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15 Political Science Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

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15 Political Science Internships for High School Students

In today’s competitive academic and professional landscape, high school students with aspirations in political science and public service are increasingly seeking opportunities to gain practical experience and insights into government and policy-making.

Various organizations and agencies recognize the interest and offer political science internships tailored for high school students. These internships provide invaluable exposure to the legislative process, civic engagement, and the daily operations of government entities, offering a foundation upon which students can build their future careers.

From working directly with state legislators and engaging in national government operations to participating in civic leadership programs, these internships are designed to offer a broad spectrum of experiences that cater to the diverse interests of young scholars in political science.

1. Sherrod Brown Senate Page Program

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Eligibility: High school students interested in working for a U.S. Senator.
  • Internship Period: Fall and Spring sessions last about five months; Summer sessions last 3-4 weeks.
  • Important Dates: Application deadline varies.

The Sherrod Brown Senate Page Program stands out among political science internships for high school students, offering a unique and immersive experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning.

Female student smiling at the camera while holding her things.

This prestigious program affords young individuals the remarkable opportunity to serve as a page for Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown within the historic and dynamic environment of the United States Senate.

Unlike many other internships, this program is not just about observing; it involves actively participating in the legislative process, where pages play a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of the Senate.

The internship is structured around fall, spring, and summer sessions, each designed to accommodate the academic calendar, providing nationwide flexibility for high school students. The duration of these sessions varies, with fall and spring extending approximately five months and summer sessions lasting between three to four weeks, offering a condensed yet intensive experience.

2. Alabama House of Representatives Page Program

  • Location: Alabama
  • Eligibility: Young Alabamans ages 10-18.
  • Internship Period: Not specified.
  • Important Dates: N/A.

The Alabama House of Representatives Page Program offers an engaging opportunity for young individuals interested in political science internships for high school students. This program allows participants to delve deep into the workings of state government, providing a hands-on experience that is both educational and inspiring.

View of students lounging in the campus.

As pages, students can observe legislative sessions up close, assist members of the House of Representatives and their staff, and perform crucial tasks such as delivering messages and documents, which are vital for the smooth operation of legislative proceedings.

This direct involvement in the state’s legislative process offers invaluable insights into political science and government operations, making it an excellent stepping stone for students considering a future in public service or politics.

The inclusivity of the program is notable, as it welcomes young Alabamans between the ages of 10 and 18, thus catering to a broad spectrum of high school students with varying levels of interest and experience in political science.

3. Washington State Legislature House Page Program

  • Location: Washington State
  • Eligibility: Students aged 14-16.
  • Internship Period: One 40-hour week.
  • Important Dates: N/A.

The Washington State Legislature House Page Program represents a standout opportunity among political science internships for high school students, offering them a firsthand look at the legislative process within the state government.

View of students walking in the campus.

This program, rich in history and tradition since before Washington’s statehood in 1889, invites young individuals to immerse themselves in the workings of the state legislature, performing essential duties that support the legislative process.

For one week, students aged 14 to 16 have the unique chance to serve on the chamber floor, assist with distributing legislative documents, and witness the intricacies of policy-making and debate.

Beyond the practical experience gained, the program also includes an educational component, enhancing participants’ understanding of political science and their role in civic engagement. With a stipend provided, this initiative not only incentivizes participation but also recognizes the valuable contribution of the pages to the legislative environment.

4. Florida Senate Page Program

  • Location: Florida
  • Eligibility: Participating students must be 15 to 18 by the first day of their assigned week.
  • Internship Period: 2 months.
  • Important Dates: January 8, 2024 (first week of the page program)

The Florida Senate Page Program emerges as a distinctive opportunity among political science internships for high school students, offering them a firsthand glimpse into the legislative process at the state level.

Group of students walking in the campus.

This program is meticulously designed to engage students in the practical aspects of political science and government operations, granting them a rare chance to contribute directly to the functioning of the Florida Senate.

Participants in this program are not mere observers; they are integral to the daily operations, tasked with responsibilities such as delivering documents, assisting senators, and learning the intricate details of legislative proceedings.

This active involvement provides a deep dive into the mechanics of governance and lawmaking, presenting an invaluable learning experience beyond traditional educational settings.

5. Georgia General Assembly House Page Program

  • Location: Georgia
  • Eligibility: Georgia students aged 12-18.
  • Internship Period: One day.
  • Important Dates: N/A​.

The Georgia General Assembly House Page Program offers a distinctive pathway into politics and governance, ranking highly among political science internships for high school students eager to gain firsthand experience in the legislative process.

Female student smiling at the camera.

This program invites students from across Georgia, ages 12 to 18, to the state capitol, where they play an integral role in the day-to-day activities of the General Assembly. Participants are tasked with crucial responsibilities such as delivering documents, bills, and messages directly to legislators on the House floor, providing them with a unique vantage point on the inner workings of state government.

This one-day program allows students to observe the legislative process up close. It engages them in a real-world governmental environment, offering a tangible connection to their studies in political science.

By participating in the Georgia General Assembly House Page Program, students are afforded a rare glimpse into the practical aspects of politics and governance. This experience is both educational and motivational.

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

  • Location: Maine
  • Eligibility: Maine students.
  • Internship Period: Seasonal (Winter/Spring, Summer, Fall).
  • Important Dates: Rolling application.

The State of Maine Office of Governor Janet T. Mills Internship provides a notable opportunity among political science internships for high school students, offering a deep dive into the intricacies of state government operations and policy-making.

Group of students walking in the campus.

This program is designed to give Maine students a firsthand experience of public service at the state level, allowing them to work closely with the governor’s office on various projects and initiatives.

By participating in this internship, students gain valuable insights into how state governance functions and its critical role in serving the community. The program is unique in its seasonal approach, offering positions in winter/spring, summer, and fall, accommodating high school students’ varying schedules.

The rolling application process ensures that as many interested students as possible can apply throughout the year, making this program accessible and flexible. Interns are required to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week, providing a manageable balance between their academic responsibilities and internship duties.

7. Pasquines Internship

  • Location: Remote
  • Eligibility: High school students.
  • Internship Period: N/A.
  • Important Dates: Rolling application​​.

The Pasquines Internship emerges as a compelling and distinctive offering within the realm of political science internships for high school students, particularly those interested in the interplay between U.S. territories and federal policy.

Two students talking on the stairs.

This nonprofit news organization is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the broader national dialogue on politics and policy. The internship is conducted remotely, allowing students from any location to participate and gain valuable experience in journalism, public affairs, and political analysis.

What sets the Pasquines Internship apart is its focus on issues affecting U.S. territories, providing interns with a unique perspective on how federal decisions impact these areas and vice versa. High school students engaged in this program can hone their writing and reporting skills, collaborate with a team of passionate professionals, and contribute to meaningful discussions on policy and governance.

With a rolling application process, the program offers flexibility and ongoing opportunities for students to get involved. This internship is an excellent chance for young individuals interested in political science to expand their knowledge, enhance their skills, and contribute to a meaningful national conversation​​.

8. International Leadership Foundation Youth Leadership Academy

  • Location: Virtual
  • Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Internship Period: June through August.
  • Important Dates: Rolling application.

The International Leadership Foundation Youth Leadership Academy stands out as an innovative platform among political science internships for high school students, focusing on cultivating the next generation of civic leaders through an immersive learning experience.

Students participating in the program through available online courses.

This program is designed to enrich participants’ understanding of U.S. democracy and their role within it, fostering a deep appreciation for civic engagement and leadership. By participating in this week-long intensive seminar, students are not only exposed to the foundational aspects of political science. Still, they are encouraged to engage in a project of their choice, from interning with local governments to volunteering with non-profit organizations.

This unique approach allows students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings, enhancing their learning experience and preparing them for future endeavors in public service or related fields. The program is open to rising high school juniors and seniors, emphasizing the importance of academic excellence and community involvement by requiring a minimum 3.0 GPA for eligibility.

With a rolling application process, the Youth Leadership Academy is committed to providing opportunities for students to explore their political science and leadership interests. It is a vital stepping stone for young individuals passionate about making a difference in their communities and beyond.

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

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens enrolled or accepted at an accredited institution.
  • Internship Period: Spring (January-May), Summer (May-August), Fall (September-December).
  • Important Dates: Spring – Apply by October; Summer – Apply by December; Fall – Apply by June​​.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury Student Internship Program offers an exceptional avenue for political science internships for high school students, providing a rare glimpse into the financial nerve center of the United States.

Group of students talking.

This program is designed to introduce students to the workings of the Treasury and its role in formulating and implementing federal policy. High school students accepted into accredited colleges or universities can apply for internships in various departments within the Treasury to gain valuable insights into economic policy, financial markets, international affairs, and federal finance.

With internship opportunities available in the spring, summer, and fall, the program is structured to accommodate the academic calendar, allowing students to engage in meaningful work without disrupting their studies.

The application deadlines are set to ensure students have ample time to plan their involvement: October for the spring session, December for the summer, and June for the fall. This structured approach to internship cycles ensures students maximize their experience based on their academic and personal commitments.

10. Department of Education Student Trainees Volunteers

  • Location: Varies depending on the program.
  • Eligibility: Students 16 years of age or older.
  • Internship Period: Eight to ten weeks.
  • Important Dates: Rolling application.

The Department of Education Student Trainees Volunteers program is a notable entry in political science internships for high school students, offering a unique blend of professional development and hands-on experience at the heart of educational policy and administration.

Pretty student walking in the hallway of a building.

This program caters to students aged 16 and older, providing them with an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the operations of the federal education system. Over eight to ten weeks, participants are exposed to the intricacies of educational policies and contribute to the Department of Education’s mission to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness.

This internship is particularly appealing for those interested in the intersection of political science and education, as it allows students to witness firsthand how policies are formulated, implemented, and assessed at the national level.

Participants can work alongside seasoned professionals in various fields related to educational policy, project management, and communications, gaining valuable insights and skills. Additionally, the program is enriched with professional development workshops, lunch series with senior officials, and tours of significant Washington, D.C., landmarks, offering a holistic view of public service careers.

11. Edward M. Kennedy Institute Education & Visitor Experience Volunteer Program

  • Location: Varies.
  • Eligibility: High school students.
  • Internship Period: Minimum four hours per week.
  • Important Dates: Rolling application.

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute Education & Visitor Experience Volunteer Program is an exemplary opportunity among political science internships for high school students, tailored to those with a genuine interest in American government and civic engagement.

View of students walking in the campus.

Unlike traditional internships, this volunteer program immerses students in the educational and interactive experiences offered by the Institute, allowing them to play a crucial role in facilitating visitors’ understanding of the United States Senate and the broader legislative process.

High school volunteers are tasked with greeting guests, providing information about the Institute’s exhibits, and assisting with educational programs, gaining invaluable public speaking and interpersonal skills.

This program particularly benefits students looking to deepen their political science knowledge while developing practical skills in a dynamic educational setting. The commitment to a minimum of four hours per week ensures that volunteers balance their contributions with academic and personal responsibilities, making it an accessible option for motivated high school students.

12. Workshops Foundation Congressional Seminar

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Eligibility: High school students.
  • Internship Period: One week.
  • Important Dates: N/A.

The Workshops Foundation Congressional Seminar is an invaluable addition to the roster of political science internships for high school students, presenting an immersive experience beyond the conventional internship framework.

Group of students walking in the campus.

This seminar offers high school students a profound understanding of the United States legislative process through direct interaction and engagement with the workings of Congress. Participants can meet with Senators and Representatives, attend briefings by experts involved in various facets of the political process, and visit iconic landmarks in Washington, D.C.

One of the seminar’s highlights is the model Congress, where students simulate the roles of lawmakers, providing a hands-on experience in crafting and debating legislation. This program feature is especially beneficial for students keen on understanding the nuances of policymaking and legislative procedure.

The Workshops Foundation Congressional Seminar enhances participants’ knowledge of American governance, improves their analytical skills, and encourages a more profound interest in civic involvement.

13. United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)

  • Location: N/A.
  • Eligibility: Outstanding high school juniors and seniors.
  • Internship Period: One week.
  • Important Dates: N/A.

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) is a prestigious and competitive initiative that stands out among political science internships for high school students, designed to offer them a comprehensive understanding of the United States government’s legislative branch.

smiling woman inside university

This week-long program in Washington, D.C., selects two high school juniors or seniors from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools to participate in an immersive government experience.

The USSYP includes meetings with Senators, Supreme Court Justices, and officials from the executive branch, providing students with an unparalleled opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the United States’ political processes and the functioning of its democratic institutions.

Beyond simply observing, participants engage in discussions. They are encouraged to ask questions, facilitating a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of elected officials and the importance of civic participation.

14. American Legion Boys Nation

  • Location: Varies.
  • Eligibility: Young male leaders selected as senators.
  • Internship Period: One week.
  • Important Dates: Varies.

The American Legion Boys Nation stands as a premier opportunity within the scope of political science internships for high school students, aiming to foster a comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of the federal government through a hands-on, immersive simulation.

View of a man using a laptop.

Each summer, this program gathers a select group of young men from across the United States, representing their respective states as senators. These senators then partake in a rigorous week-long program in Washington, D.C., where they simulate the legislative process, draft bills, engage in debates, and elect officials in a model government setting.

The essence of the Boys Nation experience lies in its ability to transform theoretical knowledge of U.S. civics into practical, engaging learning experiences. Participants gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of legislative proceedings and develop critical thinking and leadership skills that are pivotal for future careers in public service or political science.

With its direct approach to education and leadership development, the American Legion Boys Nation program offers high school students a unique and enriching pathway into the world of politics and governance, making it a significant stepping stone for those interested in pursuing careers related to political science.

15. House of Representatives House Page Internship | Washington State

  • Location: Capitol Campus, Olympia, Washington State.
  • Eligibility: High school students between 14 and 16 years old.
  • Internship Period: One week (40 hours) between January and April.
  • Important Dates: Applications open November 1st; specific deadline TBA.

The House of Representatives House Page Internship in Washington State is a distinguished opportunity within the array of political science internships for high school students, offering a unique blend of educational and hands-on legislative experience.

Two students sitting on the stairs of a building.

This program invites high school students to serve as pages in the House of Representatives at the state capitol, engaging directly with the legislative process. Over a week, pages assist with various duties, including document delivery, message running, and other tasks essential to the efficient operation of the legislative session.

What sets this internship apart is its commitment to providing practical experience in a governmental setting and fostering an educational environment where students can learn about civic responsibility, the legislative process, and the importance of active participation in democracy.

The program includes a component known as Page School, where pages receive instruction on parliamentary procedure, legislative processes, and other aspects of state government, enriching their overall experience.

Conclusion

As we conclude our exploration of the 16 political science internships for high school students, it’s clear that these opportunities are more than just a line on a resume; they are gateways to understanding the complex landscape of governance, policy, and civic responsibility.

Each program, whether it places students in the halls of the U.S. Senate, in the dynamic environment of state legislatures, or within influential non-profit organizations, aims to equip the next generation of leaders with the skills, knowledge, and passion needed to contribute positively to society.

As the demand for knowledgeable and engaged citizens continues to grow, the experiences gained through these internships will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of public service and political leadership​.

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