The MA internship offers students the chance to secure six months of paid, practical workplace experience in a public policy, public administration or political position. The internship gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge to practice, enriching classroom learning by combining academic research with practical professional experience. Students will engage in relevant graduate coursework for their first two semesters in the program, laying the foundation for their placement. Students then apply their knowledge in a six month internship placement (during the summer and second fall semester of their degree), during which they will also participate in regular seminars. The department will also offer students training in developing an electronic resume during this period of their study. Themes or questions arising from their placement will form the basis for a Research Paper and Presentation to be completed during the last two months of their degree program (in the second fall semester), requiring students to synthesize the theory and practice of their internship experience. The presentation of the paper will take place at the end of the second fall semester, and will include an audience of fellow students, employers and prospective employers. The MA Internship Coordinator is Dr. Joanna Sweet.
There is no separate application for the internship option. Students who begin the MA program in September are given the opportunity of applying for an internship position once in the program but placements are not guaranteed. This is an elite option and only the students with the highest academic averages and who succeed in an interview process will participate in the internship. Please note however that all students who complete the program, by whichever option, will graduate with an M.A. in Political Science.
Students will be asked to apply for an internship at the end of the fall semester. The graduate committee will select the successful candidates who will subsequently interview with employers in order to secure a placement. It is expected that there will be approximately 10 positions available for students entering the program in September 2013.
Students who successfully secure an internship placement will complete three further graduate courses in the winter semester. They will then begin their full-time internship in May. The exact placements will vary each year but potential employers include municipal governments such as the City of Windsor; local, provincial and national politicians; and non-governmental agencies such as the Alzheimer Society. Periodically during the placement, students will participate in seminars at the University that will cover academic issues and job-finding strategies.
Placements will run for approximately six months and are paid positions. Students will remain in the placement until November. Once the placement is completed, students will write a 40 page research paper under the supervision of a faculty member that will be graded on a pass/fail basis. The papers will be presented at a public event in December that will mark the completion of the degree.
Please note that students starting the graduate program in January cannot currently complete the internship option because of the timing of internship placements. Such students will secure their MA through the major paper or thesis streams instead.