A vital component of the MPA curriculum is the internship (PMGT 5800) or the consultantship (PMGT 5820). Participation in an internship helps to develop the student's awareness of the internal dynamics of a city's or agency's organization. It also conveys the atmosphere in which the public professional must work, the substantive responsibilities of their job, the administrative and political arena of various projects and their relationship with superiors, co-workers and subordinates.
The internship program mutually benefits the student and the organizations in which they are placed. The intern is given the opportunity to test career objectives, to obtain professional experience and contacts, and to develop a greater sense of responsibility and independence. The organization receives assistance in administration, benefits from the intern's academic and theoretical learning, the intern's prior job experience, and derives temporary staff help from the internship arrangement.
All MPA students are required to complete an internship, unless permission has been granted to serve a consultantship. Internships require at least 300 hours, may last up to six months in duration, and counts for 3-6 credit hours. In order to receive academic credit, an internship must have prior approval from the director. The students must have their advisory committee formed prior to beginning the internship.
Each student is responsible for coordinating the internship through the program director, Dr. David Briley, email@example.com, or the student's committee. Efforts to secure an internship should begin a semester prior to the start of the internship.