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: wildcats_application.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. 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. 

During the spring and fall semesters, the internship program and related coursework will take place throughout the entire semester. During the summer, internship appointments vary in length by office, with some lasting the entire semester and others organized in 6-8 week-long terms. There are no DC-based classes during the summer term. 

Academic Responsibilities and Expectations

During the spring and fall terms, a 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. Students will earn six credits for the coursework taught by the UK-affiliated professor and six credits for the internship. 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)

DC-based courses taught by UK-affiliated faculty are not available during the summer term. Students can take advantage of online and distance learning options in consultation with your academic advisor in the Internship Director. 



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 housing is studentsonly, fully furnished, located in the historic District, and Metro accessible. The University of Kentucky Code of Student Conduct applies to students living in WISH housing during their internship period. 

All WISH properties include 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 and will be billed through the regular UK billing process: 
● Refundable Security Deposit:  $200 per resident
● Processing Fee: $300 per resident
● Double Occupancy Room:
o $4,300 per resident (Fall and Spring)
o $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 this application, a resume, transcript, one letter of recommendation from a UK faculty member, and interview with the selection committee. Materials should be sent to psintern@uky.edu. Candidates for interview will be notified by the selection committee. The following dates are approximate and may shift slightly given the academic calendar. 

For placement during the Spring Semester:

Applications due Second week of September
Interviews Last two weeks of September
Placement October/November
Orientation Finals week of Fall Semester

For placement during the Summer Semester:

Applications due Second week of January
Interviews Last two weeks of January
Placement February/March
Orientation Finals week of Spring Semester

For placement during the Fall Semester:

Applications due Second week of April
Interviews Last two weeks of April
Placement May/June
Orientation Finals week of Spring Semester


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