Collegiate Internship Program

MPD is pleased to offer challenging and rewarding opportunities for professional development to qualified college and university students. Internships allow students to think about the transition from school to practice and to develop insights into the law enforcement profession that are rarely available in a conventional classroom setting. MPD's College Internship Program introduces students to aspects of law enforcement that enhance students’ understanding of the criminal justice system. In addition, students are introduced to the various career opportunities that await them should they decide to choose law enforcement as a career.

Interns may apply by completing the online form. Once the application is received, it will be disseminated to various MPD units for review and consideration. Applicants may be contacted for face-to-face or phone interviews. Applicants will be notified of their selection at least one month prior to their start date. Once notified of their selection, applicants will be given directions for completing the processing requirements.

Application Criteria

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen by birth or naturalization
  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university
  • Must be a student at a college or university
  • Must have at least a 2.5 GPA

Timeline

Fall Semester (September to December)
Early decision deadline is June 1st
Final deadline August 1st
All placements made by August 15th

Spring Semester (January to May)
Early decision deadline is October 15th
Final deadline November 1st
All placements made by December 1st

Summer Semester (May to August)
Early decision deadline due by March 1st
Final deadline April 1st
All placements made by May 1st

Application Requirements

  • Complete Application Form
  • On the application it will request you write a personal essay of 150 - 250 words responding to each of the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in an MPD internship?
    • As an intern, what can you offer MPD ?
    • What do you expect to learn from your internship?
    • What would be your ideal internship placement and why?
  • You must mail your resume and two letters of reference (signed and on letterhead) to the attention of:

MPD Internship Coordinator
300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Suite 1034
Washington, DC 20001

You may also send electronically to [email protected] (preferred). If you send this electronically, please send all three documents with your full name in one message. 

  • Your two letters of recommendation must be written on official school letterhead from two professors/employers stating why you are an ideal candidate for the intern position. The letter must include phone numbers and email addresses where the professors may be contacted. The signed letter may be sent through postal mail, by email to [email protected].
  • Once your application is complete, you will be contacted, pursuant to the deadlines above, to begin the background screening process.

Commitment Requirements

Students participating during the Spring and Fall Semesters must complete a minimum of 16 hours per week for a minimum of 14 weeks. Summer program students will be required to complete a minimum of 24 hours per week for a minimum of eight weeks. Students may be employed part-time outside of the MPD provided that their work hours do not interfere with their MPD assignments and work hours. Some internship assignments might require the student to work rotating shifts or a tour-of-duty outside the normal 0900-1700 tour used by private sector employers. In these cases, students will be informed of the hours prior to accepting the internship with the unit.

Interns will be required to complete weekly journals that detail their weekly assignments. These journals will outline their work product and track assigned tasks. These journals will be collected at the end of the term for evaluation purposes.

  • Fourteen-week work commitment for semester program at least 16 hours per week and no more than 40 hours per week. (Intern may be assigned to work various tours of duty based on the needs of their assigned unit.)
  • Eight weeks and a minimum of 24 hours per week for MPD summer program
  • Formal exit evaluation with supervisor
  • Weekly assignment journals that outline student work product and track student assignments

More information

Benefits

  • Receive Academic Credit
  • Participate in Ride-Alongs
  • Observe operations at the Joint Operation Command Center
  • Tour the Metropolitan Police Academy Training Facility
  • Participate in Command Staff luncheons

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Willing to serve as a volunteer (unpaid) member of the Department
  • Currently enrolled at a college or university
  • Class standing of Sophomore, Junior, or Senior by credit hours (minimum of 36 credits)
  • United States citizen or naturalized citizen
  • Able to pass a criminal history check and fingerprints (no felony or serious misdemeanor arrests)

 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why should I choose an internship with MPD?

    Collegiate Interns with MPD receive excellent hands on training and experience.  Supervisors at MPD are invested in each student's professional development and ensure a wide range of opportunities, both at the placement location or otherwise, are made available to the student.

    Is the MPD Collegiate Internship Program paid?

    The internship is not paid, but you gain valuable professional experience.

    Can I receive credit for completing the MPD Collegiate Internship Program?

    Many past interns have received academic credit for completing the internship. All arrangements must be made through your academic institution and MPD will provide any required documentation once selected for the internship.

    Is a car required for this internship?

    Certain intern placements are only accessible by car. However, many of our interns do not have cars and are able to utilize the Metro system. Whether you have a car will be taken into consideration when you are being placed to ensure you can access the placement location.

    Do I have to be a Washington, DC resident to participate in the internship?

    Residency is not required, students from around the country relocate to the DC area for a semester or the summer to participate in the internship program. Interns will be responsible for their own housing arrangements.

    What kind of work will I do as an intern with the MPD?

    Each assignment comes with different tasks and responsibilities. Visit the Collegiate Intern and Citizen Volunteer Placement page to view the many options.

    I want to be a police officer when I graduate from school. Will I be able to participate in ride-alongs as part of my internship?

    Absolutely, interns are encouraged to participate in ride-alongs to gain first-hand policing experience. These ride-alongs count as hours worked. Interns will also be asked to participate in and assist with training at the Metropolitan Police Academy and will have lunch with various high-ranking members of the department.

    I don’t know what I want to do for a career. Will this internship help me make a decision?

    In addition to daily intern duties, intern supervisors are often happy to accommodate each intern’s interests and expose them to a variety of units within the department. Past interns have been able to participate in training at the Metropolitan Police Academy, conduct informational interviews with various members of the department, participate in field trips with recruit officers, and even ride along with MPD's Harbor Patrol Unit.

    I want to wear a uniform and gain hands-on law enforcement experience. Is this the right internship for me?

    It is important to note that interns assist members of the department and do not perform law-enforcement duties. Certain placements are more hands-on than others. In addition to our internship program, feel free to consider our other volunteer opportunities, including reserve officer, and citizen volunteer.

    Will I be offered full-time employment with the MPD at the conclusion of my internship?

    Completion of the internship does not guarantee full time employment; any person who wants to be employed by MPD must complete the full hiring process. Graduating seniors may be eligible to participate in the Partnership for Experiential Learning track, during which they can complete the sworn hiring process during the second half of their internship. Many interns enjoy their experience with MPD and return as civilian volunteers or sworn officers.

    I have used illegal drugs in the past. Am I eligible to apply?

    MPD’s intern drug policy is clearly outlined on the Collegiate Internship Program - Interest Card & Application; no exceptions will be made. A full background check will be conducted on all applicants to uncover drug use and any other questionable actions/behaviors.

    What does the background check consist of?

    Intern applicants undergo a background check similar to that of sworn officers. Applicants will have to complete numerous questionnaires and will be asked to provide personal and professional references. More information will be provided after you submit your initial application.

    August 6, 1861, Congress passed an Act which declared the boundaries of DC to constitute...

    Learn More

    ...a police district to be called the “Metropolitan Police District”. The newly elected President, Abraham Lincoln presided over the creation of this new police department. Washington, DC was divided into 10 precincts; each headed by a sergeant with 150 privates divided among the precincts. An officer’s salary was $480 a year and they had to be at least 5 feet 6 inches tall, able to read and write, between the age of 25 and 45, and were required to provide their own guns.

    March, 1865 – MPD handled their first Presidential Inauguration...

    Learn More

    ...MPD intercepted John Wilkes Booth during his first attempt to assassinate President Lincoln at the inauguration of Lincoln’s second term.

    In 1890 women were officially hired as Matrons which handled female prisoners and children...

    Learn More

    ...In 1917, the Women’s Bureau of the MPD was created in order to give women a more active role in investigating. The Bureau became nationally recognized for its proactive ideas and methods.

    In 1913, the Department purchased the first motorized vehicles (10 motorcycles) to assist the...

    Learn More

    ...bicycle squads and by 1914, five “motor patrol” wagons were purchased. In 1915, the first police school was established to train officers in using their firearms and basic first aid.

    In 1934 the first Metropolitan Police Boys Club was established The club was designed to...

    Learn More

    ...keep young men out of trouble and provide them with positive role models, and the club still exists today as the MPD Boys and Girls Clubs. The club was such a success that other cities quickly followed in the footsteps of the MPD.

    In November 1948, the Metropolitan Police Reserve Corps was established and...

    Learn More

    ...first deployed on October 31, 1951 with the original responsibility to guard fire alarm boxes to prevent people from mischievously sounding fire alarms on Halloween Night.

    In 1951 the Chief, Robert V. Murray established an Internal Investigations...

    Learn More

    ...Division during his tenure.

    In 1962 Officers began to patrol and monitor traffic in a private helicopter.

    Learn More

    In 1966 the first cadet class graduated. 

    Learn More

    May 1-4, 1971, “May Day” when over 50,000 demonstrators came to Washington to...

    Learn More

    ...force the closure of the Government. This was the largest mass arrest in history with a total of 12,000 people arrested. Due to the professionalism and effectiveness of the MPD, there were no serious injuries to police officers or protestors, no use of deadly force, and very few complaints of misconduct.

    In 1978, Burtell M. Jefferson became the first African American Chief of Police....

    Learn More

    ...He was a very community minded person, having been a native of Washington DC and having attended American University and Howard University. His tenure saw a reduction in crime while also dealing with restrictions due to the energy crisis and threats of personnel cuts.

    In 1988, the Department switched from the long issued Smith and Wesson .38 caliber...

    Learn More

    ...revolvers to the Glock 9mm pistols after Washington DC was named the Nation’s Murder Capital.

    In 1993 the Office of Internal Affairs was created by Chief Fred Thomas to promote...

    Learn More

    ...accountability among MPD officers.

    In 1997, Chief Soulsby authorized the re-striping of the Scout Cars...

    Learn More

    ...They were changed from the blue stripe and gold seal of the 1960s, to a red and blue striping that is still referred to as the Pepsi can design.

    In 2004, the re-birth of the Air Support Unit (aka helicopter patrol, Helicopter Branch) was...

    Learn More

    ...returned (original disbanded in 1996 due to budget cuts) along with a small cadre of horse-mounted officers.

    In 2006, the joint Police and Fire Communications Center moved to a newly built state of...

    Learn More

    ...the art communications center located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Southeast.

    In Janury 2007, Chief Cathy Lanier was appointed by Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty... 

    Learn More

    ...in January 2007, replacing outgoing Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. She was the first woman to achieve the position of Chief of Police in Washington DC.  In May 2012, Mayor Vincent C. Gray agreed to retain Lanier as police chief under his mayoral term.  Chief Lanier lead the Metropolitan Police Department until she retired 2017.  Chief Lanier was a great advocate for women in law enforcement and brought great technological changes to the MPD.  She was well known for her passionate involvement with the community.

    In 2007-08, Chief Lanier initiated; patrol districts listserv; "Neighborhood...

    Learn More

    ...Safety Zone” the replacement of in-car systems equipped with GPS.

    On the morning of Monday, September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis entered... 

    Learn More

    ...Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard, where he served as an independent contractor, and carried out the most deadly workplace mass shooting in the Nation’s Capital in recent memory.  Over the course of 69 minutes, Alexis terrorized thousands of employees of Naval Sea Systems Command, firing indiscriminately from a shotgun he had legally purchased two days earlier and a handgun he had taken from a security guard after mortally wounding the guard.  He would also get into multiple shooting engagements with responding law enforcement officers, seriously injuring a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer.  In his final confrontation with police, Alexis ambushed and fired upon another MPD officer.  Fortunately, the officer was saved by his protective vest and was able to return fire, killing Alexis and ending his rampage.  When it was over, Alexis had shot and killed twelve people and injured several others.

    Chief Peter Newsham was confirmed as the Chief of Police on May 3, 2017. 

    Learn More

    Chief Peter Newsham joined the MPD in 1989 and rose quickly through the ranks, serving in a number of district operational assignments. Chief Charles H. Ramsey promoted him to Commander of the Second District in January 2000. In June 2002, Newsham was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Chief Newsham was sworn in as the 30th police chief for the MPD on May 3, 2017. Chief Newsham holds a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.

    Questions? Comments?

    300 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 | P: (202) 645-0445 | F: (202) 645-0444 | [email protected]