MPA Internships


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 588 (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 a 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 page for more information on expectations and possible placement opportunities.


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 Placement for Pre-Service Students 2018-19

Local Government
  • Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones' Office - Detroit, MI
  • Jackson County - Jackson County, MI
  • City of Royal Oak - City of Royal Oak, MI
  • Van Buren Charter Township - Van Buren Charter Township, MI
  • Office of the Honorable Debbie Dingell - Ypsilanti, MI
  • Wayne Westland Primary and Urgent Care - Wayne, MI
Nonprofit Organization
  • The Borgen Project - Seattle, WA
International Government
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic - Prague, Czech Republic


Information for Agencies

Learn how to become an internship placement agency [PDF].

To publicize internship opportunities at your agency, please send the position description and application instructions to MPA Coordinator Rose Jindal at [email protected].