Garrick Percival

Assistant Professor Garrick Percival
Internships Director

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The Political Science Department has, for decades, educated the political leadership and public sector infrastructure of Silicon Valley. Along the way, the Department's internship program has played in instrumental role in the process. Since the program was established by Professor Terry Christensen in 1970, nearly 1,700 students participating in the program have gained invaluable professional experiences, networking opportunities, and insights into the practical side of politics and government.

The internship program allows students to gain-first hand experience with elected officials, political campaigns, government agencies, and variety of community organizations. Recent internship placements in the Valley have included the district offices of local U.S. Congress members and elected officials in the California State Senate and Assembly. Students are also routinely placed with the San Jose City Council, the Silicon Valley Council of Non-Profits, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office, as well as many others.

Beyond these, the Department places students in prestigious internships outside the immediate area. The CSU Sacramento Semester and the Capitol Fellows Programs both offer students the chance to intern in the state Capitol. Every summer, the Department sends two highly qualified students to intern with members of Congress as part of our Washington DC Summer Internship Program. Political Science students have also been selected for the prestigious Panetta Congressional Fellowship Program. Students attends seminars and receive training at the Panetta Institute in Monterey before spending the fall semester interning for the a member of Congress in Washington DC.

Students enrolled in the Political Science 181 "Field Work in Politics" course complete 150 hours at their internship placements, meet regularly with the director, and engage other students enrolled in the seminar-style class. As participant observers in their internship, students write a final paper that connects what they've witnessed and experienced to broader theories of politics and policymaking.


Masters of Public Administration

The Public Administration Internship is intended for new professionals and those making a career change into public service. It is required for anyone with less than 3 years of fulltime administrative experience. Public Administration students enrolled in the PADM 281 “Public Administration Internship” course complete 240 hours at their internship placements, meet regularly with the director, and engage with other students enrolled in the seminar‐style class. Recent placements have included City of San Jose Environmental Services Department, Office of the City Clerk, Information Technology Department and City Manager’s Office; City of Santa Clara, City Clerk’s Office; City of Sacramento, Neighborhood Services Department; Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto; Center for Employment Training; Differential Response, Child Protective Services; State Senator Jim Beall; and U.S. Congressman Mike Honda.

The public administration internship is intended to contribute to students' academic, professional, and personal development. It gives students an opportunity to apply what they've learned in class, inform their course work with real‐world professional experiences, and reflect upon and refine their career plans. Students will perform mutually agreed professional tasks in the field placement 


For more information about the internship program, please contact Professor Garrick Pericival.