A view of the BYU campus

Information about the Utah State Legislature

The Political Science Department is pleased to announce the Utah State Legislature Internship Program for the Winter Semester. A limited number of students will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as they participate in the legislative process.

Who Should Apply?


The Utah State Legislature Internship is an excellent experience for students interested in the legislative and policy process. Interns work as personal assistants to legislators in researching legislation, attending committee hearings, meeting with constituents and lobbyists, and observing first-hand the process through which laws are made.

This excellent program is open to undergraduate or graduate students of any major who have an interest in the legislative process. Students who are residents of states other than Utah or non-U.S. citizens are also encouraged to apply. To qualify, an applicant must be a junior, senior or graduate student, have the ability to express himself or herself clearly, both orally and in writing, including the ability to digest, condense, and prepare forms and reports; have a general understanding of the legislative process; be a self-starter and be capable of working with little or no supervision; and have good interpersonal skills.


Applicants must be juniors or seniors in good academic standing with a minimum 2.7 G.P.A. In exceptional cases, sophomores with previous employment, military, or mission experience may be considered. A student must also be in good honor code and academic standing with the university. Because interns will be employees of the Utah Legislature during the winter semester, all applicants will have to successfully complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

State Capitol interior pic

When is the Internship?

This program is available during Winter semesters only. Participants must be available full-time from the beginning of winter semester through early March. About the second week of the second block the internship ends and students may enroll in two political science seminars designed to complement the internship experience. For students unable to be accepted into USL internships, it may be possible to arrange for paid or unpaid internships with executive branch offices and other organizations that have an interest in the legislature. Visit the Washington Seminar Office at 944 SWKT for more information.

What State Legislative Interns Do

Students are assigned to work with one or more members of the Utah State Senate or House of Representatives and may be able to assist in researching current issues, preparing for committee hearings, drafting legislation, and dealing with constituents and interest groups. Participating students will be involved with the program full-time during the legislative session.

Political Science Credit


Twelve upper-division credits are available for those participating on the program. Students will receive three or six hours of Political Science 399 (which may be counted as elective credit for a Political Science major or minor). Additionally, students may enroll in two, three credit, upper-division political science seminars to be held at the conclusion of the internship (both of which can count as electives toward a Political Science major or minor). These seminars will be related to the participants' experience with the legislature. Graduate credit and directed individual study credit can also be arranged with departmental approval.

Participating students are required to complete a two-credit orientation course (Political Science 397) which will be taught during the first three weeks of winter semester. Students must be available full-time for that course work. Registration for the course is by permission-to-add code, issued by the department. See the Washington Seminar Assistant (944 SWKT) for details.

Financial Assistance

The legislature provides a stipend of $2775 for participating students.

Important Application Information

The following must be included as part of your application.

  1. Online Application
  2. One-page statement of intent. Typed 250 to 350 word statement detailing your reasons for wanting to intern at the Utah State Legislature, what work assignments in the internship would interest you, and your abilities and character traits that will make you an asset as a legislative intern. This must include a statement indicating that you will be available to work full-time, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at the State Capitol during the legislative session. Students who cannot commit to this schedule will not be interviewed nor accepted to the program.
  3. Typed professional résumé no longer than one page. Should include description of work experience (including mission), computer skills (including software with which you are familiar), research tools (i.e. statistics) you can use, volunteer activities (only those relevant to the internship), and campaign or political experience/activities (if any). See the Washington Seminar secretary or University Placement Office for suggestions on résumé preparation.
  4. Official transcripts from all universities attended. Cannot be a college advisement center print-out (ABC Report). BYU transcripts may be obtained from the University Records Office.
  5. Two confidential letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a university faculty member who can evaluate your academic skills; the other may be from an employer or a second faculty member. No letters will be accepted from members of your family. You are not required to waive your right of access to the letters of recommendation. However, most faculty and other individuals will not write them unless you do waive this right.
  6. Writing sample. Clean copy of a paper demonstrating your research and writing abilities. You may use a paper written for a class assignment or other project as long as it is free of instructor's marks. Be certain to retain the original.

All application materials become the property of the BYU Political Science Department and will not be returned to you; this includes letters of recommendation which cannot be transferred to other parties not involved in this internship program.

Materials not able to be completed online are to be submitted to the Washington Seminar Office Supervisor, 944 SWKT, by the published deadline.


Upon submission of your application, we will schedule an interview for you with the Washington Seminar Director. A letter notifying you of your status with the program will be sent approximately one week after the interview.


If accepted, you will have one week to pay a $200 deposit. This deposit will be charged to your student account and paid at the ASB. The deposit will be refunded to you at the end of winter semester, but will be forfeited if you withdraw from the BYU Utah State Legislature Internship Program.

Prep Course

At the beginning of winter semester, all participants complete a two credit course that prepares them to work at the legislature. Students must be available all day, Monday-Friday, during the three weeks this course is taught.


All participants in this program must register for three or six hours of upper-division political science internship credit, PLSC 399R. Participants have the option of also registering for two three credit seminars that will be taught second block Winter semester (see the Washington Seminar Assistant for additional information).

How to Apply

The Application deadline is November 7. We encourage early application to help insure that all materials are received by the deadline. However, no decisions about admission are made until after the deadline. For more information, contact the Washington Seminar Office, 801-422-2168.