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Public Administration Internships Overview
The goal of the Department of Public Administration, in assisting with placement of students in an organization or agency, is to further student’s academic study through practical work experience while informing them about the needs of the public, private or nonprofit sectors.
Students interested in enrolling in internship hours should follow these steps:
As much as possible, students should pursue their own internship opportunities, including reviewing websites like UTSA Career Services. A student’s academic advisor and the department’s list of internship sites can also help in choosing an appropriate site;
Because of new agreement policies required by UTSA, all students interested in completing an internship must work with their agency site before the semester when they want to complete their internship. See the deadlines listed below;
Complete the internal internship approval form. This form requires students to identify a site supervisor who will oversee the student's internship, complete an evaluation, and verify hours worked at the end of the internship.
The Internship Coordinator and/or administrative staff will be in contact with students regarding deadlines, requirements and the process for completing course registration. They will also work with the intern's direct supervisor to ensure the internship continues to be beneficial for both the student and the organization. A syllabus will be provided to registered students by the course's instructor of record. Failure to submit required components of the internship can result in not receiving credit for the course.
No work can begin until all necessary paperwork is approved.
Deadlines for Declaring Internship Interest
Internship approval forms should be turned in the semester prior to the intended semester, no later than:
Spring Semester internship – October 15
Fall Semester internship – July 1
Summer Semester internship – April 30
Previous Internship Sites
Previous internship sites have included:
Partial listing of currently available internship opportunities
USAJobs - Pathways for Students & Recent Graduates to Federal Careers
Current Internship Directory - Released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Civil Rights - a publication with a wealth of information for interns in the Washington, DC area
Internship Forms To Be Completed By the Intern
Course Internship Approval Form (begins the internship process)
Forms For the Internship Site
Internship Agency Information Sheet (required to begin the affiliation agreements)
For questions about internships or information concerning internship opportunities, please call 210-458-2533
Undergraduate Internship Information for Bachelor of Public Administration and Nonprofit Minor Students
BPA students don’t have the internship course as a requirement for their program of study but they may complete an internship within nonprofit, public or select private agencies as part of their elective course choices.
Students from any discipline who are completing the Nonprofit Minor must complete PAD 4933 (3 credit hours). Students completing other certificates or minors may have additional requirements in addition to those for the Nonprofit Minor. It is recommended that students communicate directly with those offices responsible for the certification or with their advisor.
Prerequisites: Approval by the Department Chair and consent of the instructor of record in the course’s intended semester.
Steps to Starting Your Internship:
Seeking Agency Placement
1. Using Career Center resources, students prepare a resume. Students must draft a resume (UTSA Career Center Resume Basics) and schedule an appointment with the Career Center to review the resume. Make changes to the resume, according to Career Center feedback.
2. As much as possible, students should pursue their own internship opportunities. A student's academic advisor and the department's database of internship sites can also help in choosing an appropriate site. Students should also consider resources available from UTSA Career Services.
3. Student initiates contact with the agency of interest, sometimes multiple agencies need to be contacted (verify Agency Agreement is in place).
4. Student will interview with agency.
5. Identify agency of interest for internship placement, complete Agency Interest Form.
6. Complete Internship Approval Form (student) and get approval of Internship Coordinator.
7. Once signatures are obtained and Agency Agreements are in place, take the Internship Approval Form to Advising Office to register for class.
Prior to and During Agency Internship
1. Student will receive a course syllabus with internship course expectations and responsibilities.
2. Student must complete responsibilities prior to the last exam date in order to be awarded a grade.
The Internship Coordinator and/administrative staff will be in contact with students regarding deadlines, internship requirements and the process for completing course registration. They will also work with the intern's direct supervisor to ensure the internship continues to be beneficial for both students and the organization.
Where to Intern:
Seek out an internship that provides significant managerial or project-related experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. Private sector activities related to public administration may also be considered. When applying to do an internship, students must keep in mind that a preferred organization may have particular procedures for potential interns that could delay meeting the department’s deadlines.
In particular, in completing the Nonprofit Minor, the instructor of record will want to see how the minor connects with a student’s major study, academic and/or career goals.
FAQ for Undergraduates Completing an Internship
The syllabus requires I complete a resume, meet with Career Services and have a mock interview – what is the benefit of these extra steps?
As an undergraduate, your work experience may not be in the fields you are interested in for your long-term career goals. Additionally, the organization you are interested in will have a unique culture or expectation of its interns. Building your resume will positively affect your ability to gain the internship that will most benefit your goals.
Why do I need to complete time sheets?
Time sheets verify that you are completing the work hours required for the proper credit for the internship course. Additionally, the detailed duties added to the time sheet are a good reminder of the projects or events you have completed – this will help in completing your final paper for the course. And finally, if you work at a smaller agency, you may often be working alone. A time sheet allows your direct supervisor to remain aware of the work you’ve completed – which, in turn, can help them in completing your mid-term and final evaluations.
For questions about internship processing or information concerning internship opportunities please contact Karen Metz at 210-458-2533 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate Internships in the Master of Public Administration program
MPA students without previous public service employment (those designated as "Pre-service" upon admission) must complete (6) semester hours of internship credit.
Students have the option of enrolling in PAD 6963 (3 credit hours) in two separate semesters, or PAD 6966 (6 credit hours) in one semester to meet the six (6) hour requirement. Students are expected to complete 300 work hours for 6 internship credit hours or 150 work hours for 3 internship credit hours.
Prerequisites: Good academic standing, consent of the instructor of record in the course’s intended semester and 18 semester credits of graduate work.
Where to Intern
Seek out an internship that provides significant managerial or project-related experience in public and nonprofit sectors. Private sector activities related to public administration may also be considered. When applying to do an internship, students must keep in mind that a preferred organization may have particular procedures for potential interns that could delay meeting the department’s deadlines.
FAQ for Graduates Needing an Internship
Do I need to do an internship?
If you have a strong work experience and background, you may submit a resume and cover letter to demonstrate the attainment of leadership roles and practices to the GAR for review. Satisfactory submissions result in a waiver for the internship requirement. These waiver requests should be submitted no later than the semester prior to your planned graduation date. Please see the MPA Student Handbook for more information on the waiver process.
Can my internship beginning and ending dates differ from semester dates?
Some organizations have specific projects with their own deadlines. Contact the Department staff to review the requirements for the organization. It is never the position of the Department to have to deny a unique opportunity to a student.
Is it possible for my agency to host an internship?
Potential internship host sites should speak with Department staff or the Internship Coordinator for assistance in determining eligibility. Internship sites must be willing to complete University required Affiliation Agreements.
For questions about internship processing or information concerning internship opportunities please contact Karen Metz at 210-458-2533 or email@example.com.