MPA Internships

**Due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, all internships must be 100% remote to receive academic credit.  At this time, it is recommended to wait until Spring 2021 or later to complete the internship requirement.  As a result, the MPA Internship will now be optional for at least 1 year (to be reassessed at the end of Spring 2021). Please contact your Graduate Programs Manager for additional information.**

Internship Benefits
Internships provide an integral part of the Master of Public Administration experience. Internships:
  • Increase your ability to find employment

  • Provide an opportunity to "test drive" a career using skills learned in the MPA program

  • Develop a network of professional contacts

MPA Internship Learning Outcomes

In an internship setting, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to do at least 3 of the following; students may use this as a loose guideline in searching for appropriate internships. 

  • Demonstrate the ability to lead and manage in public governance

  • Demonstrate the ability to participate in and contribute to the policy process

  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions

  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate and apply a public service perspective

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

SGPP Requirements

Master of Public Administration students are REQUIRED to complete a 3 unit internship (135 total hours); these hours must be completed within the span of one semester.

Internships may be in government agencies or non-profit organizations, and, in rare cases with proven relevance to the public and non-profit sector, with for-profit organizations


10 Steps to Find, Secure and Enroll in an Internship: 

Finding an internship is similar to the process of securing employment. Students need to contact organizations of interest and apply for an internship in the same way that they would a job.

Initial 5 Steps: Secure the Internship

   1.  Plan ahead! Depending on location, apply 2-12 months before your start date.

   2.  Understand internship eligibility and requirements, see above.

   3.  Prepare resume and cover letter (UA Career Development office can help).

   4.  Research internship options and apply to multiple organizations.

  • View pre-approved MPA internships
  • View the UA Career Development information.
    • Many internship hosts (to include public and non-profit sectors) use Handshake to post internships for UA students. 
  • Search online for 501(c)(3) non-profit or government agencies in your interest areas

   5.  Internship Approval and Acceptance

  • Internships found at organizations on the SGPP website are preapproved.
  • If you have found an internship NOT on our website, you must get approval for the internship by emailing the Graduate Programs Manager. Please clearly describe your interest in the organization and how you believe it will be applicable to your future career. 

      *International students must apply for and receive Curricular Practical Training (CPT) approval from International Student Services (ISS) before participating. More information can be found on the ISS website under F-1 Student Employment: Curricular Practical Training.

Final 5 Steps: Earn Internship Credit and Receive a Grade (PA 593)

   6.  Complete the INTERNSHIP WORK PLAN with your site supervisor once you have been offered an internship and it has been approved - this must be turned in to the Graduate Programs Manager before the start of classes for the semester you wish to complete your internship. 

   7.  Submit the completed work plan to the Graduate Programs Manager.  Since the PDF is fillable, please submit the work plan via email.

   8.  After instructor assignment and approval, the Graduate Programs Manager enrolls student in 3 units of PA 593 - students will receive an email confirmation once you are enrolled. 

   9.  Pay UA course tuition and check UAccess schedule for enrollment accuracy. It is the student's responsibility that you are enrolled in the correct number of credits in the correct semester prior to the start of the semester. 

  10. Complete the internship by submitting the following forms to the Gradaute Programs Manager by the last day of classes for the semester (not the last day of finals). 

Additional Information

Internship Hours:

  • must be completed within the designated dates of your course enrollment.

  • will be tracked by the site supervisor and the intern.

  • will be reported by the site supervisor at the end of the internship.

Internship Waivers are available to career students, working full time, with at least THREE years of managerial/supervisory experience.

  • Students seeking an Internship Waiver must provide proof of work history and managerial/supervisory experience.

  • Students who receive the Internship Waiver must complete an additional 3 credit concentration course in lieu of the 3 credit internship requirement.

*Please note that if you are an active Coverdell Fellow, you will be allowed to use your Fellowship as an internship replacement. This simply means that you may take a replacement 3-unit graduate elective class instead of an internship, and you will not be enrolled in 3 units of PA 593, the internship course. You will still be required to complete 42 total units to graduate. You may also choose to take an additional 3-unit internship adhering to all of the guidelines above. 

Tuition, Fees, and Registration Deadlines

Internship credit is regular academic credit. Therefore, all regular university tuition rates, fees, and deadlines apply.