Our Mission

Law and OrderThe Hinckley Institute was established in 1965 through the generous bequest of the Noble Foundation and Robert H. Hinckley. It is dedicated to teaching students respect for practical politics and the principle of citizen involvement in government.

The Hinckley Institute of Politics’ mission is to promote political and civic involvement and to engage university students in the political process. The Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah is a bipartisan institute dedicated to engaging students in governmental, civic, and political processes; promote a better understanding and appreciation of politics; and train ethical and visionary students for service in the American political system. Robert H. Hinckley founded the Hinckley Institute of Politics in 1965 with the vision to, “teach students respect for practical politics and the principle of citizen involvement in government.” Since its founding, the Hinckley Institute has provided a wide range of programs for students, public school teachers and the general public

The Hinckley Institute was established in 1965 through the generous bequest of the Noble Foundation and Robert H. Hinckley. Robert H. Hinckley served in the Roosevelt Administration as Director of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and Director of Contract Settlement. He later went on to found the American Broadcasting Company in 1946. “Every student a politician” was the dream of Robert H. Hinckley. The Hinckley Institute of Politics is dedicated to the fulfillment of that dream through the following programs:


The intern program is the heart of the Hinckley Institute. The Institute provides internship opportunities for course credit in offices of elected officials, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and think tanks. The Hinckley Institute of Politics places more than 300 students every year in positions locally, globally, at the Utah and Alaska State Legislatures, and in Washington, DC.


Hinckley Forums enable students, faculty, and community members to discuss a broad range of political concepts with political experts several times each week. Past guests include President Bill Clinton, President Gerald Ford, Senator John McCain, Senator Joe Lieberman, Adobe Co-Founder John Warnock, and many other notable professionals. Hinckley Forums are broadcast weekly on KUER FM 90.1.


Capital Encounter is a one-week program, targeted to students that cannot serve a regular, 15-week internship in Washington. Students spend an hour with a Supreme Court justice, visit with experts in national security, and also visit national monuments such as the Smithsonian and Gettysburg National Battlefield.


The Hinckley Institute of Politics provides substantial scholarships to students through the Robert H. Hinckley, Abrelia Clarissa Hinckley, Anne and John Hinckley, Senator Pete Suazo, and Scott M. Matheson scholarship funds. Student loans are also available through the Bill Rishel Memorial Loan Fund. The Hinckley Institute is also the University of Utah representative for the Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholarship and the James Madison Fellowship, two of America’s most prestigious scholarships. Internship scholarships are provided to students completing local, international and Washington, DC, internships.


The Hinckley Institute of Politics offers an undergraduate minor in Campaign Management. Participating students are required to complete a political internship and an interdisciplinary series of courses on campaign management, polling, grassroots lobbying, media, and other practical politics. The minor is designed to prepare students for careers in applied politics. For further information about this minor, please refer to the Campaign Management Minor page on our website, or contact Lindsay Zizumbo.


The Hinckley Institute of Politics is excited to announce the formation of the Hinckley Institute Student Alliance, or HISA. HISA is the umbrella organization to politically active groups at the University of Utah. HISA groups are: College Republicans, College Democrats, ASUU Government Relations Board, Service Politics and Civic Engagement, VoteProjet, and Public Interest Advocacy. Students from all majors are invited to become involved in any of the HISA groups. For further information about HISA, please contact Kendahl Melvin.


The Hinckley Institute of Politics offers many other services to students including special classes, counseling for graduate studies, and the Hinckley Journal of Politics.

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2014 semester internships. Apply now.