Eastern Michigan University
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Pre-service students (i.e., those who have not worked in the public or nonprofit sectors) are required to complete an internship and register for PLSC 688 (Practicum in Public Affairs). If a student was pre-service when he or she entered the program but has secured a public or nonprofit sector position and will work there for at least a year, the student can seek to have the internship requirement waived. This waiver will only be given after the work experience is completed and not on the promise of employment.

Pre-service students should contact the Internship Director at the beginning of their academic work to discuss areas of interest for assignments. Students should also consult with the Internship Director at least one semester before they plan on completing an internship to identify a specific placement and receive permission to register for the internship credits. Normally, the internship should be completed during the last third of the MPA curriculum and involves a minimum of 300 hours in an appropriate placement setting. Students in a placement also participate in a weekly seminar to share experiences and discuss specific issues with the faculty director and other interns. See our Internships website for more information on expectations and possible placement opportunities.

Internship Waiver Form for MPA Students


Students who are working in the field or who have had significant experience in the field are considered in-service. Those with no or little experience in the field are categorized as pre-service.

Examples of Internship Placements for Pre-Service Students 2017-18
U.S. Nonprofits
  • American Red Cross - Ann Arbor, MI
  • Animals and Society Institute - Ann Arbor, MI
  • Washtenaw Literacy - Ypsilanti, MI
  • Wayne State University: Center for Urban Studies - Detroit, MI
Local Government
  • Livonia Housing Commission - Livonia, MI
  • Van Buren Charter Township Clerk's Office - Van Buren Township, MI

Information for Agencies

Learn how to become an internship placement agency

To publicize internship opportunities at your agency, please send the position description and application instructions to MPA Coordinator Rose Jindal at rsoliven@emich.edu.