An important part of the Public Policy Studies Program is our elective course, The Internship in Public Policy (PBPL 29600).

The only one-of-its-kind at the University, this course offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on policy experience while, at the same time, earning academic credit towards completion of their degree program. Through internships, students become familiar with diverse, real-world policy issues, while also building professional networks. 

    Academic Course Credit for an Internship in Public Policy

    To earn academic course credit for an internship in public policy, students must do three things: 

    • Secure a policy-related internship,
    • Register for the course PBPL 29600, the Internship in Public Policy Studies, and
    • Provide a short paper to the Public Policy Director indicating the work completed during the internship

    Registration for PBPL 29600 is by consent only. This means that the student cannot register for this course on the web, but must meet with their college advisor for approval and complete the College Reading and Research Course Form. Students then obtain the signature of the Public Policy Director on the Course Form and submit the completed, signed copy to the Registrar's Office. Students completing internships over the summer quarter may register for PBPL 29600 in the following autumn quarter. The internship paper should be submitted to the Public Policy Offices before the end of the quarter of registration for PBPL 29600. The internship course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. 

    Note: Students are advised to receive prior permission from the Public Policy Director - Jim Leitzel ( before beginning any internship they plan to use in conjunction with PBPL 29600.

    Past Internship Examples

    Public Policy majors have interned in a variety of organizations and agencies in Chicago, across the nation, and globally. In the past our students have interned in many places:

    • The University of Chicago Medical Center studying the effects of preconception genetic counseling on low-income women
    • Cook County State's Attorney's Office working in the victim - witness program
    • The White House working in the offices of Media Affairs and Public Liaison
    • The U.S. General Accounting Office
    • The Better Government Association
    • Costa Rica working with Central American refugees
    • Alaska working on environmental issues