Washington Internship Program
Michael Rodriguez, Coordinator; Associate Professor of Political Science
The Washington Internship program is an intensive para-professional and academic experience in which Stockton students live, work, and study in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. Stockton University is affiliated with the nation’s largest internship organization, The Washington Center (TWC). This organization provides all the major facets of a student’s internship experience, i.e., facilitating the application process; distributing the application to potential placement sites; providing program activities, advising, supervision, and evaluation; hiring faculty for the evening classes; and providing housing and residence life activities.
- Internships are available for all majors at Stockton University. Interns receive 12 academic credits that are applied to graduation requirements (e.g. Program, Cognate, ASD). Internships are available during the Fall and Spring semesters (15 weeks) and during the summer (10 weeks). Stockton students who are unable to do an internship during their undergraduate years can apply for a Post-Graduate internship (available Fall, Spring and Summer).
- Internship expenses are comparable to the costs of a semester at Stockton. Generally, the cost of a Washington internship is comparable to the expenses (i.e., tuition, fees, room & board, books) for a full semester at Stockton University because Stockton University is the only institution in the country that receives an automatic $2,550 discount from The Washington Center. Stockton bills interns directly for the prevailing flat-rate tuition fee (for 12 credits), plus a General Educational fee and housing. After Stockton collects these fees from the interns, the College then pays The Washington Center; students are not billed directly by TWC. Whatever financial assistance Stockton students receive during the regular academic semesters is applied directly to the costs of a Washington internship. The Washington Center provides scholarships and a few fully paid internships (on a competitive basis). Moreover, all Stockton interns also receive an $800 stipend that can be used to defray the costs of commuting, meals, tuition, or personal amenities. This stipend is typically received at the midpoint of an intern’s semester in D.C. – the money comes from Stockton, but the checks are issued individually to each intern by TWC (you will be notified by TWC when the checks are available for pickup at its headquarters.)
- Internships significantly enhance marketability for professional jobs and graduate schools.In addition to academic credit, internships represent an invaluable opportunity to significantly enhance a student’s resume by developing professional skills, on-the-job training, and analytical tools for jobs and graduate school. Interns also acquire a broad network of contacts that can be critical in job searches, job referrals, and letters of recommendations for professional positions or graduate school.
- Internships offer innumerable opportunities for personal development. A semester can profoundly and positively affect an individual’s growth and maturity. Many students become increasingly self-confident by successfully negotiating the demands of working at a full-time (36 hours weekly) internship; commuting to their internship job and program activities; meeting the academic requirements of their internship class; developing new friendships, enjoying the rich social and cultural life of the nation’s capital; and maintaining an apartment with three (fellow-intern) roommates.
History of Stockton’s Internship Program
Since the mid-1970s more than 1,000 Stockton students have completed para-professional internships in Washington, D.C. One of the largest groups of Washington Center alumni in the country is from Stockton University. It is very common to find Stockton alumni in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region who trace the trajectory of their career paths to their internships as Stockton undergraduates.
Types of Internships
It is important to bear in mind that there are hundreds of individual internship placements within the following list of internship categories.
- US Congressional Offices, the White House, and Political Campaigns
- Executive Branch Departments and Federal Agencies
- Nonprofit, Social Service and Advocacy Organizations
- Federal and Local Criminal Justice Agencies and Law Firms
- Broadcast and Print Media
- Public Relations and Lobbying Firms
- Museum and Cultural Institutions
- Investment, Accounting, Marketing, and Advertising Firms
- Foreign Policy and International Aid Organizations
- Research Organizations in the Natural, Biological and Medical Sciences
As the largest internship organization in the country, The Washington Center utilizes its vast network of contacts to facilitate the placement of students. Internships are also possible with organizations, firms, agencies, etc. that are not currently part of The Washington Center’s network of placement sites, i.e., for students who have a particular placement site in mind who has not previously had an internship relationship with The Washington Center.
Who is Eligible for an Internship?
Many students believe incorrectly that it is quite difficult to be accepted into The Washington Center’s internship program. In fact, the admission requirements are fairly minimal: a 2.75 GPA. Essentially, once the Campus Liaison signs a student’s application, the student is virtually assured of acceptance. If a student’s GPA is slightly below 2.75, a third letter of recommendation is required and the application is given an additional level of review by The Washington Center. All but one of the very few Stockton students who have applied with a GPA below 2.75 have been accepted and have received excellent internship placements.
- Please Note: Internships are open to both U.S. and international students. However, some (Washington Center) scholarship opportunities with federal agencies are available only to U.S. citizens. Also, all prospective interns cannot start a Washington internship until they are at least a second-semester sophomore.
It is crucial to bear in mind that the main question for prospective Stockton students is not whether they will be accepted into the Washington internship – that is virtually assured with a 2.75 GPA and the Campus Liaison’s signature on the application. Nor is it a question of whether students will receive internship placements: Once their applications are accepted, internships are guaranteed. Instead, the only real question is “where” students will be placed.