Curricular Education Programs

Undergraduate Associates Program

Eagleton Undergraduate Associates learn about real-world politics and government from experienced practitioners and faculty. Rutgers University juniors from any school or major are eligible to apply for this selective three-semester certificate program.

About the Undergraduate Associates Program

Meet the current Undergraduate Associates.

Application deadline has passed. Applications are not longer being accepted.
If you have questions please contact Sarah Kozak at

The Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program is a certificate program for Rutgers juniors interested in American politics and government. Associates spend parts of their last three semesters linking the study of politics to its real-world application, building knowledge, skills, and networks for political, government and community engagement. This program is a cooperative educational endeavor between the Eagleton Institute of Politics and the School of Arts and Sciences/Department of Political Science.

Eagleton Undergraduate Associates take a series of three unique courses (one each semester). They learn about political power and decision-making while honing their leadership and professional skills. Associates also complete a summer or fall internship in American Politics, government, policy or advocacy.

“I love the level of camaraderie and intellectual engagement that the Associates program created.”
– Eagleton Undergraduate Associate Alum


Spring Junior Year

Practice of Politics
Course #: (790:428:01)
Day/Time: Wednesdays 9:15 am‐12:15 pm
Location: Eagleton/Online
Instructor: Saladin Ambar
This course examines the role of power in the practice of politics, with a primary focus on American institutions and political behavior. What is power? How does it work in our political system – and what makes it an at once critical, but also troubling aspect of governance within a democratic system? These questions will be explored with an emphasis on theories of power and its function throughout American history. Our approach will incorporate critical works in American politics and political science – while culling visions of power from the literary and artistic world that inform the practical sphere of government in unique ways. It is the human experience of power, after all, that matters most – and for that insight, we will seek out the assistance of William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin – and others – looking for guidance and answers less discernable through the lens of the social sciences alone.

Fall Senior Year

Internship Seminar
Course #: (01:790:481:05‐04234) 26
Day/Time: Wednesdays 5:35‐8:35 pm
Location: Eagleton/Online
Instructor: Francine Newsome Pfeiffer
This seminar is designed to complement Undergraduate Associate internship field placements in government and politics with readings, discussions, guest speakers, and papers to foster a deeper understanding of both the institutions and the individuals that shape public policymaking.  In addition to learning about a variety of careers in the political realm, the class will examine organizational dynamics and the elements of leadership which impact the workplace.  As a group seminar, students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, offering perspectives drawn from current or previous internships/work experiences, readings, and guest speakers to shed light on the knowledge and skills needed to succeed, and lead, in a variety of positions and institutions.  Students will also have many opportunities to hone their strategic thinking, communications, and career development skills during the course.

Spring Senior Year

Process of Politics
Course #: (790:429:01)
Day/Time: Tuesdays 9:15 am‐12:15 pm
Location: Eagleton/Online
Instructor: Elizabeth Matto
This final course of the Undergraduate Associates program, “Processes of Politics,” is designed to help students deepen and apply their understanding of politics and governance by providing windows into how “the system” works and how decisions are made. Building upon the exploration of political power from previous semesters, this course centers around the notion of “politics as a choice”.  Politics is a world of limits and alternatives. Everyone in the world of politics – from voters to presidents – faces difficult choices. As such, much of our time will be spent considering political decision-making and the political actors and institutions producing political decisions. Each week, students will analyze political decision-making and will give special consideration to the ramifications of the processes and ultimate decisions on democratic ideals – how and when do processes and decisions uphold the ideals of American democracy and when do they fall short?  Students will explore the relevant scholarship on these topics and link this scholarship to the experiences of the various political practitioners who will join us throughout the semester. Additionally, students will be offered opportunities to apply the theoretical to the practical by considering contemporary examples of decision-making by analyzing case studies, participating in simulations, and even identifying theoretical frameworks in film and literature. The course emphasizes small group interaction and active political learning and aims to provide students with the theoretical grounding to appreciate the practicalities of political choices.

Political Science majors/minors please note:

  • Either spring Eagleton course (790:428 or 790:429) can count for the required Political Science Seminar course (790:395). The fall internship seminar and placement hours cannot be a substitute for the 395 seminar requirement.
  • The fall Eagleton Internship Seminar class can towards political science major/minor credit, except as noted below:
    • If a student has already taken two 790 internships in political science, independent study OR research courses, then the Eagleton internship course cannot count towards the major or minor.
    • Political Science minors should NOT take a 395 seminar in political sciences, even if the instructor gives them a special permission number, because it will not count toward the Political Science minor.

A student speaking.

“I enjoyed the opportunity of working with other students interested in politics and government along with interesting and enthusiastic professors and staff.”


How to Apply

Application deadline has passed, applications are no longer being accepted.

Application packets include: 

  • Completed application form
  • Resume
  • Essay
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation (emailed directly to Eagleton from the recommender). Please submit application before letters of recommendation are sent. Eagleton must receive ALL components of your application packet (including letters of recommendation) by 5:00 pm on the Oct. 30 deadline in order to be reviewed. Incomplete packets will be sent to the selection committee “as is”.   

Please review the instructions and fields in the application form before you start the application process. Applicants have the ability to save their progress throughout the application process. After you save your application, you should receive an e-mail confirming that your application has been saved.

Applying to the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program is a three-step process:

1. Attach application packet documents to application form (resume, essay and unofficial transcript as.doc or .pdf only)

2. Complete all fields on the application form. Click submit application at end .

3. Academic letters of recommendation are emailed from the recommender directly to before deadline. Letters of recommendation can not be confirmed until students submit their application, so please submit your application well in advance of the deadline

When you submit your application you will see a confirmation screen and you will receive a confirmation email.

Eagleton must receive all components of your application packet by 5:00pm on October 30. Late applications will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will be sent to the selection committee “as is” . Receipt of recommendation letters will be confirmed with applicants via email after application is submitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I apply?

  • The benefits of being an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate include:
  • Engage in small seminars with diverse politics and policy concepts, speakers and classmates.
  • Develop leadership and professional skills to promote political and community change
  • Gain experience through broad internship opportunities in American politics, government, policy or advocacy.
  • Learn from guest speakers and faculty with real-world expertise in politics, government and advocacy.
  • Expand your network through events and connections with more than 2,000 alumni and other political practitioners
  • Job placement assistance available

Who is eligible to apply?
Rutgers undergraduates from New Brunswick, Camden and Newark campus locations and all departments/majors/schools apply during the fall of their JUNIOR year. This is the only time to apply! Interested students must be registered as a full or part time Rutgers undergraduate from September 2020 to May 2022. Eligible applicants for the Class of 2022 will be graduating in May or December of 2022. Transfer students are also encouraged to apply, but must be an accepted student at Rutgers first with a projected graduation date of May or December 2022.

Is there a minimum GPA?
There is no minimum overall GPA to apply, but most Undergraduate Associates have a GPA of 3.2 or higher.

What are the requirements of the program?

  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA all three semesters and remain in good academic standing in their disciplinary program.
  • Completion of three Eagleton classes series (one class each semester). Students must receive a grade of B or better to continue in the program. Courses meet once a week at Eagleton on the Douglass campus (depending on Rutgers class operating status) Attendance at and participation in all class sessions is mandatory.
    • Spring junior year – Practice of Fall senior year – Internship Seminar
    • 140-hour internship during the summer or fall semester of senior year in American politics, government, policy or advocacy
    • Spring senior year – Processes of Politics
  • Undergraduate Associates are also expected to help recruit the next class of Eagleton Associates, during fall semester, and attend/participate in program events:
    • Welcome session (on fall reading day)
    • Graduation picnic (on spring reading day)
    • At least one Eagleton public program or sponsored event each semester.

Upon successful completion of these requirements, Associates are awarded a certificate from Eagleton and receive official notation on their Rutgers transcript.

How do Eagleton’s classes count toward my major?
Students should check with their academic school or department advisor as to how Eagleton course credit will count towards major/minor requirements. Eagleton program courses for political science majors and minors from School of Arts and Sciences count towards degree as follows:

  • Either the Practice of Politics and/or Processes of Politics can count for the required Political Science Seminar course (790:395).
  • The fall internship seminar or placement hours CAN NOT substitute for the 395 seminar requirement.
  • The Eagleton Internship Seminar will count toward major/minor credit except if:
    • The student has already taken two (2) 790 internships in political science, independent study OR research courses, then the Eagleton internship course will NOT count towards the major or minor.
    • Political Science MINORS should NOT take a 395 seminar in political sciences even if the instructor gives them a special permission number because it will not count toward the Political Science minor.

If you have any questions regarding the requirements for your political science major/minor please contact William Field in the Department of Political Science at

Can I do study abroad and still be an Undergraduate Associate?
Associates must be on campus for the spring semester of junior year, and fall and spring semesters of senior year to be eligible. All Eagleton classes must be taken in sequence and in person. Study abroad CAN be done during the fall of junior year or summer before senior year if internship placement is done during the fall semester of senior year.

What internship options are available? When can I do my internship?
Students complete a 140-hour internship during the summer before their senior year and/or the fall semester of their senior year. Program faculty and staff assist with placement process. All internship hours must be completed by the end of November. Prior internships do not normally fulfill the program requirement.

The Eagleton Institute of Politics focuses on American politics and government, so the required internship should enhance a student’s understanding of and experience with American politics at any level -national, regional, state, county, or local. Students may intern with a wide range of government agencies or public officials. Students can also intern with interest groups, political parties or campaigns, policy and advocacy-related groups’ policy. Internships can be in New Jersey or other locations such as New York City or Washington DC, and can be paid or unpaid.

Eagleton Undergraduate Associates who intern in the partisan offices of the NJ Legislature are eligible to apply for the Kathy Crotty Legislative Internship Award. This annual award is offered by Eagleton in honor of Kathy Crotty, a leader on the staff of the New Jersey Legislature for thirty-five years. Award money can be used for travel expenses to and from Trenton.

Associates can also apply for the Rutgers-Eagleton Washington DC internship award. Open to all Rutgers students, recipients receive a $5,000 award to help pay for living expenses while interning in Washington DC over the summer. Details here. Link to

Most internships focusing on global, international, or comparative politics would not fulfill the internship requirement for the Associates program. Nor would most internships with law firms, attorneys, or judges. Previous associate internship evaluations are available for student review if interested. Most internships are unpaid. However, a paid internship opportunity that fulfills the above criteria is fine.

Do I need to have an official transcript to apply?
No. Upload your UNOFFICIAL transcript(s) to your application as Adobe pdf or MS Word document only. Please include your current fall semester class list. You can submit up to three transcript documents. Transfer students should attach unofficial transcript from previous college and Rutgers fall semester class list.

What should my essay focus on?
In 500 words or less please describe your interest in American politics and any previous related experience you may have had. Please also explain your career goals, why you are applying to the program and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your essay must be attached to your online application as MS Word or Adobe PDF file. Make sure to include your name at the top of the first page.

Can I save my application progress?
Yes. Click “save” at the bottom of the application form to save your progress. You should receive an email confirming that your application progress has been saved.

I submitted my application, now what?
When you submit your application you will see a confirmation screen and you will also receive a confirmation e-mail. All students will be notified of selection committee decisions via email in early November.

Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
Two academic letters of recommendation must be submitted in support of your application. Letters should be written by those who have taught you in the classroom and can speak to your academic qualifications for the program, preferably in political science or a related discipline. Transfer students can use professors/teaching assistants from previous college. A third supplemental letter may be submitted from internship supervisors or other professional experiences.

Letters must be addressed to the “Undergraduate Associate Selection Committee” and emailed as MS Word document or Adobe pdf directly from the recommender to Letters sent by the applicant will not be accepted.

Students should submit application before letters of recommendation are sent. All recommendations must be received by 5:00 pm on deadline date in order to be considered. Late recommendation letters will not be forwarded to the selection committee.
Applicants will be notified by email when letters of recommendation are processed by Eagleton.

All students will be notified by email of selection committee decisions in early November 2020.


“The best aspect of the Associates program was the internship placement. It was great to enter an internship as a representative of the Associates program and … be able to network with other Eagleton alumni in the Governor’s Office.”
–Eagleton Undergraduate Associate Alum

There are currently more than 1,000 alumni of the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates program. Some have chosen careers in politics and public affairs, while others have applied their advanced knowledge of government and politics to a broad range of careers in the private and non‐profit sectors.

Current Undergraduate Associates

Meet the current undergraduates.

Jada Abdullah School of Arts and Sciences Political Science/History
Ezza Ahmed School of Arts and Sciences English, Political Science/Creative Writing
Kieran Brown School of Arts and Sciences Political Science
Nicole DeAssis School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, Criminal Justice/Women’s and Gender Studies
Jessica Dicker School of Arts and Sciences Economics/Politics Philosophy and Economics, Health Administration
Juan Flores Serrano Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy/School of Arts and Sciences Public Policy, Political Science/Environmental Studies
Sachin Goradia School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, Economics/Philosophy, Religion, Planning and Public Policy
Yasmine Hafez School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, English
Duncan Hardiman School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, Economics
Luke Hinrichs School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, Economics/Philosophy
Robert Kaiser School of Arts and Sciences History, Political Science
Jane Keller School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College/Douglass Residential College Political Science, American Studies/Social Justice
Zaynab Khan School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College/Honors College Mathematics/Economics, Political Science
Caleb Kuberiet School of Arts and Sciences English, Political Science, History
Alyssa Kumalmaz School of Environmental and Biological Sciences History, Political Science/Biological Sciences
Deja Little College of Arts and Sciences/Honors College (Newark) Social Work/Criminal Justice
Zachary Malek School of Arts and Sciences/Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Political Science/Public Policy
Avinash Maniam College of Arts and Sciences (Camden) Political Science/History
Oluwatobi Omotoso School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, History
Ariel Pina School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College Political Science/Public Health
Julien Rosenbloom School of Arts and Sciences Political Science, Economics/Philosophy Politics and Economics, Public Policy Economics
Dylan Serrentino-
School of Arts and Sciences Political Science
Nitan Shanas College of Arts and Sciences/Honors College (Camden) Urban Studies, Psychology, Economics/ Ethics
Chloe Tai Rutgers Business School/Honors College Political Science, Business Analytics and Information Technology/Chinese
Barbara Uehara College of Arts and Sciences/ Honors College (Newark) Political Science, Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies/Global Politics