Common Questions


ARE HINCKLEY INTERNSHIPS LIMITED TO POLITICAL SCIENCE STUDENTS?

No. Hinckley Internships are open to students of all disciplines. Indeed, we place just as many non-political science students as we do political science students. Click below to see all of our internships listed by discipline. If your dream host office is not on our list, we can also support you in setting up your own.


DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER FOR CREDIT FOR HINCKLEY INTERNSHIPS?

Yes. For local internships you can register for 3-6 credit hours. For national or global internships you can register for 3-12 credit hours.


WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

  1. Choose WHERE you want to intern based on the following criteria:
    • In order to be considered for a global internship, you typically must complete a local or national internship first (excepting students who have lived abroad for extended periods of time). 
    • If you have a less competitive GPA, we recommend you start with a local internship as this will boost your GPA and demonstrate your eligibility for future internship positions. Taking the Forum Series Course (HNKLY 3910) is another way to increase your competitiveness since writing skills are critical to host offices.
    • If you are a freshman, we recommend that you start with a local internship and/or the Forum Series Course (HNKLY 3910) to hone your writing. 
  2. Choose WHEN you want to intern based on the following criteria:
    • Applications deadlines are typically the beginning of the semester prior to the desired semester. For example, if you are interested in applying to the spring semester program, the application is due in September.
    • The most competitive semester for national and global placement is summer. For example, the average summer national program GPA is a 3.8. If you can fit a fall/spring semester internship into your schedule, your chances of being accepted in the program, securing your dream host office, and qualifying for funding is much stronger.
    • You can still complete a Hinckley Internship the semester after you graduate (but you must still register for University of Utah credit).
  3. Rank Host Offices of Interest 
    • Browse our website to view what host offices the Hinckley Institute has to offer. Information and web links are provided to educate you about each internship opportunity. Make a ranked list of which internship offices are of the most interest to you. You are welcome to drop by our office for one-on-one guidance.
  4. Complete Online Application
    • ou can only apply to one internship program: local, national, or global per semester.
  5. Interview with Program Manager
    • f you are accepted into the local or national internship program, you will be contacted by a program manager to set up an appointment. If you do not set up a time to meet with a program manager, your acceptance may be revoked. 
    • During the interview, the program manager will review your academic and career aspirations and desired host offices. She may suggest alternative host offices according to your competitiveness. For example, if you have a 3.5 GPA, you do not have a shot at securing the White House. 
    • The program manager will then work to distribute your application and promote your qualifications. This is an intensive process and often takes months. Be patient!
  6. Be Available for Interviews with Host Offices
    • It is your responsibility to be available and proactive when the requests for interviews arrive. Be sure to be checking your email and phone messages consistently.

WHAT DOES THE INTERNSHIP APPLICATION CONSIST OF?

Complete the online application. You will be required to upload:

  • Current resume
  • Cover letter (explaining why you feel this experience will benefit your academic and career pursuits).
  • Writing sample (4-5 pages from a research paper on any topic).
  • 2 letters of recommendation (with at least one coming from a professor or academic counselor).
  • Official University of Utah transcript obtained from the Registrar’s Office (250 SSB)—you will need to scan and upload it to the application yourself.

HOW COMPETITIVE IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

The Hinckley Institute of Politics seeks to send undergraduate students who have a high GPA and demonstrate independence, maturity, and responsibility. If you have a lower GPA, we recommend starting with a local internship and/or the Forum Series Course (HNKLY 3910) as it can boost your eligibility for a national and global internship later. 


WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE A FULL SEMESTER INTERNSHIP WORK WITH MY OBLIGATIONS?

Capital Encounter is a one-week intensive opportunity in DC for students unable to complete a full-semester DC internship. Hinckley Academic Outreach Coordinator and Political Science Associate Professor Lecturer Dr. Tim Chambless travels with students to the nation's capital at the culmination of a preparatory spring semester preparation.