First-hand public service experience is an integral part of the MPA program. Internships offer students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-world problems, to build resumes and professional networks, to refine career plans, and to observe the behaviors that characterize successful professionals. During the past few years, PSM students have interned at the White House, the Urban Justice Center, the Salvation Army, the National Disability Rights Network, the New York City Council, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and other organizations. The MPA program helps students locate internships, prepare resumes and cover letters, and practice interviews.
Stipends supporting paid summer and semester internships are made possible by generous donations from the MCJ Amelior Foundation, Marvin Rosenberg (Class of 1928) and other supporters.
Paid Summer Internships for Credit (Required)
The MPA program requires students without significant professional experience to complete a full-time internship during the summer between their first and second years. Students must work a total of 400 hours with a federal, state, or local government agency or a non-profit organization. Internships are graded on a pass/fail basis and count as three credits. Students must have completed one semester and three core courses (9 credit hours) before they may start an internship. Students may work in New York City or Washington, DC. All students receive stipends of $3,000. Washington students also receive housing support.
Students with substantial professional experience may request an internship waiver from the MPA program's director. Those granted approval must substitute an elective for the internship requirement. Download the waiver form.
Powell School Washington Semester for Graduate Students
MPA students with a demonstrated interest in national policy can complete their final (spring) semester in Washington, DC. Students earn six credits and must complete a full-time internship and related capstone project, as well as a course in international or domestic policy designed for them and taught in Washington, DC. The program offers a full schedule of policy, professional, and cultural events.
Program Benefits & Requirements
o Participate in a full-time internship and a related capstone project (3 credits)
o Complete one course on US international politics and policymaking (3 credits)
o Live with other students in free special housing provided in a prime residential neighborhood in D.C.
o Attend an enriching program of lectures and cultural activities
o Enjoy first-hand, resume-building experience in policymaking
o Open to full-time, second-semester MPA students
o GPA of 3.3 or better
o Demonstrated ability to cover some living expenses. (Limited stipends are available.)
o Demonstrated interest in national and international affairs
o Completed all PSM requirements except for 6 credits (an elective and a Capstone)
How to Apply
Please submit the following:
o Completed application form
o A one-page essay explaining your interest in American politics and policymaking and articulating why you wish to spend a semester in Washington, D.C.
o Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor that attests to your interest in American politics or policymaking.
Submit BOTH a digital and hard copy of the application. Please email applications to Natalia Trujillo at firstname.lastname@example.org and deliver a hard copy to the program office in Shepard Hall, Room 1.
The deadline for the Spring 2015 program is October 15, 2014.
Natalia Trujillo, Managing Director
Shepard Hall, Room 1
Andrew Rich, Academic Director
Paid Noncredit Semester Internships (Optional)
Second-year students may receive a stipend for completing 15 to 20 hours of work per week for a nonprofit organization or government agency. Students selected for the program receive stipends of $2,500 per semester, but they do not receive academic credit.
Unpaid Noncredit Internships (Optional)
MPA staff will also help students find unpaid public service internship opportunities. Students do not receive academic credit.
"What I gained from my internship in terms of personal development and connections to my community goes beyond words."
Michael Levario, graduate