Skip to main content

Engineering, Science and Law Internship Program

The internship program will remain on hiatus for 2023. We appreciate your interest and hope to resume the program in summer 2024. Please check this webpage in January 2024 for updates.

​The Illinois EPA is seeking engineering, chemistry, natural science and law students that are interested in a career in public service for our summer term Engineering, Science and Law Internship (ESLI).  The focus of this 12-week paid internship is to provide students with real world experience in the duties and assignments of our engineering, remedial management, laboratory and legal staff and how this work is integral to the protection and betterment of Illinois' environment.  Depending on placement, interns will acquire basic knowledge of statutes and regulations; permitting; remedial site review; or laboratory technique. No other internship provides students with the knowledge and application of Illinois and federal environmental regulations that will prepare them for careers in public service, industry or the non-profit sector.

Intern placement will be in one of four areas:

Engineering (6 positions): Interns will work in an Agency permit section. Interns will learn the application of state and federal air, water and land disposal laws and regulations to facilities through the permitting of such sources. The end result of the internship will be one or more drafted permits.

Chemistry & related fields (2 positions): Interns will work in the Agency laboratory.  Interns will run samples; learn proper chain of custody; learn how to use and run a variety of analytical equipment. The end result of the internship will be extensive experience in a professional laboratory running samples.

Natural Sciences (2 positions): Interns will work in either the Bureau of Water's Groundwater Section or the Bureau of Land's Site Remediation Program. Interns will be working alongside environmental protection geologists and specialists to review technical reports, assist with GIS applications and apply laws and regulations governing groundwater resource protection and contaminated site cleanups. The end result will be the ability to prepare routine and scientific documents concerning pollution control or pollution abatement.

Legal (2 positions): Interns will work alongside attorneys preparing legal filings, reviewing legal documents, researching case law, statutes and regulations, and writing legal memorandum. The end result will be the ability to review and prepare briefs on current environmental laws.


Eligibility criteria:

  • Be a rising Junior, Senior or Graduate student pursuing an engineering, chemistry, natural science or other related science degree; a student enrolled in Law school.
  • Be a permanent Illinois resident or attend a university/college in Illinois.
  • Be a US citizen or authorized to work lawfully in the United States during the entire period of employment.  Employment eligibility will be verified at the start of employment in accordance with applicable law.  We will not provide employment visa sponsorship for this position.
  • Possess a valid driver's license.


Applicants for this internship must:

  • Complete, sign and submit the application including a cover letter, resume, letter of recommendation and transcript. Applications must be received no later than February 28, 2020.
  • If selected from the applicant pool, attend a face-to-face interview in Springfield.  Interviews will be scheduled on Friday, March 13, 2020 and Monday, March 16, 2020.


Internship Information and Logistics:

  • Interns are paid $2039/month.
  • All positions are in Springfield at the at the Illinois EPA headquarters or laboratory.
  • Internships are 12 weeks and nominally begin on Monday, May 18, 2020 and end August 14, 2020. Start and end dates may be negotiated to accommodate varied college schedules but interns must commit to working for 12 full weeks.
  • Work hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The work schedule follows the regular state of Illinois work schedule including state holidays.  Extended vacations should be scheduled before and after the dates of the internship.
  • You must provide your own housing and transportation.
  • Illinois EPA encourages interns to seek academic credit for the internship through their educational institution.  Interns are responsible for fulfilling any requirements needed to obtain academic credit and should disclose the need to seek academic credit at the time of the interview.