Valdez Fellowship

The Valdez Fellowship is designed to identify the country’s most talented students aspiring to executive levels in local government. For more information on previous Senior Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Arizona Joel Valdez, click here.


Valdez Fellows receive the knowledge, training, and necessary experience to become future city/county managers in local government.

  • Paid Management Internship Position

    • In both their first year and second year, Valdez Fellows enjoy the prestige associated with working as a paid management intern for the Towns of Marana and Oro Valley (earning 6 credit hours for internship, to apply towards MPA degree completion).

  • UA International City/County Management Association Membership

    • Must serve as an active and engaged UA ICMA Board member either as a de-facto position, or apply and be selected for one of the five other open positions (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Communications Chair, Undergrad Recruitment Chair, or Grad/Alumni Recruitment Chair).

    • Responsibilities include being the local government liaison for the organization, and ensuring the board's commitment to its academic year strategic plan. 

  • Arizona City/County Management Association Membership, which includes ACMA Summer Conference Attendance.


Application Process

Applicants to the Valdez Fellowship program are accepted once every two years (odd years only) for admission to begin in the Fall semester. The program will admit one student based on a competitive application review process designed to identify the most talented individual aspiring to executive levels in local government.

To apply:

  1. Submit an application for admission via GradApp to the Master of Public Administration program.
  2. Receive admission to the program from the University of Arizona Graduate College.
  3. Submit an application to the Valdez Fellowship for committee review.

Eligibility requirements:

  • All applicants must submit an application for admission to the University of Arizona Graduate College for the Master of Public Administration program.
  • Applicants must receive an official admission notification from the University of Arizona Graduate College before applying to the Valdez Fellowship.
  • Admission to the MPA program and an application for the Valdez Fellowship program must be received by the posted deadline for consideration.
  • All applicants must be considered incoming graduate students at the time of application. Students currently in the Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) are not eligible to apply to the Valdez Fellowship program.

The application for the Fall 2021 Valdez Fellowship is now closed.