January-May 2023 Information

The Southeast Missouri State University State Capitol Legislative Internship Program offers an opportunity for junior/senior students to spend a full semester (one full legislative session) experiencing the inner-workings of state government by interning with a state legislator, public official, or state agency in Jefferson City. This unique experiential learning opportunity will provide students with an inside look at state government and the political process. The program is open to students from all majors; however, it has shown to be of great benefit to students anticipating careers in law, public affairs, government service, public relations, communications, or business. Interested students should review the FAQ section below and then submit the online application and supporting materials should they wish to be considered for the program.

*Applications will be accepted beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6


Would the State Capitol Legislative Internship Program help me complete a Political Science minor?

If you are pursuing or considering a minor in Political Science, this internship opportunity will be able to help. A minor in Political Science requires PS103 (or 104), PS240, and PS471 (Senior Seminar). The 12-credit hours associated with the State Capitol Legislative Internship Program will complete the required credit hours for the minor.

For additional information, visit the Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion office in Carnahan Hall (Room 211).

What qualifications are necessary to participate in the Jefferson City Legislative Internship?

Students wishing to participate in the program are required to have a minimum of 60 semester hours completed, and a cumulative GPA of 2.5. The internship is open to any academic major. Students participating in the program must be self-directed/independent learners. Successful candidates will be of sound character and possess qualities that reflect positively upon themselves and Southeast Missouri State University. Students selected to participate may be required to attend a training and informational workshop during the fall 2022 semester at a date and time to be communicated after final selections and assignments have been made.

When can you apply?

Any interested student should complete the online application form during the month of October. The deadline for application is Friday, September 30, 2022. Students that apply to participate in the program may be asked to participate in a screening interview with a committee of faculty/staff. Students chosen to participate in the program will be notified of their selection by Friday, October 31, 2022.

Is it a paid internship?

Each intern is granted a $3,000 stipend from the University to help defray the cost of living and working in Jefferson City for a semester.

How are interns assigned?

The internship opportunities are limited and applying does not guarantee participation. Upon receipt of all applications, a selection committee will review applicant materials and make appropriate determinations. Successful applicants will then be notified of their selection and assignment. The goal of intern assignment is to make the experience a successful experiential learning opportunity for the participating student.

Does the intern need to have the same political affiliation as the public official?

No. However, the experience tends to be enhanced and more effective when interns share similar views as the public official on important issues. Party preference and issue positions are areas the selection committee may explore during potential interviews. Any candidate who believes they will not be able to work to their full and best ability for the public official they are assigned should not accept the position.

What is expected of the intern?

The expectation for intern productivity depends on the needs of the public official to whom the intern is assigned. Typical duties include conducting legislative research and reviewing legislation, attending committee hearings, writing press releases, working with state agencies or Executive Branch offices, writing remarks or talking points for the public official, responding to constituent inquiries, working with lobbyists or other external stakeholders, participating in office meetings, providing tours of the State Capitol, and much more. Loyalty and confidentiality are perhaps the two most important expectations. While serving as a legislative intern, the intern is expected to act and conduct themselves in the best interest of the public official at all times, while also remembering they are a reflection of Southeast Missouri State University.

What is the typical work schedule for a legislative intern?

Interns will typically work 40 hours per week. However, work schedules are at the discretion of the public official. Students participating in the internship should expect to work every day, Monday through Friday, and be available on call (late nights/early mornings) at other times. The internship will run January through May and students should expect to be in Jefferson City during this time.

Is credit available for the State Capitol Legislative Internship?

Yes. Participating students earn 12 hours of academic credit.

Does the University assist with housing in Jefferson City?

No. Students participating in the State Capitol internship are responsible for their own housing. If multiple students are selected, sometimes several interns will rent an apartment together to cut down on individual expenses. There is housing available near the Capitol; however, it is expensive. While the University cannot guarantee assistance in finding or securing housing, students should seek help with prospective housing should they need it and every effort will be made to connect them to available resources.

For more information:

Dr. Laura Hatcher, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science, Philosophy & Religion
Carnahan Hall, Room 211N
Phone: (573) 651-2694
E-mail: lhatcher@semo.edu
Dan Presson, director
Office of Career Services
Academic Hall, Room 072
Phone: (573) 651-2583
Email: dpresson@semo.edu

I am fortunate enough to work for a senator that values her workers in the office and presents me with tasks that help me utilize things I have learned within my classes at Southeast. I guess overall this internship helps me see the reality of the workforce and will give me a tremendous amount of experience.

Desari Robinette
Academic Hall 057
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 3333
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701