Public Policy and Law Internship Guidelines 

Internship Objectives: 

The required internship in the major has two objectives: (1) to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the work of an organization concerned with the making of public policy and/or law;  (2) to engage students in academic projects directly linked to the internship experience and their area of concentration in the major.  In the internship seminar, students write op-eds related to their internship, with the strongest contributions published in the CT Mirror in our Trinity Perspectives series.

Internship Selection: 

The required PBPL major internship is different from other experiential internships that Trinity students pursue through the Center for Career and Life Design. In the PBPL internship, most students apply for and secure an internship independently, then receive credit for that internship by taking the accompanying internship seminar PBPL 398. The internship and the seminar are collectively 1 full course credit. After carefully reviewing the criteria for PBPL major internships (below), students should discuss their plans for fulfilling the internship requirement with their major advisor.

In some cases, PBPL majors pursue other options for completing the required major internship beyond PBPL 398. If their advisor agrees, a student can take the following courses to complete the internship requirement: PBPL 310 Tax Policy and Inequality (internship section), a Liberal Arts Action Lab project course, or the Legislative Internship Program. Students who are accepted into these courses do not complete the PBPL 398 internship seminar.

Most students, however, learn from the process of independently securing an internship and taking the accompanying PBPL 398 seminar. The seminar is open only to students who have already completed an approved internship, or who will undertake an approved internship concurrently with the seminar. Interested students should enroll in a section of PBPL 398 during pre-registration for the following semester, then obtain approval for their internship via this form. The form must be submitted at least one week before the relevant session of PBPL 398 begins. Within a week of completing the form, the student will receive confirmation if they are approved to continue with the course.

Criteria for a PBPL Major Internship:

To qualify to take PBPL 398, students must ensure that the internship that they independently secure fulfills the following three criteria:

(a) Time Worked: Minimally 120 hours of work (e.g. 8 hours per week during a 15-week semester; a month of full-time work; 2 months of half-time work).

(b) Substance: The internship needs to be substantively related to the student’s PBPL major concentration (e.g. Law & Society, Policy Analysis, Education Policy, etc.).

(c) Tasks: The student must be doing and observing policy-related work beyond errands or clerical tasks. The exposure should be sufficient to allow the student to write an op-ed and policy memo related to the internship work.

Most students complete the internship during the fall or spring semester, simultaneously to taking PBPL 398. The internship can also be completed during the summer, in which case students should enroll in PBPL 398 in the fall. Students can also request approval to complete the major internship while studying away.

Before accepting any internship, students should carefully consider whether the internship meets the criteria above and consult with their major advisor if they are unsure. Final, formal approval for the internship is granted via this form, which can be submitted at any time.

Advice on Seeking a PBPL Major Internship:

To secure an internship, begin by reaching out to the Center for Career and Life Design to work on developing a resume and cover letter.

Students can then peruse job listings on Handshake and apply for those that appear to meet the above criteria.

Students can also contact organizations of interest (in Greater Hartford or beyond) to inquire about internship opportunities. Career and Life Design can provide advice on how to reach out to prospective internship supervisors.

Lastly, remember that all PBPL students complete an internship, so students can talk to classmates about how they found internships and what they recommend. PBPL faculty, including your advisor, may have additional recommendations.