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Field Experience


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Field Experience

A Madison education focuses on the application of knowledge and analysis to public issues, concerns and events, as well as on theoretical approaches to social science. As a result, Madison students learn to think critically and analytically about public affairs, evaluate policy options, and understand decision-making. Madison believes that a liberal education is incomplete without a chance to test and apply these abilities in professional settings.

During the junior or senior year, one semester is spent participating in an internship with an agency, organization, business, or legislative office, instead of in the classroom. The College believes that it is important that our students spend at least three months interning in an organization, and a position that allows them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the professional world. In addition to the learning opportunities afforded by such an internship, many of our graduates have developed excellent job contacts through the organizations in which they interned.

Field Experience is a requirement for all Madison students. It consists of two courses taken concurrently - MC 400 (5 or 9 credits, pass/no pass) and MC 401 (3 credits, pass/no pass). During the sophomore and junior years, students should consult with the Field Experience Coordinator, where they can explore more than 500 internship opportunities available. These opportunities encompass several professional fields, and include assignments with a variety of state and federal agencies, city governments, legislative offices, public interest groups, legal aid societies, courts, social service agencies, businesses, newspapers/media outlets, labor unions, and voluntary organizations. We have placements throughout the U.S. and abroad, which all entail work that is substantial and serious. With the Field Experience Coordinator’s approval, students may develop internships with organizations other than those already promoted through the Field Experience Office. Students should plan to meet with the Field Experience Coordinator at least one full semester prior to the period in which they wish to undertake the internship.

Students may, with advisor approval, petition to substitute one of the following four options for MC400 and/or MC401: a senior honors thesis; prior professional or public affairs-related work experience relevant to the Madison program; a student teaching dual major or a dual major practicum; or an approved Study Abroad program. To acquire a Field Experience Substitution Petition, see the "Forms" link above, stop by the Field Experience Office (357 S. Case Hall), or contact Max Olivero at oliverom@msu.edu

Students considering substitution for Field Experience or enrollment in the part-time credit option should remember that they need to complete a minimum of 51 MC credits to be eligible for graduation, or 41 credits if they are transfer students (either internal or external) or if they will be doing student teaching.

Questions and Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Field Experience, please contact Max Olivero, JMC Field Experience Coordinator, at oliverom@msu.edu or schedule an appointment online.