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What Are the Different Types of Federal Internships?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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In the United States, there is a wide range of federal internships available to students at a number of federal agencies, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Federal internships are available in a range of subject areas, no matter the agency. Some agencies offer internships that focus on the specific role of the agency, such as at the FBI. Other agencies have more generalized internships. For example, a student interested in communications and the media can apply for a media internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), even if she isn't interested in the weather.

The FBI internship program is available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Federal internships at the FBI last for 10 weeks over the summer and are paid. A student may work at the Washington, DC office, though the agency prefers that students apply to the field office nearest to their home or school. Interns in the program will get to see the inner workings of the FBI.

Students interested in a career in the foreign service may consider applying for federal internships in the state department. State department internships are available to graduate students and undergraduates who are at least in their junior year. Some of the internships are unpaid, though a student intern can receive a transportation subsidy. Others are paid and include paid federal holidays and Social Security.

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Other federal internships include opportunities at the EPA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Education. A student intern in the Department of Education must be at least 16 years old. The DOE also takes student interns who are in high school. Internships with the DOE and the Department of Education are typically on a volunteer basis and are unpaid, though a student may qualify for school credit.

NOAA offers internships for students interested in media and communications as well as internships for students interested in oceanography and environmental science. Depending on the type of internship and the season, internships are either paid or for school credit only. Media interns typically work in Washington, DC or Maryland, while oceanographic and marine biology interns work in areas across the country, such as Alaska or the Chesapeake Bay.

The majority of federal internships are available only to students who are citizens of the United States. Most students will need to have an above average grade point average and be in school at least part time, though many internships are open to only full-time students. A number of internships also require students to pass security clearances.

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