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Master's in Public Administration


Build your career by interning in Washington, D.C.
DC Alumni chapter

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 National Organization for Women, the Organization of American States, and other organizations. The MPA program helps students learn about internship opportunities, prepare resumes and cover letters, and practice interviews.  

Stipends supporting paid summer and semester internships are made possible by generous donations from Josh and Judy Weston, Marvin Rosenberg (Class of 1928), and other supporters.

Paid Summer Internships in New York and Washington, DC (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 and who are working in a full-time public service position may request an internship waiver from the MPA program's director. Those granted approval must take a summer elective course to substitute for the internship requirement, in addition to their two required electives.

Paid Noncredit Semester Internships (Optional)

After completing their first semester, students may apply for Changemaker Scholarships, which provide $3,000 per semester for completing 12 to 15 hours of work per week. Students may serve as managers for a nonprofit organization or government agency, as researchers on projects related to public issues, or as social innovation scholars. Students do not receive academic credit for these projects. See our Scholarships page for details.

Unpaid Noncredit Internships (Optional)

MPA staff will also help students find unpaid public service internship opportunities. Students do not receive academic credit.



"My internship helped me develop highly marketable management and fundraising skills and led to a full-time position upon graduation."

Ryan Hallock, MPA '17
Development Officer, International Crisis Group