About the Undergraduate Associates Program
Eagleton Associates spend the last three semesters of their undergraduate education linking the study of politics to real-world applications. Associates will take a series of three courses at Eagleton during the second semester of their junior year and each semester of their senior year. They will also participate in an internship related to government policy or politics. This program is a cooperative educational endeavor between the Eagleton Institute of Politics and the School of Arts and Sciences/Department of Political Science.
The Eagleton Undergraduate Associate journey at Eagleton begins with the Practice of Politics course, where the students examine politics as a choice. Each week, they analyze different political decisions such as the Constitutional Convention, jury verdicts, voting outcomes, budgets, public education systems, legislative actions, campaign strategies, presidential programs, and American foreign policy. Meet the current Undergraduate Associates.
“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
Instructor: Saladin Ambar
The major concept in the course is “politics as a choice”. Politics is a world of limits and alternatives. Everyone in politics ‐ from voters to presidents ‐ faces difficult choices. Each week, students analyze different political decisions such as the Constitutional Convention, jury verdicts, voting outcomes, budgets, legislative actions, campaign strategies, presidential programs, and American foreign policy. Guest instructors participate in about half of the seminar meetings. The course emphasizes small group interaction and cooperative learning and aims to provide students with the theoretical grounding to appreciate the practicalities of political choices.
Fall Senior Year
Course #: (01:790:481:05‐04234) 26
Day/Time: Wednesdays 5:35‐8:35 pm
Instructor: Francine Newsome Pfeiffer
The internship seminar and placement provides students the opportunity to connect classroom learning with the experience of working in government, politics or public affairs. In recent years, we have helped find placements for students in the New Jersey Legislature, Governor’s Office, state government departments, county and local government offices, Congressional offices, public affairs offices, public interest groups, state associations, political campaigns (local, state and national), lobbying firms, think tanks and other interest groups. Students are placed for a total of 140 hours in a 3‐credit graded internship during the summer OR fall of their senior year (~10 hours per week). During the fall semester, students are required to complete the internship seminar as an accompaniment to the placement. The course meets eight times during the semester. The purpose of the seminar is to share observations and to learn more about political life by drawing on field placement experiences, as well as from guest speakers and assigned readings. Credit is awarded for the internship upon completion of the seminar course. The internship grade will be based on both the placement supervisor’s assessment of the intern’s performance and the student’s attendance, participation, and written essays for the seminar.
Spring Senior Year
Process of Politics
Course #: (790:429:01)
Day/Time: Tuesdays 9:15 am‐12:15 pm
Instructor: Elizabeth Matto
This course focuses on the ways in which public policy is defined and implemented through the political, legislative and administrative operations of government. Issues and practices at both the state and national levels will be considered with considerable focus on New Jersey. Many sessions will include conversations with practitioners who have significant experience in politics and public policy. A number of themes will appear throughout the course. One is the contrast between legislative and executive/agency roles. Another is the extent to which, and methods by which, the public is involved in the various processes of politics and public policy formation and implementation. Third is the relationship between public expectations of these processes and the reality of their operations. The course also discusses current national and statewide races and other political events as they unfold during the semester.
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.
“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
Eagleton will accept applications for the Class of 2022 Undergraduate Associates during the Fall of 2020. All applicants should complete the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program application online. Application materials include:
- Completed application form
- Unofficial transcript
- Two letters of recommendation (emailed directly to Eagleton from the recommender). Students must 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 application 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:
- Attach support documents – resume, essay and unofficial transcript (.doc or .pdf only)Complete online application form.
- Click submit application at end to finalize.
- Academic letters of recommendation should be emailed from the recommender to Eagleton before application deadline. Students must submit application before letters of recommendation are sent.
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 the deadline date in order to be reviewed. Late applications will not be accepted. Receipt of recommendation letters will be confirmed with applicants via email after application is submitted. All recommendation letters must be received by 5:00pm on deadline date to be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I apply?
Eagleton Undergraduate Associates learn about real-world American politics and government from experienced practitioners. Some of the benefits of the program include: diverse summer/fall internship opportunities; guest lecturers from the political world; many networking opportunities; small seminars with engaging discussions about American politics and government; highly selective program; network of more than 2,000 Eagleton alumni; opportunities to participate in exclusive Eagleton events; and job placement assistance.
Who is eligible to apply?
Rutgers undergraduates from all three campus locations and all departments/majors/schools are welcome to apply during their junior year. The only time students can apply is September-October of their JUNIOR year. The Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program is a three semester certificate program. Those selected take a series of classes – one each semester: spring junior year, fall and spring of senior year. Interested students must be registered as a full or part time Rutgers junior undergraduate from September 2019 to May 2021. Eligible applicants will be graduating Rutgers in May or December of 2021. 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 2021.
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 while an Associate and remain in good academic standing in their disciplinary program.
- Completion of three Eagleton classes (one each semester of the program). Courses meet once a week at Eagleton on the Douglass campus. Attendance at and participation in all class sessions is mandatory.
- Spring 2019 – Practice of Politics – Students must receive a grade of B or better in the first class in order to continue in the program during the senior year.
- Fall 2019 – Internship Seminar
- Spring 2020 – Processes of Politics
- 140-hour internship during the summer or fall semesters in American politics, government or public policy office
- 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 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. Political science majors/minors see important information below. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I do study abroad and still be an Undergraduate Associate?
Associates must be on campus for the junior year spring semester, and fall and spring semesters of senior year to be eligible. All Eagleton classes must be taken in sequence. 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 can complete a 140-hour internship during the summer before their senior year and/or the fall semester of their senior year. All placement hours must be completed by the end of November. All prior internships, regardless of location, cannot fulfill the Eagleton requirement.
Consistent with the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program’s focus on American politics and government, the required internship should enhance a student’s understanding of and experience with American politics at the national, regional, state, or local level. Students may intern with a wide range of government agencies, candidates, or public officials. Students can also intern with interest groups or political parties that are involved in some significant way with American politics or policy. Internships can be located in New Jersey or other locations such as New York City or Washington D.C.
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 is to be used for travel expenses to and from Trenton.
Most internships focusing on global, international, or comparative politics would not fulfill the internship requirement for the Eagleton 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 would be acceptable.
Do I need to have an official transcript to apply?
No, an official transcript is not needed. Upload your UNOFFICIAL transcript(s) to your application as Adobe pdf file or MS Word document. Please include your current fall semester class list. You can submit up to three transcripts. 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 be an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate and what you hope to get out of the program. Your essay must be attached to your online application as MS Word or Adobe PDF file. 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 2019.
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 Word document or Adobe pdf directly from the recommender to email@example.com.
Students must 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 2019.
“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 Eagleton’s 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.