College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Legislative Internship - Academic Requirements

Course Registration

Interns receive override permission from the Political Science Department to register for PLSC 443 Legislative Internship (5-15 credits). No more than 10 credits of internship may be counted toward the Political Science major without permission from the Department Chair. Credit may be earned in other majors if the student makes the appropriate arrangement with the Chair of that department.

Only Western undergraduate students selected by the Political Science Department and appointed as Legislative Interns by the Legislature are allowed to enroll.

A Term Paper or its Equivalent

Usual practice has been the selection of a significant bill early in the session with a detailed follow-up exploring its origins, sources of support and opposition, its course through the legislative process, including hearings, committee action, floor action and final result. These papers must follow the format appropriate for a formal term paper with emphasis on good organization and adequate footnoting. Other topics not related to specific bills may also be proposed. Topics should be approved by the Faculty Sponsor.

Instead of a term paper, interns may submit the results of research they have completed during the course of their internship. To qualify, such research reports must constitute a finished product presented as a well-organized package appropriately documented and footnoted.

Term papers and research reports average about 15 pages in length plus appendices.

Instructor Visits

When visiting Olympia during the course of the session, the Faculty Sponsor meets with the interns regarding their papers. These meetings are part of the course requirement for PLSC 443.


A five-page assessment/personal reflection of the intern experience is required. The intern's observations, reflections, and suggestions for future programs are to be included in this report.

Legislative Evaluation

Each intern is evaluated by their Legislative Supervisor in Olympia. This evaluation is considered by the instructor when assigning grades for PLSC 443.

Paper Due Date

Both the major paper and the "summary and evaluations" are due in the Political Science Office, Arntzen Hall 415 on the final class day of Winter Quarter.