A Few Basic Facts

These Paid Internships provide the opportunity for UNLV students to live and work in Nevada’s State Capital (Carson City) for an entire semester. Each intern serves as a legislative staff member (in-training) and is provided with the opportunity to gain real-life, professional work experience. Each does this while earning a salary and receiving academic credit.

Stipend for each intern: $9000 for the semester Course Load:

  • PSC 490B - Legislative Internship (6 credits)
  • Suggested additional credits are also available through: Independent Study (PSC 480A - 3 credits), UNLV Online Education and Western Nevada Community College in Carson City.
  • Clarification: The 6 credits earned in PSC 490B are independent of any other internship credits that a student may have earned. For example if a student has already earned 3 credits in a legal internship (PSC 490D) these same 3 credits in no way make the student ineligible for PSC 490B.

Interns live in Carson City approximately February 6, 2023 - June 5, 2023.

Number of positions to be filled: 6

Application Deadline: October 26, 2022

Selections will be made before November 4, 2022.

Application Requirements

  • Junior or Senior Standing
  • Completion of PSC 101
  • Any Major
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Full-time standing (12 credits)

FAQ's About the Job

What are some of the things that a Legislative Intern does? 

  • Monitors the status of bills. To do this an intern is first trained in the use of the Nevada Bill Tracker System, which keeps legislators informed on any actions, like committee hearings, that are pending on bills that are of particular interest to them.
  • Does research on proposed laws. What are some of the effects that are likely if this bill becomes law? Who is backing the bill and who is against it; and why?
  • Assists relevant legislators with keeping track of their schedules (sometimes legislators may be scheduled for 3 or 4 meetings at the same time). As an intern gains experience he/she may be asked to sit in on hearings or meetings that the elected official cannot attend – taking notes and keeping them informed.
  • Monitors media coverage of legislation.
  • Observe/assist in meetings with constituents and interest groups.

Course Requirements

  1. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior class standing (minimum of 60 credits successfully completed); successful completion of PSC 101
  2. Work as a full time staffer (40+ hours per week) at the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City for the spring semester, 2019. Your exact assignment will be made by Dr. Tuman and his counterpart in the Legislature and it will take into account your own political party preference. You will live in Carson City, Nevada from approximately February 4, 2019 until early June which is when the legislative session is scheduled to end.
  3. Keep a daily log of your work experience: activities, tasks, skills applied / learned, etc.
  4. During the term, use this same log to write two brief reports summarizing your internship experience to date. Specific deadlines for the submission of these papers will be provided by Dr. Tuman.
  5. Read a book on State and Local government which will be assigned by Dr. Tuman. Write a 5 page report on it and this report will be due very early in the semester.
  6. Submit a 15-page report summarizing and evaluating the overall internship experience itself. Your log will be your main source of data. This paper will be due approximately June 14, 2019.
  7. A letter of evaluation from your legislative supervisor. This letter will also be due approximately June 14, 2019.
  8. Tuition: The internship (PSC 490B) is a regular UNLV class that will appear on your transcript. As such, you will pay tuition for it just like any other class.
  9. You must be willing and able to remain at work in Carson City for nearly a month after the spring semester actually ends. This, of course, is because the legislative session does not end until early June. In considering this requirement please remember that you started your internship one month late.

What are some typical positions that UNLV legislative interns have held in the past?

  • Committee staff - Assembly
  • Committee staff - Senate
  • Democratic Leadership Office
  • Republican Party Leadership Office
  • Staff assistants for individual legislators

Does it matter whether I'm a Democrat, Republican or Independent? 

No. One of the internship coordinator's goals is to send an equal number of Republican and Democratic interns to the Legislature. Thus while your party identification will be noted it will have no impact on the selection process.

How will these assignments be made?

The internship coordinator, Dr. Tuman, will make all initial assignments and he will then consult with each individual intern. You will not be required to "find your own legislator".

Can I do one of these paid internships if I have already done one of these internships for academic credit?

The answer is “most likely yes”. It all depends on the following. PSC 490 (the course for which you will sign up) is really five different course; five different internships. The legislative internship involved here requires student s to sign up for PSC 490B. If the internship you have already taken happens to be PSC 490B then “no” you are not eligible. However, if you have taken any other type of PSC 490 (A, C, D or E) internship then the answer is “yes”.

What else can I expect?

By serving as an intern you basically get a chance to “audition” for a professional future. Several recent legislative interns hold or have held the following positions:

  • Gov’t Affairs Representative for The Retail Association of Nevada
  • Director of Government Affairs, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Finance Director for Nevada State Treasurer's campaign
  • Assistant to the Assembly Majority Leader
  • Executive Director, Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus
  • Staffer, Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus
  • Statewide staffer, Romney For President campaign
  • At least three are currently in law school

FAQ's About the Life and Obligations of an Intern

What will be the living arrangements?

UNLV does not provide housing. Selection of living quarters is the responsibility of each intern.
Options include rental of a
  • studio apartment - single
  • shared apartment or house
  • long-term hotel room
  • room in one of the many nearby private homes that engage in this practice

Transportation: How will I get around?

  • Some interns have cars; others do not. Carson City is a small town and carpooling (with other interns, legislative staff members, etc.) is relatively easy to arrange.

What will this mean for my overall schedule?

Start Date: The UNLV 2023 Spring semester starts on January 17, but the Legislature does not convene until February 6th. This will give you plenty of time to get a head start on any other courses that you are taking as well as find a satisfactory place to live.

End Date: In order to complete, and receive credit for, PSC 490B you must remain in Carson City through the end of the legislative session - June 5, 2023. Thus by accepting the internship you are also agreeing to work for approximately one month past the end of the semester; an equitable arrangement since you started approximately one month late. Failure to finish the session will result in the automatic assignment of a grade of F for PSC 490B.

In order to keep my full time student status at UNLV what might my course load look like?

  • PSC 490B, Legislative Internship - 6 credits
  • PSC 480A, Independent Study in Political Science - 3 credits This is an individualized course which a student can arrange with the Political Science instructor of his/her choice.
  • Online Education - 3 credits

What possible impacts might there be on any other financial aid that I have?

Here are the facts as we understand them but please consult with the Financial Aid & Scholarships office for an authoritative and certain answer.

Pell Grant is a federal entitlement program and is only reduced if the student falls below full-time enrollment.

Any aid applied to a student's account can affect other aid that's already been applied. Awards that are need based (like grants, certain scholarships, and the federal subsidized loan) can be reduced if the student has been awarded beyond their federal need.

What about Spring Break?

  • You won't have one. You'll be a badge-carrying Legislative staffer.

What if I am planning to participate in Spring 2023 commencement?

  • You must get prior approval from your legislative supervisor.

Application Procedure

To apply you must submit the following:

  • A completed Legislative Internship Application Form
  • A current resume indicating education, work experience, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, awards, honors. Your resume must, of course, include all relevant contact information, etc.
  • A brief essay (500 words) on why you think that you are qualified to hold one of these positions if you are awarded a Legislative Internship.
  • Two reference/evaluation forms: Select two professional people (UNLV professors etc.). Print two copies of the internship candidate evaluation form and deliver one form to each of these individuals, asking each to return it the department office. Be certain to inform them of the deadline.
  • Finalists may also be interviewed.


All application materials must be delivered (in hard copy format) to the Department of Political Science (WRI B227) by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2023.


Each of the six applicants selected will also be required to submit copies of all academic transcripts from UNLV and any other colleges or universities prior to January 17, 2023.


For further information contact:

Professor John Tuman, Internship Coordinator,
Department of Political Science, UNLV