Becoming an MPD Collegiate Intern
The Collegiate Internship Program offered by MPD is open to current students enrolled in U.S. accredited colleges or universities, providing them with a unique opportunity to gain practical, specialized, and engaging law enforcement experience. Students can fully immerse themselves in various units and gain insights into the law enforcement profession that are not typically available in a traditional classroom setting.
The program offers exposure to all aspects of law enforcement, allowing students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted responsibilities of the criminal justice system. Interns will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced law enforcement professionals and learn from their expertise. The internship introduces students to a wide range of career opportunities available to them should they choose to pursue a career in law enforcement.
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, OR a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) 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.
MPD offers year-round internships (Fall, Spring, and Summer) aligned with academic calendar semesters. During Spring and Fall Semesters, students must commit to completing a minimum of 16 hours per week for at least 14 weeks. For the Summer program, students must commit to completing a minimum of 24 hours per week for at least 8 weeks.
Students may work part-time jobs outside of MPD provided their work hours do not interfere with their MPD assignments and hourly requirements. Certain internship assignments may require students to work rotating shifts or shifts outside of the regular 9:00 am to 5:00 pm schedule commonly used by private sector employers. In such cases, students will be informed of the hours prior to accepting the internship.
As part of the program, each intern will complete a capstone project, including a written and oral report, on a certain function of the department.
- The main objective of the capstone project is to identify an area for improvement within the department and propose practical solutions to enhance the effectiveness of that particular function.
- Interns can integrate their personal interests into the project to provide a unique perspective and innovative ideas.
- The capstone project is a research or practical project that reflects interns' understanding of the concepts and skills they have acquired during their internship.
- The project may include a presentation component as well, which will give interns the opportunity to showcase their work and present their findings to their peers and MPD staff.
- The capstone project is an important aspect of the internship program, as it allows interns to apply their skills and knowledge to real-world scenarios and develop practical solutions to complex issues.
- Complete the application form.
- Once you submit your application, you will be prompted to submit the following:
- Resume (PDF)
- 1-2 page writing sample
- An interview.
Upon completion of the previously stated steps, eligible candidates will be contacted by a team member of the Strategic Engagement Office for next steps. Following receiving a conditional offer, candidates will begin their comprehensive background investigation. Candidates must complete questionnaires, upload necessary documents, and provide personal and professional references. Upon successful completion, candidates will receive notification of their placement at least two weeks before their start date, along with further instructions to complete the processing requirements.
Throughout the application process, candidates may be requested to participate in an in-person or phone interview. In the event that an intern applicant is not selected for the program, they will be notified of the outcome.
- The opportunity for students to earn academic credit through their college or university for their participation in the program.
- Access to ride-alongs and seminars that provide firsthand insight into the daily operations of law enforcement.
- The chance to observe operations at the Joint Operation Command Center, which serves as the primary hub for the coordination of emergency response activities in the city.
- A tour of the Metropolitan Police Academy Training Facility, and the opportunity to act as actors in simulations for recruit classes (when possible).
- Hands-on experience in the field that allows students to learn more about law enforcement and the criminal justice system in practice.
- Exposure to a diverse range of career paths in law enforcement and related fields, which can help students make more informed decisions about their future career aspirations.
- The opportunity to develop professional skills and make valuable connections with law enforcement professionals and other interns.
- Fall 2023 Semester: August 28, 2023 - December 1, 2023
- Application Deadline: May 1, 2023
- Spring 2024 Semester: January 22, 2024 - April 26, 2024
- Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
- Summer 2024 Semester: June 3, 2024 - August 2, 2024
- Application Deadline: March 13, 2024
- Fall 2024 Semester: September 3, 2024 - December 6, 2024
- Application Deadline: April 24, 2024
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.
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
- Technical and Analytical Services Bureau is looking to fill the following intern positions:
- IT Specialist (CCTV)
- IT Specialist (Networking)
- Business Intelligence Architect
- Inventory Specialist
- Data Team