Eagleton Institute of Politics

The Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program offers an opportunity for a select group of students to study the practical applications of political science. (Students need not be majoring in political science, however, to apply for the program.)  Undergraduate Associates are exposed to the practice of politics through their participation in two courses focusing on American politics and public policy, a supervised internship and accompanying course, and a series of informal sessions with governmental officials and political practitioners. Students selected for the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program affiliate with the Institute during their last three semesters of school.

The Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program highlights practical politics, interactive instruction, experiential learning, and critical engagement between the theory and practice of politics. Through the program undergraduate students are given an opportunity to engage with other high achieving students around common interests in American politics. In addition to providing a much deeper and more sophisticated understanding of politics and government, the Eagleton experience also creates a sense of community and identification among the students selected for the program that often endures well beyond graduation. Eagleton has a large, active network of alumni from the Undergraduate Associates and Graduate Fellowship programs and also provides job placement assistance.

In the fall of each year approximately 25 juniors are selected as Undergraduate Associates from the much larger pool of students who apply for the program. Students are selected primarily on the basis of academic merit and demonstrated interest in American politics. Most successful applicants have cumulative averages of 3.2 or better, and many have had some involvement in politics.

To complete the program and receive an Undergraduate Associates Certificate from the Institute upon graduation, each student must complete nine credits of course work with an average grade of at least a B. Selected students will spend the second semester of their junior year and all of their senior year as Undergraduate Associates. Undergraduate Associates are required to take the following nine credits of Political Science courses: an entry seminar in the spring semester of the junior year (three credits); a summer or fall internship accompanied by an internship seminar during the fall semester of the senior year (three credits); and an exit seminar in the spring semester of the senior year (three credits).

The entry seminar, The Practice of Politics (790:428), focuses on the idea of politics as choice, with students analyzing different political decisions each week. The exit seminar, The Processes of Politics (790:429), examines various political processes such as the roles of and relations between the executive and legislative branches, transitions to a new administration, budgeting, campaign finance and public participation. Several members of the Political Science and Eagleton faculties participate as guest lecturers in the entry seminar, while the exit course includes discussion with legislators, cabinet officials and other political practitioners.

Each student is also required to do an internship that provides an opportunity to connect classroom learning with the experience of working in government, politics, or public affairs. In recent years, students have been placed in internships in the New Jersey Legislature, the Governor's Office, various departments of state government, public affairs offices of corporations, public interest groups, state associations, political campaigns, and lobbying firms. Students take a three-credit graded internship in the summer or fall semester of the senior year for which they spend ten hours a week (140 hours total during the semester) in their placements. The fall internship seminar is required as an accompaniment to the internship placement, and credit for the internship is awarded only upon completion of the seminar.

Applicants must submit a completed application form, an unofficial transcript, and two letters of recommendation from faculty members, including at least one from a political science professor. Deadline for submitting applications is the first Monday in October.

For further information go to  Learn more - Eagleton