MPA Internships

The PDF document for the Internship Work Plan has been updated.  Downloadable files can be found below.

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.

An internship must be with a non-profit organization or government agency to receive academic credit.


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 submitted to the Graduate Programs Manager at least 1-2 weeks 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 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. Submit internship evaluation forms by the last day of classes for the semester (not the last day of finals).  The Graduate Programs Manager will provide both links to the student at least 2 weeks in advance prior to the last day of classes, or upon request.

  • Student Internship Evaluation Form (to be completed by the student)
  • Internship Supervisor Evaluation Form (to be completed by the internship supervisor)

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 seeking an Internship Waiver must complete 4-5 core classes prior to submitting a waiver request.

  • Students who are approved of the Internship Waiver must complete an additional 3-unit elective course in lieu of internship credit.

*Please note that if you are an active Coverdell Fellow, the MPA internship is automatically waived.  This simply means that you will replace the internship units by enrolling in a 3-unit graduate elective course (in addition to the 12 elective units already required for the program) instead of the internship (PA 593).  However, you still have a choice to complete an internship in addition to your fellowship regardless of this waiver.  If you decide to complete an internship, you must adhere 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.


Please DO NOT change the fillable PDF document to a Word file to complete.  This distorts the document and will not be accepted.