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MPPA Internships

The internship provides pre-career students with actual experience in a public or non-profit agency by exposing students to functioning public sector or non-profit sector organizations. Internships enhance a student's understanding of how the public sector functions and the kinds of environmental pressures in which public service organizations must cope.

Internship Requirements

Internships need to be equivalent to an entry-level professional position in the public or non-profit sector. If a student wants to complete an internship in the private sector, the student must demonstrate that a substantial portion of the workload deals with public administration or with public policy. Internships must be full-time work for a minimum of 400 hours (i.e., 40 hours a week for 10 weeks). Prior to beginning an internship students are required to register for PPA 8400, Public Ad Intern (3-6 hours).
Students are also required to complete the requisite paperwork before the appropriate deadlines:

Required DocumentsDeadlines
Intern Work Assignment FormNo later than 14 days after internship commences
Intern EvaluationLast class day of the semester
Intern ReportLast class day of the semester
IHL Agreement (if appropriate)Check IHL website for details

The Internship Work Assignment and Intern Report forms are linked below. The Intern Evaluation will be sent electronically to the student at the midpoint of the internship semester.
*Students with substantial public sector or non-profit work experience can apply for a waiver.

Important Forms
Additional Information and Resources

Students are responsible for finding their own internship. Students are encouraged to begin their internship search early, and pay close attention to deadlines, especially for federal government internships. Students should have a resume prepared before they begin their search—The Career Center can help with this. Internships can be paid or unpaid. There are a limited number of Mississippi Public Management Graduate Internships available. (See the Graduate Coordinator about these internships or check IHL’s Website for more information.)

Prior to beginning an internship search students should connect with Caragh Boyles, Career Center Assistant Director for Political Science and Public Administration. Ms. Boyles’ office is located in Bowen Hall 190. Please stop by, email (cboyles@career.msstate.edu), or call 662-325-3344 to schedule an appointment with Ms. Boyles.

Internship Employment Trends

The Master of Public Policy and Administration internship requirement represents a unique opportunity for practical training and professional development in the field. Internships provide professional work experience and marketable skills while helping students to further refine their interests and career goals. Mississippi State University MPPA students complete internships in a variety of settings. The table below provides the percentage of MPPA internship participants according to the sector of government for which they worked.

Internship Employment Setting20122013201420152016
Federal15%0%0%0%10%
State50%50%63%60%50%
City/County/Local20%8%10%20%30%
Nonprofit15%25%27%20%10%
Private Sector0%9%0%0%0%
International0%8%0%0%0%
Potential internship partners (Partial listing):

Contact Info

Department of Political Science
and Public Administration
Department Phone: 662.325.2711
Department Fax: 662.325.2716
Mailing Address: P. O. Box PC
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
Department Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Email address:polscipubadm@pspa.msstate.edu