Internships & Career Development

The MPA program strongly supports its students professional development outside the classroom. In order to ensure that our graduates are prepared for a fruitful career, the program requires all MPA's to engage in an internship. Students must complete a 3 credit/200 hour Internship with a local nonprofit, organization or government agency. All Internship inquiries should be directed to Craig Smith.

o   Internship Packets are available in the SGPP main office, Social Sciences 315. (Or you may click on the link below and print one)

o   Internship Waivers are available to career students, working full time, with THREE years of managerial/supervisory experience.

o   Students seeking an Internship Waiver must provide proof of work history and managerial/supervisory experience. Inquiries should be directed to Jun Peng.

o   Students who receive the Internship Waiver must complete an additional 3 credit concentration course in lieu of the 3 credit internship requirement. 

o   ALL MPA STUDENTS must write a Professional Experience Paper, linking course work and theory to employment experiences.

The MPA is the most versatile professional degree for students entering the nonprofit and government sectors. A MPA from SGPP prepares students to work in the fields of local government and nonprofit management, public and nonprofit financial management, criminal justice or healthcare administration, and natural resource management.

The School of Public Administration and Policy is dedicated to ensuring students receive hands-on career training throughout their program of study. All MPA students are required to complete a 3 credit/200 hour on-the-job internship experience. Internship Waivers are available for career students with managerial experience. Students have been placed in prestigious internship positions at the municipal, state and federal government, with nonprofit organization and international agencies.

Students receive career guidance throughout the program of study, with particular emphasis placed on career placement during the final year of study. Students will develop a personal portfolio of skills that not only emphasizes their studies, but can also be used to market the professional skills they have attained in the program.

Students are also encouraged to visit UA’s Career Services Office to learn more about career development workshops, on-campus interviews and career fairs.

These career development opportunities ensure our students have a better understanding of the political environment, leadership potential, and overall work performance than employees with other professional degrees.

General Career Placement Data

Each year MPA graduates find career positions with local, state, and federal government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations. While the percentages vary each year, typically 50% of graduates are placed with local and state goverment agencies, 25% with nonprofit organizations and an additional 25% with federal positions.

MPA students prepare professional portfolios highlighting the skills they have learned in their tenure with the program as part of their graduation requirements. These portfolios are used to secure career positions and many employers ask for them as part of the interview process.

MPA students also have access to the University Career Services Department. This department offers a full complement of resume writing, networking, interviewing techniques and other career development services.