An internship gives you an opportunity to gain administrative experience in your chosen field, speeds the transition from student to practitioner, and facilitates the application of theory to the world of administrative practice. It is typically an experience that:
- relates to your planned career goal(s),
- is a responsible position with professional supervision, and
- provides masters-level learning experiences.
*Please note: Executive MPA students are exempt from the internship and internship waiver requirements below.
Students who have not had appropriate administrative experience in the public and/or nonprofit sectors entering the MPA Program must complete a compensated internship of 300-plus hours. Private work experience will be judged on a case-by-case basis, based on job duties and primary work with the public/nonprofit sector. The internship may be completed in one semester or spread out over multiple semesters to total the 300-plus hours.
Please provide a detailed job description to the MPA program manager for approval. While finding an internship is the student's responsibility, the MPA office staff will assist you with internship placements and networking opportunities.
The internship course, PADMN 6910, carries a minimum of 3 semester credit hours. In unusual circumstances, some agencies require students to complete a longer internship program. In such instances, students may register for up to 12 credit hours of internship credit. Students may also complete an internship that is part-time over two semesters (please see program manager for approval). A CR/NC (Credit/No Credit) grade is earned for the internship based on the following three documents: job description, job evaluation and job summary. Though the credit is required, it does not count toward the 42 required course credits because it is not a course and does not include academic requirements.
The job description should include a list of all duties and objectives of the internship as negotiated between, and approved by the intern, MPA Program Manager, and agency supervisor. Please also include the time frame of the internship (especially hours), supervisor name and contact information and compensation amount (compensation is required, but this does not have to be monetary).
Internship Experience Report
The student must provide a detailed 2-3 page electronic form summary report at the conclusion of the internship. Please send this to the MPA Program Manager and include the following information in the summary report:
1. Examples of application of theoretical and practical concepts gained from the MPA Curriculum.
2. Evaluation of the internship. Please evaluate overall experience, agency, job and make recommendations to the MPA regarding future placements of interns with the agency and in the position.
3. Supervisor's name and contact information.
4. Hours spent working at the internship and compensation.
Students with at least one year of appropriate administrative experience in the public or nonprofit sector may seek a waiver of the internship requirement. The appropriateness of experience will be evaluated by the MPA Program Manager. The internship waiver for Fall 2016 incoming students is due in electronic copy form on Sep. 29, 2016 to the MPA Program Manager. The review of waivers typically takes one month, and you will be notified by the MPA Program if the requirement is waived or not. If you miss the deadline, please still complete the waiver and turn it in in electronic form. Please plan for additional time to clear the waiver if submitted late.
Documentation in support of the waiver will consist of:
1. Contact information for supervisor, job title of position, and dates of employment
2. Request for waiver of the internship report: 2-3 page paper that elaborates the duties, special responsibilities, and major functions of the position. It also explains how the position provided administrative experience especially in observation of, or participation in the policy process and the observation of the nature of organizational behavior.
If you are interested in an internship please contact the MPA program staff. You can also find other internship postings through:
Where have MPA students previously interned?
As an example, MPA students have interned with the following organizations in the past:
- Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development
- 2nd District Juvenile Court
- City of West Valley
- Utah Cultural Celebration Center
- City of Lehi
- City of Murray- Legislative
- Park City Municipal Corporation
- Utah State Democratic Party
- HEAL Utah
- Utah League of Cities and Towns
- Utah Office of the Legislative Auditor General
- Utah Film Commission
Also visit our Internship Experiences page to learn more about previous student internships!