Politics, Public Policy & Law Track

Politics, Public Policy & Law Track

The late Tip O'Neill, Boston congressman and speaker of the US House of Representatives, was fond of saying that all politics is local—and there is no more interesting mix of local, state, and national politics than in Boston. As the urban hub of the metropolitan region and as the state capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in local and state politics. It is also the center of federal government for New England, home to numerous federal agencies, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the First District of the Federal Reserve.

Through courses in areas such as international economics, public policy, political analysis and activism, international relations, and diplomacy, you'll prepare for internships at government agencies, think tanks, lobbying organizations, and PR firms, among others.

Summer 1: The Academic Phase

You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in politics and public policy.

Choose Two:

  • CAS PH 160 Reasoning and Argumentation

    A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, calculated to enhance students' actual reasoning skills, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse. We will emphasize argumentation and criticism in ordinary life and also present formal models of reasoning designed to elicit underlying patterns and structures of reasoning and argumentation that are widely applicable. Includes simultaneous training in the skills of argument analysis, argument pattern recognition, argument construction, and argument interpretation and creation. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area(s): Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Critical Thinking. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND M, T, R 9:30 AM-12:00 PM Risch
  • CAS PO 111 Introduction to American Politics

    Undergraduate core course. Study of the national political structure; emphasis on Congress, the executive, administrative agencies, and the judiciary. Relations between formal institutions, parties, and interest groups. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Social Inquiry. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Mattioli
  • CAS PO 300 Special Topics in American Politics

    Topics for Summer 2019: A1 - Bombs and Bombshells: Gender and Political Violence. This course delves into the world of Black Widows and Demon Lovers. Using empirical research, case studies, and drama, the course separates fact from fiction to examine gender and its intersections between recruitment, motivations, and conditions under which woman behave violently. A2 - Race and Public Opinion in Contemporary American Politics. How do Americans think about race and how does attitude influence political preferences? Students first look into traditional understandings of race and public opinion and then examine recent developments promising to change the role of racial attitudes in American Politics. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Mcevoy
    SA2 IND T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Piston
  • CAS PO 329 International Political Economy

    Emphasizes the dynamic interaction between politics and economics to understand and explain historical and contemporary issues in international political economy, including international monetary, trade, investment, financial, and environmental relations. Considers emerging challenges and structures in the international political economy. Course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS PO 355. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND M, W 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Olsson
  • COM JO 350 Law and Ethics of Journalism

    This interactive course introduces the core legal and ethical issues affecting how journalists, including the student press, gather, verify, and communicate news. This course offers an exciting deep-dive into the key concepts affecting newsgathering and dissemination today. Students discover the underpinnings of a free press as well as practical tools to use when confronted with government efforts to block legitimate newsgathering. Students gain a working knowledge of how and why the First Amendment protects them as they gather, verify, and disseminate the news. Required of all undergraduate journalism majors. (Formerly JO525. Cannot be taken for credit if JO525 has been taken.) 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND M, T, W 1:00 PM-3:30 PM Lehr
  • QST LA 245 Introduction to Law

    Prereq: (QST SM 131) or sophomore standing. Provides a broad overview of the American judicial system and fundamental legal issues. Examines dispute resolution, torts, contracts, criminal law, business organizations, employment law, intellectual property, and international law. The goal is to understand not only the basic rules of law but also the underlying social policies and ethical dilemmas. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND T, R 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Powers
    SA2 IND M, W 9:00 AM-12:30 PM Chang
  • SED SE 512 Special Education: Students with Disabilities and the Law

    Students develop an understanding of the core concepts of United States public policy related to the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities. Particular attention is paid to the historical context, precedent. 4 cr.

    Section Type Days Times Instructor
    SA1 IND M, W 6:00 PM-9:30 PM Labillois

Summer 2: The Internship Phase

For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.

Politics, Public Policy & Law Internship Opportunities

Internship placement sites in past years have included state, local, and federal government agencies, legal centers and law organizations, international agencies and organizations, think tanks, lobbying organizations and political action groups, and political parties.

Internship Placement

  • Internship placement for 35 hours a week
  • Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience
  • All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
  • Visit our Placement Process page for additional information

Summer Study Internship Course

The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Friday mornings throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic tracks and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.

Contact Us

Boston University Summer Term
Summer Study Internship Program
755 Commonwealth Ave, Rm 105
Boston, MA 02215

Phone: 617-353-0556
Fax: 617-353-5532
Email: ssip@bu.edu