketing/Communications, Community Organizing/Outreach, and Fundraising—and range from part-time to full-time (between 10 and 40 hours per week). 


15. Edward M. Kennedy Institute Education & Visitor Experience Internship


Students participating in this remote, project-based internship will work with the Visitor Experience team to develop interpretive material for future guests of the Institute. Interns are required to work at least eight hours and attend one virtual meeting per week. Project topics vary—including prominent Senators, legislative history, and citizens who’ve brought about change through legislation.  


How Much Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Internships are an extracurricular activity that can count for as much as a quarter of admissions decisions. However, their influence on admissions depends on their impressiveness and rarity, which is best quantified using the 4 Tiers of Extracurricular Activities. 


For example, a Senate page position is a tier-one extracurricular activity, as it is extremely prestigious, competitive (just 30 pages are selected per session), and high-profile. Conversely, local, less-selective, and more common internships fall into the lower tiers—three and four.


Wondering how your internship will affect your odds of acceptance? CollegeVine can help! Our free admissions calculator factors in your GPA and standardized test scores, along with other considerations such as extracurricular activities (like internships), to calculate your odds of admission at hundreds of schools across the country.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.