Becoming an MPD Collegiate Intern
College students pursuing law enforcement-related careers can participate in MPD’s internship program to gain college credit and invaluable practical policing experience.
MPD internships allow students to think about the transition from college to work and to develop insights into the law enforcement profession that are rarely available in a conventional classroom setting. The MPD's College Internship Program introduces students to all aspects of law enforcement that enhance their 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.
To be considered for The Collegiate Internship Program, applicants must:
- Must be at least 18 years of age at time of application, or 16 years old with parental permission.
- Be willing to serve as a volunteer (unpaid) member of the Department.
- Be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university having earned at least 24 credits.
- Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Be able to pass a background check.
- Be fully vaccinated against COVID 19 (to include a booster when eligible)
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 8 weeks. Students may be employed part-time outside of the MPD provided that their work hours do not interfere with their MPD assignments and hourly requirements. Some internship assignments might require the student to work rotating shifts, or a shift outside the normal 9:00 am to 5:00 pm tour used by private sector employers. In these cases, students will be informed of the hours prior to accepting the internship.
- Complete the application form.
- Selected participants will undergo a comprehensive background investigation.
- MPD review and decision based on suitability.
Once the application is received, eligible applicants will be contacted by a background investigator. Applicants undergo a background check similar to that of sworn officers (please find the list of automatic disqualifiers here). Applicants will have to complete questionnaires, upload required documents and provide personal and professional references. Applicants will be notified of their selection at least two weeks prior to their start date. Once notified of their selection, applicants will be given directions for completing the processing requirements.
At any point in the application process, applicants may be asked to participate in an in-person or phone interview. Intern applicants who are not accepted into the program, for any reason, will be notified.
- Receive Academic Credit.
- Participate in Ride-Alongs.
- Observe operations at the Joint Operation Command Center.
- Tour the Metropolitan Police Academy Training Facility.
- Learn more about law enforcement by gaining hands on experience in the field.
- Fall 2022 Semester: August 30, 2022 - December 2, 2022
- Application Deadline: May 4, 2022
- Spring 2023 Semester: January 24 - April 28, 2023
- Application Deadline: September 15, 2022
- Summer 2023 Semester: June 6 - August 4, 2023
- Application Deadline: February 15, 2023
Why should I choose an internship with the MPD?
Collegiate Interns with the MPD receive excellent hands on training and experience. Supervisors at the MPD are invested in each student's professional development and ensure a wide range of opportunities across the Department are made available to the student.
Is the MPD Collegiate Internship Program paid?
The internship is not paid; however, it is a possible path to full-time employment.
Can I receive credit for completing the MPD Collegiate Internship Program?
Many past interns have received academic credit for completing an internship with the MPD. All arrangements must be made through your academic institution and the 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 Metrorail and bus system. Whether or not 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 region for a semester or the summer to participate in the internship program. Interns will be responsible for their own housing arrangements.
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 have the opportunity to participate in and assist with training at the Metropolitan Police Academy.
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 able 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 the 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 paid civilian employees, civilian volunteers, or sworn officers.
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.
Still have questions? Check the MPD Helpdesk to see if we’ve answered it.
The Metropolitan Police Department’s Collegiate Internship Program provides interns with excellent opportunities throughout the Department. The majority of our placements are in investigative units, but we do have other positions available too. Below, you will find some of the intern placements. Please note, while we will make every effort to accommodate your preferred placement, you will be placed based on the needs of the Department.
Crime Suppression Team (CST): Interns gain real investigative experience as they work with officers to investigate auto theft and related offenses. Interns review surveillance footage, review reports, create BOLOs (be on the lookout flyers), ride along with officers, and more.
District Detective Unit (DDU): District Detective Units investigate a wide range of crimes including thefts, burglaries, assaults, and more. They also investigate hit and run traffic crashes. Interns support detectives investigating cases, and they may communicate with victims and witnesses to obtain more information. They could also review surveillance footage and other evidence. Think of an intern at a District Detective Unit as an investigative assistant.
Violence Reduction Unit (VRU): Interns assigned to the unit make meaningful contributions to ongoing investigations into some of the most violent offenders in the city by helping with investigatory support activities and developing analytical products. An internship with VRU affords interns the opportunity to participate in and learn how complex criminal investigations are conducted, as well as observe how field operations are conducted by riding along with Violent Crime Suppression Division members in controlled circumstances. This location is not metro accessible - therefore it is strongly recommended that you have a car.
Public Information Office (PIO):The Public Information Office is responsible for planning, developing, and communicating the agency's programs, policies, and activities to the public and media. The Public Affairs Intern would assist the office with the following tasks and duties:
- Proactively promote police department activities and programs through the Metropolitan Police Department's social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Nextdoor)
- Respond to inquiries from the news media, civic association groups, and the general public regarding arrests, investigations, criminal activities, and demonstrations
- Organize and deliver MPD messaging through press conferences and media availabilities, and provide breaking news and updates to local and national news outlets. You may also perform other related duties as assigned.
Sex Offender Registry Unit (SORU): Interns assigned to the SORU provide assistnace to detectives investigating cases. Interns utilize various investigative techniques to track and locate non-compliant sex offenders. They also prepare reports to document investigative efforts and accompany detectives in the field to interview non-compliant sex offenders.
Sexual Assault Unit (SAU): Interns with the SAU gain investigative experience in cold case sexual assault with the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant team and work with sex crime detectives and crime analysts by providing technical support such as social media and law enforcement database searches. Interns assist in forensic genealogy case investigations, the review and tracking of unique serial offenses, as well as other unit tasks when assigned such as: reviewing interview tapes or analytical projects. This is a great experience for those interested in crime analysis, profiling, and forensic genealogy.
Recruiting Division: Interns will assist with completing background investigations on applicants to MPD. Additionally, interns will assist with completion of data aggregation on applications to MPD. Twice monthly, interns will assist with Prospect Day, in which applicants for Entry-Level Police Officers are processed.
Metropolitan Police Academy (MPA): Interns with the Metropolitan Police Academy will see firsthand the training required for our police members! These experiences will include opportunities to observe our Recruit Training Branch, Continuing Studies Branch, and our Specialized Training Branch. The interns’ responsibilities would include assisting with scenario-based training at the Tactical Training Center, helping the instructors prep for classes, and aiding the staff with preparing requests for necessary resources. This location is not metro accessible - therefore, it is strongly recommended that you have a car.
Emergency Response Team (ERT): The ERT is part of the Special Operations Division The intern will shadow and assist the Crisis Negotiation Unit of ERT. In addition, there will be various opportunities to experience and observe a wide range of tactical assignments and duties. Clerical tasks will include, but are not limited to, memorialization of critical events, coordinating and building training curriculum, community engagement participation, and assistance in the intelligence process. Interns will also be able to learn de-escalation techniques and mental health awareness. Tactically, the interns will be exposed to equipment and strategies used in SWAT operations. When safe to do so, ride-alongs with ERT may be permitted. The ERT is multifaceted and proudly serves many functions within the Special Operations Division, which will ensure an interesting and well-rounded internship. Please note that this location is not metro accessible, so interns will need a car.