Experiential Learning

A Politics and Government major prepares students for a variety of experiences and opportunities throughout and beyond their college career.  Some of these are discussed below; contact a department member and visit our department blog for more information.

Scroll the pictures above and click on each for details--

Prepare as a Professional Prepare as a Professional

  • Internships: The department works with students to apply for various internships at the local, national and international level.  Our students have interned with members of Congress in Washington State, in their home states, and in DC.  The department also supports the Legislative Internship Program in Olympia, a paid full time program where students earn university credit.  We have placed students in internships in the State Department in DC and overseas, as well as international organizations including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the National Council for US-Arab Relations.  Faculty work closely with students to identify and support internship programs across the country and globe.
  • Conference attendance and presentations: Students have attended conferences to present research conducted independently or jointly with faculty.  Examples include the Sciences Po Annual Political Theory Conference in Paris, the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Conference.
  • Mentorship programs/events: Our department has a strong relationship with Politics and Government alumni across the country and world, and help connect students to alums working in similar areas of interests.  We have an extensive LinkedIn account to maintain communication.
  • Shadowing opportunities: Career and Employment Services on campus facilitates job shadowing opportunities, which frequently includes Politics and Government alums. 
  • Guest speakers/panel discussions: The department regularly sponsors talks on campus and specifically supports visits by department alumni to discuss life after graduation.  A recent example was Duncan Marsh '85, who worked in the State Department in China before going on to the Nature Conservancy in DC, where he has focused on climate change.  

Experience the World Experience the World

  • Regional/national/international excursions: The department has been involved in a number of shorter and longer term programs.  In recent years this included a jointly taught course with the History Department on Cuba that concluded with a ten day trip to the country. Politics and Government majors are regular participants in the university's Pacific Rim Program. Once every three years a group of university students travels to Asia for nine months of rigorous academic work and experiential learning. In 2017-2018 department member Karl Fields, a specialist on Asian politics, led the first half of this trip. 
  • Study abroad opportunities: Our students participate in a number of study abroad programs, among them Morocco, European Union, China, Vietnam, Chile, Denmark, India, and many more.  For details see International Programs.
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate study/fellowships: Student awards have included the Critical Languages Scholarship program for intensive language study overseas,  Fulbright Awards and Luce Foundation Fellowships to such places as Bosnia and Laos; the California Capital Fellows Program; Teach For America and Peace Corps.  Many of these opportunities are listed in the department blog (see link).

Engage Your Community Engage Your Community

  • Summer Immersion Internship Program: Majors have taken part in the Summer Immersion Internship Program, which places the students in local internships and provides a stipend, housing, and academic credit.  Placements have included the Center for Dialog & Resolution in Tacoma and Sawhorse Revolution in Seattle.

Summer Immersion Internship Student Presentation, 
Center for Dialog and Resolution   

Conduct Research Conduct Research

    • Summer research opportunities: The university's Summer Research Award allows students to spend ten weeks conducting research at home or overseas.  Student topics have varied from voter support for Trump, mediation during communal conflicts; Citizens United versus the Federal Electoral Commission, Labor and the "new right" in Argentina.  
    • The Pohlad Award, generously funded by a Politics and Government alumnus, also supports international travel.  Funds have in past been used for travel to Turkey and Qatar.  Application deadline is in March; contact the department for more details. Find a link to the application here:

Summer Research Award Presentation:
"Migrant Images: Visual Propaganda of the Syrian Refugee Crisis
in German and French Cities."

 Pohlad Award project on education, gender and public/private 
spaces in Qatar