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The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) is an academic program that seeks to restore the study of political thought and civic education as a foundation for preparing the next generation of American students to be thoughtful leaders in policy, public service, and civil society. An internship is a Major requirement (also recommended for SCETL Minors) for SCETL students to provide them with the opportunity to enhance their classroom education in leadership and civic life with practical experience in professional settings.  Participating in internships at the local, state and national levels allows students to gain valuable insight into the American political system and experience in non-profit and public service, with the purpose of getting a head start on their post-graduate prospects and a successful career.


By partnering with The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, students receive support and coaching through the application process as well as eligibility for travel funding to Washington, D.C. and international internships.


Students of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership offer employers a unique skillset. Employers are invited to learn more about our students and mission and contact the School about potential opportunities for which students are well suited.

Student Testimonials

Elana Quint

Philosophy (Morality Politics, and Law) and Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

Some reasons people discount travel include the fear of the unknown and the discomfort of being in an environment that is not familiar to us. However, the times in which we experience the most growth are when we put ourselves in foreign environments; we are forced to break out of our routine and explore different parts of ourselves. This is especially meaningful in an environment like Washington D.C. where you are surrounded by many like-minded, motivated, intelligent people who are there to making a difference.

Courtney Anne Langerud

B.A. Global Health, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

My favorite saying is "get comfortable with being uncomfortable". Whatever it is that is holding you back from taking that leap of faith and exploring the world, know that the feeling is only temporary. Travel grows you and shapes you, you learn things about the world and things about yourself that you would have never known. Go out and explore, learn a new language, experience a new culture, try new food, live like a local.

More Information on Internships

Internship Application

Internship Application

After reviewing the criteria, credit, and deadline information below, email your internship application form to Carol McNamara, Associate Director for Public Programs at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. Make sure we receive two letters of recommendation to support your application. We will contact you once we receive your application.

Internship Application Checklist

  1. Cover letter (Applicable to Internship or general)
  2. Internship Application Form
  3. Resume
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation (One of which must come from a professor)
  5. Confidential Letter of Recommendation Form
  6. Two Writing Samples (no more than 5 pages in length each)
  7. Unofficial Transcript


  • 3.00 GPA
  • Min 24 credit hours earned before the start of the internship
  • 2 letters of recommendation, one must be from an ASU Professor.
  • Funding
  • Spring semester internship: October 5 (or until filled)
  • Summer semester internship: February 5 (or until filled)
  • Fall semester internship: April 5 (or until filled)


Students can earn 1-12 credits, depending on the internship requirements.


  • Spring semester internship: October 5 (or until filled)
  • Summer semester internship: February 5 (or until filled)
  • Fall semester internship: April 5 (or until filled)

Review Process

Applications for CEL 484 internship credit will be reviewed by the school’s Internship Selection Committee. Contact Internship Advisor, Carol McNamara, at carol.mcnamara@asu.edu  for individually organized internships.

Internship Contracts

Internship Contracts

In order to earn internship credit, there must exist an internship contract between the Arizona Board of Regents and office/entity in which the ASU/SCETL student is serving an internship.  This requirement is university-wide.  To find out if such a contract exists with the office with which a student seeks to intern, please ask the office.  If no contract exists, SCETL can assist the student in creating the contract. 

For more information, contact Carol McNamara, Associate Director for Public Programs, by emailing carol.mcnamara@asu.edu or by calling (480) 965-0270. 

Internship Credit

Internship Credit

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership internship program is designed to provide students with practical experiences in the realm of politics, government and non-profit organizations at the local, state and national levels. Students who serve political and government internships apply what they have learned in the classrooms to practical circumstances and enhance the civic education that makes them active citizens. As interns, students will acquire the communication and organizational skills necessary for success in the world of politics, government, public service and private sector. Finally, internship work experiences give students a competitive edge when seeking employment. Employers have come to expect internship experience from recent graduates.

In order to qualify, students should have attained at least a sophomore class standing, although juniors and seniors will have priority. There is a preference for a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Academic Credit

SCETL students serving internships can register for up to 12 academic credits. All internships must be approved for SCETL credit by the supervising professor.

To fulfill the requirements for these internship credits, students must:

1. Submit a weekly journal record of his/her daily internship work and experiences to the supervising professor via email or blog;

2. Submit a research paper on a topic related to their internship and approved by the supervising professor.

3. Submit a Prospectus for the paper, which will be at least 2 double spaced pages in length, and will include: a research question; a written summary of several paragraphs (not merely an outline), which explains the direction and content of the arguments of the essay.

4. The number of credits taken will determine the length of the research essay:

  • 3 credits: 5-7 pages
  • 6 credits: 10-12 pages
  • 9 credits: 15 pages
  • 12 credits: 20 pages

5. Provide an assessment from a supervisor.

6. Non-SCETL students may take SCETL internship credits,

Internship Funding

Internship Funding

Internships are an integral part of a degree in civic and economic thought and leadership. Through an internship program in the field of their interest, students will have a head start in their careers by introducing them to the people and organizations to work for, professional projects that demonstrate their abilities and the experience needed to succeed in their careers.

Civic and economic thought and leadership students have worked in local and national political campaigns, in the Washington, D.C. offices for U.S. senators and traveled abroad with nonprofit organizations. And the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership offers travel funding for internships in Washington, D.C. and those taking place internationally, as well, making the internships more accessible for every student in the school.

As part of the curriculum and the school’s experiential learning model, students majoring or minoring in civic and economic thought and leadership, both major and minor students are required to complete an internship prior to graduation. 

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership wants to make an experiential education available to all of its students. As part of that promise, the school offers travel and support funding for internships in Washington, D.C. and taking place internationally, as well.

To learn more about how to apply for internship funding, contact Carol McNamara by emailing carol.mcnamara@asu.edu or call (480) 965-0270.