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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

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. 

Application Requirements: 

If you would like to apply to SCETL for travel support funding, you need to complete the application and submit documentation at least 4 weeks prior to travel. 

Please note: this funding is intended to supplement your individual experience. It may not fund the entirety of the experience. 

Eligibility Requirements:  

  • Participating students must be enrolled in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership as a Major or a Minor.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Students must complete a written application (see below), which will be assessed by a SCETL faculty committee.
  • Funding is not guaranteed and is awarded on a competitive basis.
  • Travel Funding Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and in light of available funding.
  • SCETL students are eligible to apply for travel support funding in the following areas:  internships, thesis research, military conferences, or academic summer programs. 

The Strongest Candidates:

  • Have a demonstrated record of engagement in all aspects of the SCETL program.

Required Application Materials:

Are you receiving funding for this internship experience or thesis research from other sources?

1. Statement of Purpose/Justification for travel stipend support:

2. Documentation (to include internship acceptance or invitation letter, or in the case of thesis research travel funding, evidence of Seriousness of Purpose, such as, Institutional Affiliation, Letter of Affiliation, Honors Thesis Contract, Correspondence with Research Partners:

3. Budget (to include cost of airfare, ground travel, accommodations, per diem):

4. Unofficial transcript

5. Letter of Recommendation from SCETL Thesis Supervisor (Research) or SCETL professor (Internship / Military conference)

Submit Application materials to: 

Dr. Carol McNamara
Associate Director for Public Programs 
School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
Arizona State University 

951 S. Cady Mall/Social Sciences, 107D
PO Box 870602/Tempe /AZ 85281-0602
office: 480 965 0270

More information:

Reimbursable Expenses

  • The travel support funding may cover costs of airfare, ground transportation (taxi, shuttle services, trains, public transportation), hotels/lodging, meals, and event registration.
  • The cost of your meals (per diem) can be calculated using the daily rate determined by your destination. To determine this rate, visit https://cfo.asu.edu/travel-perdiem
  • The travel support funding will NOT cover the cost of rental cars, phone calls, internet access charges, poster printing, or any expense prohibited by university policy. Reimbursable expenses must be supported by itemized receipts.
  • One-Way Fares: If you decide to purchase two one-way airfares instead of a round-trip fare, you will need to print a quote of a round-trip fare at the time your one-way fares were booked, in order to demonstrate to the ASU Travel Department that the round-trip fare is in fact more expensive.
  • SCETL will not give travel advances for any reason.

 Expense Reimbursement Information: 

  • Students will schedule a pre-departure travel appointment to submit paperwork and fill out a travel request.
  • After receiving approval for your application, you have one week to submit your travel request into the travel system Concur for approval to ensure that in the event something occurs during your trip you are covered by ASU.  Please meet with Kimberley Birchall to ensure proper submission, and make sure to add her as a delegate in your profile. If this step is not completed 3 weeks prior to travel, the funding will be denied. 
  • Within 1 weeks of trip completion, traveler should complete the trip expense report by logging into https://myasutrip.asu.edu/login and uploading applicable receipts. Please contact Kimberley Birchall to assist you in completing the final steps of the travel expense report.  Traveler should add Diana Maalouli as an approver to the expense report prior to submittal. If this step is not completed within 3 weeks of trip completion, the funding will be forfeited. 
  • Receipts of expenditures will be necessary to be reimbursed under this program. Only the traveler can be reimbursed. 
  • Original receipts must be submitted within one week after travel is complete during the follow up travel appointment. 
  • You are also required to add a statement on the travel request that explains the purpose of your travel and how it benefits you, SCETL, ASU, and your education.
  • Please make sure to include your travel award letter(s) to the trip request as an attachment. When you return from your trip and are completing your expense report, please attach your award letter to a line on the report and name it “other supporting documentation”. All submissions that do not include this backup will be returned.
  • This process is necessary to reimburse you for travel expenses. If your trip is cancelled, please send an email to Kimberley.Birchall@asu.edu and cancel your online travel request form.