Your Action Timeline

Summer 2024 Timeline for Internship: Application to Approval

  • February - March - attend an introduction session, apply for SPA internship, and schedule an internship intake interview (recommended one semester prior to participating in internship)

  • March - April - use suggested resources to identify, research, search, and apply for multiple relevant work-learning/internship opportunities

  • By May 17 - accept/decline the internship(s) for which you have been selected and fill out the first documents for approval

  • By June 14- complete internship confirmation and competencies documents with supervisor/agency to start final agreement and approval for credit

  • By June 28- all parties complete the approval agreement, and the student is cleared to register for PAF484/584 in summer 2024

  • You may also use this timeline to be on track for registration and participation in fall 2024 for internships that recruit in spring

Introduction to Internship

An internship is a professional development experience that enhances your education by providing an opportunity for you to

  • Explore work and career pathways in public and community service

  • Apply classroom knowledge and skills to professional projects and workplace solutions

  • Develop highly valued transferable skills and competencies in leadership and management 

  • Build professional relationships and establish yourself as an emerging professional

  • Understand recruitment and hiring processes and trends for a successful transition and gain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace!

Junior or senior students planning to graduate in August  or December 2024 should prepare now for internship in the Summer or Fall 2024.  On average, identifying, seeking, and securing an internship takes approximately 3-6 months.  New Applications for summer and fall 2024 will be accepted February - May, 2024.

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) Internship Program

The SPA Office of Career and Professional Development assists students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy (all concentrations) to explore career interests and build career readiness and competencies through internship, service-learning and other professional development activities. Graduate students pursuing a Master's of Public Administration, Master's of Public Policy, or Master's of Emergency Management & Homeland Security may also elect to participate in professional development activities to enhance skills and experience for post-graduation employment and advancement.  Both undergraduate and graduate students may earn academic credit toward their degree for their work-learning experience, through participation in the Internship course, PAF484 or PAF584, respectively.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) research has found a strong positive relationship between student participation in internships and increased probability of receiving professional employment offers while searching for post-graduation work prior to and upon graduation.  Recruiting and hiring in the field of public service is no different than other occupations - Everyone wants to hire knowledgeable and skilled candidates.

First steps to identifying, seeking, and qualifying an internship for professional development

1.    Attend a SPA Internship Introduction Session -recommended: one semester prior to the semester that you plan to participate in an internship and the PAF484 or PAF 584 course. Register for an Introduction Session. Virtual workshops for students seeking Summer or Fall 2024 internships are scheduled, Fridays 12-1 pm, February 9 through April 19.  

2.    Prepare a SPA Internship Application for Summer and Fall 2024

3.    Meet with the Internship Coordinator for an Intake Interview, to learn about current opportunities, review your application and promotional materials, develop a search plan, or qualify an internship for which you have been selected for credit and participation in the PAF484/584 course, during the same semester.  Intake Interviews for summer 2024 will be conducted from February through May 2024.

Student Professional Development Preparation Workshops

The School of Public Affairs Office of Career and Professional Development presents hands-on workshops for students to develop effective self-marketing tools and skills to promote yourself professionally.  Review workshop descriptions, determine the assistance you need, then register for either a virtual or in-person session via the link provided. - See FALL 2023 Professional Development Workshops dates and registration links posted below.


Effective Resume Writing and Powerful Introductions

  • Learn how to introduce yourself and demonstrate skills, knowledge and experience through all your application, prospecting and referral documents and conversations.
  • Present yourself professionally throughout the recruitment, hiring and on-boarding processes.
  • Get noticed for the right reasons!

                     February 6, 12-1 pm, February 21, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, and February 29, 5 - 6 pm

                                                                       Register here

Conducting an Effective Job Search

  • Discover best practices for identifying, applying and securing your dream internship (or first-destination professional employment post-graduation)
  • Learn how to apply the highly effective RSF Method and timeline to maximize your search efforts in the next few months

                   March 13, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, March 19 12 - 1pm, March 28, 5 - 6 pm

                                                                    Register here

Practicing Successful Interviewing Skills

  • Learn and practice the highly effective STAR method of interview preparation to ace professional interviews for internship, first-destination post-graduation employment or promotion
  • Let's get the hiring conversation started!

                    April 2, 12 - 1pm, April 10, 4:30 - 5:30 pm, April 25, 5 - 6 pm

                                                                Register here

All workshops use worksheets and exercises found in this Resource Guide

Resource Guide

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Identifying an Internship