Collegiate Internship Program

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.

  • Qualifications
  • Qualifications:

    To be considered for The Collegiate Internship Program, applicants must:

    • 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.
  • Requirements
  • 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 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.

    Application Requirements

    • Complete the Application Form.
    • The application requires 150-to-250-word responses to each of the following questions:
      • Why are you interested in an internship with the MPD?
      • As an intern, what can you offer the MPD?
      • What do you expect to learn from your internship?
      • What would be your ideal internship placement and why?
    • Undergo a comprehensive background investigation.
    • MPD review and decision. 

    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.

  • Benefits
  • Benefits:

    • 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.
  • Timeline
  • Timeline:

  • FAQs
  • FAQs:

    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.

    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 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.