WilDCats at the Capitol




In Spring 2017, the University of Kentucky began the process of reviewing existing government internship programs at the federal and state level. Quickly identifying opportunities for collaborative partnership across academic and administrative units, the University began the process to expand and enhance its internship programs.

A key component of the redevelopment of UK’s government internship offerings is the opportunity to enroll in a program during the traditional academic year, remain a full-time student by taking credit-bearing courses with UK faculty, and engage with faculty, staff, and alumni through a robust professional development program. Internship opportunities will be open to students from any major.

The DC internship program will be available for students during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester with a University of Kentucky faculty member or adjunct faculty member affiliated with a DC-area institution of higher learning.

For interested students, please review/submit the application material and supplemental information:  dc_application-v2.pdf


Internship Responsibilities and Appointments

Interns are expected to work 20 to 32 hours a week in the selected office or agency. Internship responsibilities will vary depending on the needs and opportunities available in individual positions. We recognize that interns often perform a number of clerical tasks; to receive academic credit, however, interns will have responsibilities and opportunities beyond clerical duties. Interns will be responsible for collaborating with the on-sight supervisor to identify and define their scope of responsibilities. 

All effort will be made to place students with the legislator of their choice, though no guarantees can be made. 


Academic Responsibilities and Expectations

The UK-affiliated faculty will teach two courses in his/her field of specialty, with a focus on taking advantage of Washington DC’s resources to enhance the coursework. As part of this experience, students will be responsible for writing a research paper on a topic related to their internship, and for participating in a weekly meeting, which will include opportunities to hear prominent speakers as well as to reflect on their internship experience. Alumni and parent mentors will be available to students throughout the semester. Students will earn six credits for the coursework taught by the UK-affiliated professor and six credits for the internship experience and related obligations.

Students will enroll in the following courses:

  • PS 399: Political Science Internship in Government or Politics (6 hours)
  • PS 395: Independent Research (optional for graduating seniors only)
  • PS 391: Special Topics In Political Science (the course offerings will vary from semester to semester depending on the expertise of the lead faculty member (3 to 6 hours)


​Professional Development and Experiential Learning

Fridays during each week will be an opportunity for students to get a variety of professional development experiences in different areas. Job-shadowing, networking, and local excursions will be key components of the “Friday Experience.” Excursions may include visits to Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, the White House, and others. Students will also have opportunities to meet with Congressional and agency staff, interest group representatives, and University of Kentucky alumni working in DC. 



Students participating in the program are required to live in program-organized housing. The University of Kentucky contracts with the Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) program to locate students in close proximity with their internship experience. WISH locations house students only, are furnished, in the historic District, and Metro accessible. All efforts will be made to house University of Kentucky students together, but there are no guarantees. The University of Kentucky Code of Student Conduct applies to students living in WISH housing during their internship period.

All WISH properties are furnished, including utilities, cable TV, wireless internet access, full kitchens, dishware, cookware and appliances (toaster, microwave, coffeepot, etc.), free laundry facilities (irons/ironing boards), and weekly and emergency maintenance. Furnishings also include access to WISH office and building management staff, 24-hour emergency staffing, as well as social and professional development events (see www.internsdc.com). Residents are required to provide their own phone service, bed linens, and towels. Parking accommodations are not included with WISH housing.

The WISH partnership includes double or triple bedroom occupancy on Capitol Hill. The following rental rates apply:

  • Refundable Security Deposit:  $200 per resident
  • Processing Fee: $300 per resident
  • Double Occupancy Room:
    • $4,300 per resident (Fall and Spring)
    • $3,900 per resident (Summer)

WISH programs, receptions, social mixers, and speakers are free for all residents. Each resident living in WISH housing must complete and sign the WISH Housing Application Form prior to term. Housing Application Forms are due to WISH 60 days prior to the applicable move-in date.


Selection Process

Admissions decisions for both programs are made on a rolling basis until the program is full or the program application deadline is reached.

The most successful applicants will have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a strong application. If your GPA is lower than 3.0, you are still encouraged to apply and to discuss your application with the Internship Director. The admission committee considers a number of factors in addition to your cumulative GPA. Student selection will be based on an online application with open-ended questions, a resume, an interview with the selection committee. Candidates for interview will be notified by the selection committee. 

Selection Committee:

  • Tiffany Barnes, PhD; Department of Political Science
  • Clayton Thyne, PhD; Department of Political Science
  • Bill Swinford, PhD; Office of the President
  • Chris Crumrine; Office of the President
  • Eric King; Director of Federal Relations
  • Michael Regard; UK Student Government Association


Timeline (Spring semester)

  • August 23 – First day of classes for the 2017 Fall Semester
  • October 18 - Applications due
  • October 23-27 – Candidate interviews
  • October 30 – November 21: Priority registration for 2018 Spring Semester
  • November 29 – December 18: Add/Drop for registered students for the 2018 Spring Semester
  • November 30 – Lexington Orientation Program
  • January 2 – Earliest occupancy date for WISH housing
  • January 7 – DC Orientation Program
  • January 10 – First day of class for the 2018 Spring Semester
  • April 30 – Last occupancy date for WISH housing



Tiffany Barnes, PhD                                                          Christopher Crumrine
Associate Professor and Internship Director                     Deputy Chief of Staff
Department of Political Science                                        Office of the President
tiffanydbarnes@uky.edu                                                    ccrumrine@uky.edu

Eric King
Director of Federal Relations
University of Kentucky