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.
While finding an internship is the student's responsibility, the MPA office staff will assist you with internship placements and networking opportunities. To ensure that your internship will meet the requirements set by the MPA program, please provide a detailed job description to the MPA program manager for approval.
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).
The Value of an Internship
Internships provide MPA students with real-world experience in relevant internationally related capacities.
- Build your resume
- Apply coursework to real-world situations
- Network with leaders in your industry
- Gain invaluable profession experience
- Jumpstart your post-MPA career
Planning your Internship
MPA students should start planning for their internship as early as possible.
Your internship should meet the following criteria:
- It relates to your intended career goal(s),
- It is a responsible position with professional supervision
- It provides master's-level learning experiences.
The location of your internship should be related to your professional interests and goals. You can visit the MPA's Career Services page for additional resources that can help you in your search.
After your Internship
The student must provide a detailed 2-3 page summary report at the conclusion of the internship. Please submit this summary using
the link below. Be sure that you include the following information in the summary
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.
Students with at least six months 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 incoming students is due October 1 of the first semester of study. 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 submit it using the link below. 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.
University Internship Resources