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MPA Internships

School of Politics, Public Affairs & International Studies

MPA Student Internship Requirement

WaiverContractPaper Guidelines

All MPA students are required to complete a 3 credit hour internship program as part of their program requirements (which counts toward their 15 hours of elective credit) unless they can demonstrate at least two (2) years of progressive administrative experience in a public or non profit organization (see waiver information below). Waivers must be completed and submitted to the MPA Director during a student's first year of coursework. Students currently employed may not use that as their internship experience.

Purpose of an Internship

  • Gain valuable administrative experience
  • Bring real-world elements to your program of study
  • Establish contacts in the public and non-profit sectors

Pre-Service MPA Students

Students who have little or no appropriate administrative experience (usually less than 2 years of no more than entry level experience) are required to complete a 3 credit hour internship in order to complete the degree program. The program strongly encourages students to serve an internship in an area of interest to them at a governmental agency or non-profit organization.

Planning for an Internship

Prior to their beginning an internship, MPA students must complete an MPA Internship Contract in conjunction with their potential employer and submit it to the MPA Director for approval. The MPA program tries to help students find appropriate internships but students should seek out their own internship opportunities as much as possible. Students should contact the MPA Director prior to finding an internship for direction and tentative approval. Students may begin their internship at any time during their coursework.

Students, in order to complete the internship requirements, must enroll in POLS 5500 and complete the equivalent of 150 hours of work. In addition, students will be required to complete and submit to the MPA Director a final 10-15 page paper on the internship experience (guidelines for the paper can be obtained from the MPA Director upon approval of the internship). All internship requirements must be completed prior to graduation.

Possible Internship Opportunities

Students are expected to find internship opportunities in their area of interest. While the MPA program will help students as much as possible in identifying opportunities, students are expected to pursue internship opportunities on their own. The Department does however offer several internship opportunities that MPA students may take advantage. MPA students are eligible for the Legislative Internship in Cheyenne during the spring. In addition, various Wyoming cities such as Casper offer summer internships for graduate students.

Important Aspects of an Internship

  • Must be with a public sector or non profit organization
  • Must include hands on administrative duties
  • Must be approved by MPA Director
  • Can be either paid or non paid
  • Must be equivalent to 150 hours of work
  • Grades for the internship course are give as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory
  • Must be competed prior to graduation

In-Service Student Waiver

Students may request a waiver of the internship requirement if they can demonstrate at least two (2) years of progressive administrative experience in a public, non-profit, or private administrative setting. Student experience will be judged on a case by case basis but demonstrably significant work experience in an appropriate profession will be considered. In such cases where the waiver is approved, three hours of additional electives must be taken for a total of 15 as a substitution. The request form must be submitted to the MPA Director for approval. Students are encouraged to submit this waiver the same semester they are admitted to the program in order to ensure their unimpeded progress in the program.

Contact Us

Masters of Public Administration Program

Department 3197 | A&S 208

1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)-766-6484


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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