MPA INTERNSHIP GUIDELINES
Introduction to the MPA Internship Experience
The MPA internship is designed to provide practical experience to pre-service students and in-service students wishing to gain experience in the public/not-for-profit sector. The experiential component consists of a part-time (paid or unpaid) position in a public service, not-for-profit sector or related private sector organization. The academic portion of the internship consists of the completion of a single semester of PA 5389.
Normally, a student intern will work an average of 15-20 hours per week for the 3 hours of PA 5389 credit. The academic component of the public service internship includes a required practical project/research paper and the completion of assigned readings.
An internship is required for all pre-service students, but may be taken by graduate students that are practitioners that are looking to move into a different area of public or not-for-profit sector. The required internship for pre-service students is in addition to the 39-hour MPA curriculum. The internship may be counted as an elective primarily for practitioners that are wishing to make a career change.
Additional details concerning the MPA internship program can be obtained by contacting the Internship Director. For Spring 2021, the Internship Director will be Dr. Howard Balanoff. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his phone number is 512-245-3266.
Required Internship Forms
1. All current MPA students are required to complete an Internship form to match those MPA students that desire to have an internship with organizations that are looking to hire interns. Click here to access the required student form. The form can also be accessed by opening the Internship link at the top of the MPA website page.
The MPA Internship is primarily designed to provide practical on-the-job experience to pre- service students. The academic component consists of part-time (paid or unpaid) on-the-job experience in a government-related office or a non-profit or private sector organization. The purpose of the internship is to provide MPA students with an immersion-learning, integrative practicum. Ideally, the internship experience provides professional experience and an opportunity to integrate theories learned in the classroom with practical experience. In addition, the student intern is exposed to the daily routines, processes, procedures, and expectations of work life in the public and third sectors.
The internship is a structured educational work experience, where students take a responsible role and contribute to a public administration organization. Through the internship, the student should learn new skills, expand their knowledge of management or policy. The student should also be able to explore career options, and apply academic knowledge in a “real- life” situation. The internship should also facilitate the development of professional skills such as finance, planning, organizing and leadership.
Prior to registering the student must contact Dr. Howard Balanoff, the Internship Director and get permission to register. Dr. Balanoff’s email is email@example.com and his phone number is 512-245-3266.
The student is expected to work a total of about 240-300 hours over the course of the internship. This usually averages to 20 hours a week for 12-15 weeks. The student should document the hours worked in the Internship Manual. In addition to the work the Intern is required to complete a 10-15-page project/research paper on a management and/or policy area related to the Internship.
The student must complete the required paperwork that is found in the Internship Manual. Click on the links below to download the required internship forms.
Intern Interview Verification
Public Service Release
Student Intern Responsibilities
Weekly Internship Time Sheet
Midterm Internship Evaluation Form
Final Internship Evaluation Form
The student should maintain a copy of the signed forms in the Internship Manual and provide a copy to the Department of Political Science. Journal: The student should keep a daily journal in the Internship Manual.
Meetings with Internship Director (Dr. Howard Balanoff)
Over the course of the internship the student should have at least two meetings with Dr. Balanoff (one meeting may be over the telephone) and send Dr. Balanoff at least two email communications that indicate progress in internship activities. Meetings should be documented in the Internship Manual. All email communication should be kept in the MPA student’s Internship Manual. All materials collected in the Internship Manual should be turned in at the end of the internship.
Financial Support for MPA Interns: The William P. Hobby Center for Public Service Government Intern Fellowship Program
Each semester Texas State University’s William P. Hobby Center for Public Service provides up to $3000 in financial support for 1 or 2 Graduate Interns that are participating in the Hobby Center’s “Government Intern Fellows Program”.
Normally, during each academic semester, interns selected as Fellows are required to complete a 240 - 300-hour Internship during an academic semester at a governmental entity (i.e., city, county, state agency) that is participating in the Hobby Center Government Intern Fellowship Program. Interns who are receiving the Hobby Intern Fellowship must also register for the Public Administration Graduate Internship Course which is PA 5389 in the semester that they are doing their internship.
A unique feature about the Texas State University “Government Intern Fellows Program” is that the graduate students designated as “Fellows” can receive up to a $3000 stipend for a semester from Texas State University’s Hobby Center for completing a 240 - 300-hour Internship. The internship is normally 20 hours per week for 12-15 weeks in an academic semester in a local, state, federal, or non-profit organization.
Governmental entities participating in the Hobby Intern Fellowship Program are required to contribute 50% i.e., $1500 toward a $3000, stipend which is deposited into the Interns Student Business Services (SBS) Account. The stipend is used by the student to defray the cost of tuition and fees.
The Hobby Intern Fellows Program has been in existence since the Spring 2015 semester. Cities that have participated in this Program include the cities of San Marcos, Buda, Kyle, Georgetown and Round Rock.
MPA students interested in the Hobby Intern Fellowship Program should contact Dr. Howard Balanoff for additional information. Dr. Balanoff’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization Sponsoring Internships
Cities, counties, state agencies and other public, not-for-profit, and related private sector organizations wishing to hire an MPA Graduate Student Intern should complete the Employer Intern Data Request Form. Click here for the form or pull down the “Employer Intern Request Data Form” link at the top of the MPA Website.
Examples of Internship Sponsors
MPA students looking for Internships should consider putting organizations such as those listed below in their web browser and contacting individuals at these organizations about the availability of paid and unpaid internships. Many of these organizations have sponsored Texas State University MPA Interns in the past.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Office of Management & Budget (OMB)
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- Attorney General’s Office
- Health and Human Services Commission (Paid)
- Texas Dept. Public Safety, Homeland Security-Austin
- Texas Department of Public Safety, Auditors Office
- Texas General Land Office
- Capital Metro, Transit Department
- City of Austin, Public Information
- City of Buda
- City of Bulverde
- City of Georgetown
- City of Kyle
- City of New Braunfels
- City of Round Rock
- City of San Marcos
- City of West University Place
- Travis County Intergovernmental Relations Office
Texas State University Internship Organizations
- Development and Grants Department
- Geography Dept. Gov’t Partnerships Program
- Texas State University, Career Services
- Center for Public Policy Priorities Internship-Austin (Paid)
- Haven for Hope (San Antonio)
- Human Resources Intern
- Organizational Development Intern with Human Resources
- Congressional Hispanic Caucasus Institute Congressional Internship Program
- Office of the the Commissioners Lisa Birkman; Williamson County, Pct. One
- The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program
- The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) (Paid)
- TX State Senator Lloyd Doggett’s Office
- Texas State Senate Office, Senator Shapiro
MPA Intern Contact Information
MPA students interested in obtaining an Internship should contact the Internship Director, Dr. Howard Balanoff for additional information. Dr. Balanoff’s email is email@example.com and his phone number is 512-245-3266.