Experiential Learning Opportunities

U.S. State Capitol Building

The department encourages every student to seek learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Whether by partnering with a faculty member on a research project, interning with a local or national organization, making an impact in the Buffalo community, or taking your education overseas, the initiative to go above and beyond will open doors to a multitude of worthwhile experiences. 

Did You Know?

Undergraduate students may qualify for special Experiential Learning scholarships!

PSC 496 – Community Internship

An internship is an excellent way to gain hands-on experience while making valuable future contacts. Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for a community internship (PSC 496) in political science. Students are responsible for finding the internship and it must be related to previous coursework that the student has completed or will be taking during the internship. Internships opportunities are often in a government office or agency in Western New York, but may also involve work in other politically relevant organizations.

The academic component of the internship is crucial to receiving academic credit. Community Internships are similar to an Independent Study in that students must obtain the consent of two faculty members to serve as a first and second reader of the internship project. Normally, the first reader and the student at the outset of the semester identify readings to be done in conjunction with the internship and discuss expectations about the nature of the internship paper to be written during the course of the internship. Students typically earn three (3) credits for a Community Internship.

How to Apply

Complete the Community Internship Application and submit to 520 Park Hall by the end of the first week of classes. Late or incomplete paperwork will not be accepted. No internship credit will be awarded retroactively.

New York State Senate and Assembly Internship

The Department of Political Science also sponsors a state government and a national government internship programs. Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to intern for a semester in the office of a state senator or member of the Assembly in Albany. Participants can earn up to 15 credits. All internships must be approved by the department.

For more information about this program, please contact the department or visit:

Washington Semester Program

Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to spend a semester in Washington, D.C. participating in a full-time internship with a political institution, agency or group. Participants can earn up to 15 credits. All internships must be approved by the department.

For more information about this program, please contact UB Study Abroad Programs or visit:

Gunnar Haberl with Chuck Todd at a taping of Meet the Press

Political Science major Gunnar Haberl was invited by Chuck Todd to a taping of Meet the Press

Student Testimonials

"Taking risks in life can lead to great rewards, and the process of simply breaking out of one’s comfort zone can lead to immense personal growth in your educational studies." – Gunnar Haberl

Independent Study

Students who wish to work on a project related to a particular aspect of political science, (one that it is not covered in any other given course within the department) may apply for an Independent Study project.

It is strongly recommended that students discuss their independent study proposal first with the member of the political science faculty whom they would like to supervise their project. In most cases, this is a faculty member with whom the student has previously taken a course and received a good grade.

How to Apply

Complete the Independent Study Proposal Form and submit to 520 Park Hall.

More Experiential Learning Opportunities

Student in Spain

Todays students recognize the value and benefits of meaningful international experience as part of their UB education. Study Abroad at UB offers a world of opportunities (literally!) for learning and personal development.

Door of the ELC reading: Get Curious, Get Engaged, Get Inspired

The Experiential Learning Center is a resource specifically for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Ask for guidance from staff experts or simply use the space to research opportunities and funding sources.