Michigan Government Semester Program

MSU’s Department of Political Science offers the Michigan Government Semester Program (MGSP) every Spring semester. MGSP provides you the opportunity to intern at the highest levels of state politics, study Michigan government, and develop professional skills readying you for a career in public service. MGSP is unique in that we bridge the gap between the theoretical and practical aspects of state politics. The program consists of the following components:

  • Enroll in PLS 422, “Michigan Government and Politics” (4 credits): This class focuses on the institutional, behavioral, and public policy aspects of state government and politics with an emphasis on Michigan. Beyond the course work, you will interact every week with some of the most influential leaders in Michigan politics and public policy.

 

  • Enroll in PLS 422, “Professional Development Skills for Public Service” (4 credits): This class helps you develop skills to enhance a career in or related to public service. You will strengthen your writing skills by composing bill analyses, policy memos, policy briefs, speeches, press releases, and written testimony. You will also provide oral testimony before a mock legislative committee hearing and consider the role of social media and ethics in government.

 

  • Enroll in PLS 494, “Field Experience–Internship” (6 credits): You will complete an internship with a state government or related office (e.g., with the legislature, governor, attorney general, bureaucratic agency, mayor, lobbying firm, PR firm). Placements are made in line with your interests when possible. Internships require at least 18 hours per week; you will work with the internship sponsor to set the schedule. Internships give you practical experience and critical professional contacts.

 

The program is worth 14 total credits and is limited to around 25 students. The courses are hybrid, with a twice-weekly in-person portion allowing you to interact with some of the most influential leaders in Michigan government, and an online part enabling you to engage the assignments, readings, and discussion forums. To strengthen your experience, the in-person portion is held at the Capitol or in a downtown office building.

Michigan Government Semester Program Requirements

PROGRAM PREREQUISITES:

To qualify for this program, we recommend the following prerequisites:

  • Political Science Major (suggested)
  • Junior or Senior status (preferred)
  • Completion of PLS 201 (recommended)
  • Maturity and commitment to professional achievement

PROGRAM APPLICATION PROCESS:

If you are interested in the program, please submit the following materials to Professor Marty Jordan, jordan61@msu.edu, located in Office #346, South Kedzie Hall:

  • A professional resume
  • A cover letter with the following information: reasons for applying to the MGSP; your career goals, specific area of interest within political science; your internship preferences (e.g., the legislature, governor’s office, department, lobby or PR firm, public interest group); and your policy interests (e.g., environmental, health, education, criminal justice). Finally, please indicate whether you have a partisan or ideological preference (Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative)?
  • Include available days and times for a scheduled interview meeting with Professor Marty Jordan, MGSP Program and Internship Coordinator