MPA Internship Guidelines
The internship requirement is an integral part of the MPA student's preparation for employment in the public and non-profit sector. The internship is supervised, field experience in which the student observes and participates in the functioning of a public sector organization in a government or not-for-profit organization. The MPA program at UTEP requires three semester hours of internship credit for pre-service students. PAD 5366 Internship in Public Administration is part of the 9 hours of area concentration for pre-service students.
Purpose of Internship:
- To bring a real-world element to your educational experiences.
- To provide valuable experience and an opportunity to establish contacts within the community.
- To provide experience that will potentially lead to a full-time employment after graduation.
Planning for an Internship:
- Begin planning for an internship and exploring possibilities in the initial advisement session.
- The MPA Coordinator and Advisor can assist the student in identifying internship opportunities in the area.
- Ask professors for additional resources and contacts in the community.
- Develop and maintain contacts in the field that interest you.
- Explore as many avenues as possible.
- Do your research before attempting to contact a representative of the organization.
- Be prepared for an interview.
- Do not commit to an internship too early in the program as your interest may change.
Important aspects of an Internship:
- It must be in a public service organization.
- You should have a personal interest in the organization.
- The internship should include hands-on administrative duties.
- The internship should provide richer and more challenging experiences than that of an undergraduate internship.
- Approval of the MPA Program Coordinator.
- A contract between the students, supervisor, and MPA Coordinator.
- A Mid-Semester Review.
- A final paper summarizing your experience.
- A minimum of 15 semester hours earned prior to enrolling in the internship course.
Students who are in-service (have at least three years of significant work experience) are not required to participate in the internship. The MPA Coordinator will determine at the time of application to the program whether an internship will be required of a student.
- To assist in your search Public Service Careers and USA Jobs are places where policy related internships (and many jobs) are often posted.