The School of Public Affairs (SPA) Internship Program

The Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy and Bachelor of Science in Urban Management Studies degree programs require that students complete an internship and participate in an internship class, PAF484/URB484, earning academic credit for their work-learning experience.  Graduate students pursuing a Master's of Public Administration or a Master's of Public Policy may elect to participate in an internship and may earn academic credit toward their degree.

Junior or Senior SPA students,

If you are planning to fulfill the internship requirement for graduation in Spring or Summer 2019, REGISTER NOW for one of these PAF484 Internship Application Workshops:

Tuesday, October 2    4:30 - 6pm


Friday, October 5    11:30 - 1:00 pm

UCENT, Room 480A

We'll provide important information, tools and timelines for you to identify, seek and secure credit for work-learning opportunities to participate in PAF484 in spring or summer 2019, and begin your transition from student to public service professional.  We'll even provide pizza!   ;-) 

RSVP at and indicate which workshop you are registering to attend

How to Earn Academic Credit for Internship

  • review the requirements and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), located on lefthand menu*

  • review information on the three phases of the internship process - identifying, seeking and securing (which coincides with the three pages of the SPA Application for Internship Referral and Participation)*

*Or,  attend one of the SPA Internship Application Workshops listed above

  • complete page 1 (identifying) of the downloadable SPA Application for Internship, and

  • THEN schedule an appointment to meet with the career coach

  • track your progress using the Internship Checklist and Timeline, located below

Download application

for spring 2019, schedule your Workshop follow up appointment in October, in order to complete the processes of identifying, seeking, and securing a qualifying work-learning opportunity by December 1, 2018 deadline, and participate in PAF484/584 in Spring 2019 Session C, which begins January 7, 2019.


Know your program and interests

The Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy prepares students for work in government at all levels and with nonprofit organizations and community partners, in project, program or policy development, implementation and evaluation, and public and community leadership and management.  For those who have previously engaged in public service and those who now aspire to help others, influence decision-makers, and create social change that makes a difference in the lives of every citizen, preparation is key.  The comprehensive classroom study of policy, leadership, management, and urban governance of the BS-PSPP is enhanced by Solutions-Based Learning, which involves the use of hands-on, service learning, or the application of classroom theory and principles, in the practical, project-based experiences that internship provides. 

BS-PSPP students and graduates of the Bachelor's degree program successfully pursue careers in:

Government Administration and Management  local (city, county), state and Federal levels; top management as well as Division, Department, Program and Project administration

Policy-making and analysis  on issues such as criminal justice, public health, sustainability, environment, and technology

Government Relations and Public Affairs – building relationships; public, private and nonprofit organizations

Political Affairs, Lobbying, and Consultation – legislative, economic and other community issues

Nonprofit Management and Advocacy – serving various issues and populations

Law and Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security

Health Policy and Human Services Administration  serving various populations and communities

Understand the power of internship in your career and professional development

The number of internships completed by U.S. college students has increased over the last 20 years. The uncertain and competitive job market that emerged in the wake of the 2008 world financial crisis refocused public attention on the role of internships in undergraduate education as a way to prepare for career success. High-quality internship experiences are increasingly understood to be an integral part of an excellent undergraduate education, with prominent educational organizations advocating internships as a pathway to career success for college students (NACE Journal, May 2017).

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) research has found a strong positive relationship between a student having an internship and an increased probability of receiving a full-time job offer while searching for post-graduation work prior to graduation.  Recruiting and hiring in the field of public service is no different than other occupations - Everyone wants to hire the best and brightest. 

Competition for management and leadership positions in the field of public service is robust at all levels.  Research, analytical, and communication skills are highly valued.  Experience in project and program management are also preferred qualifications.  While students are exposed to principles and best practices in the classroom and benefit from instruction by experienced professionals, there is no substitute for applying knowledge and skills to real community concerns.

Therefore, as a student of the School of Public Affairs, like all ASU students, you should consider participation in work-learning a powerful complement to classroom and online learning, to enhance education and career opportunities for building a resume and reputation to take you through entry-, mid- and executive-level leadership and management success.

Have questions? Contact Maryjo Douglas Zunk via email at or at 602.496.0450. 

Ready for the next step? 

Identifying an internship