Collegiate Internship Program

Becoming an MPD Collegiate Intern

Current students attending a U.S. accredited college or university can participate in MPD's Collegiate Internship Program to gain invaluable practical, specialized, and engaging law enforcement experience.

Our internship program allows students to immerse themselves in various units and develop insights into the law enforcement profession that is rarely available in a conventional classroom setting. The internship program introduces individuals to all aspects of law enforcement that enhance their understanding of the multi-faceted responsibilities of the criminal justice system. In addition, students are introduced to the various career opportunities that await them should they decide to pursue a career in law enforcement.

  • Qualifications
  • Qualifications:

    To be considered for The Collegiate Internship Program, applicants must be able to meet the following minimum standards:

    • Be a U.S. citizen, by birth or naturalization, at the time of application.
    • Attend a U.S. - accredited college or university as either a full-time or part-time undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral student with at least 24 credits earned.
    • Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
    • Be willing to serve as a volunteer (unpaid) member of the Department.
    • Have and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
    • Be in good standing academically, professionally, and overall while being able to successfully pass a background investigation.
  • Requirements
  • Requirements:

    MPD offers year-round internships (i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer) that function following academic calendar semesters. 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 before accepting the internship.

    Application Requirements:

    • Complete the application form.
    • Once prompted, submit all relevant documents and complete interviews.
    • Successfully pass a comprehensive background investigation.

    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 before their start date. Once notified of their selection, applicants will be given further direction 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 through their college or university.
    • Participate in ride-alongs and seminars.
    • Observe operations at the Joint Operation Command Center.
    • Tour the Metropolitan Police Academy Training Facility and when possible, act as actors in simulations for recruit classes.
    • Learn more about law enforcement by gaining hands-on experience in the field.
  • Timeline
  • Timeline:

    • 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
  • 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.

    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.

  • Internship Placements
  • 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. 

    Internship Placements

    Below are some examples of possible units interns may be assigned to:

    • District Detective Unit (DDU)
    • Crime Suppression Team (CST)
    • Homicide Branch
    • Youth and Family Services Division (YFSD)
    • Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)
    • Office of General Counsel (OGC)
    • Carjacking Taskforce
    • Sex Offender Registry Unit (SORU)
    • Recruiting Division
    • Emergency Response Team (ERT)
    • Public Information Office (PIO)
    • Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) - Cold Case Unit