Professional Development

MPA Internship Course

The MPA internship course is designed to broaden the experiential base, and application of, theoretical content to the field of public administration. The purpose of this course is to enable students to develop a more comprehensive view of the practice of public administration by translating academic training into real world practice.

At the time of admission, MPA students are grouped as "Pre-Service" or "In-Service" students based on their public and nonprofit work experience. In-Service students typically have three (3) or more years of public and/or nonprofit experience, at the level of analyst or better. Clerical experience does not count for qualification of In-Service students.

All Pre-Service MPA students without (3) or more years of public service experience are required to take the public administration internship course, PAD 6946. Pre-Service students will have the opportunity to locate and complete a 300-hour public service internship at a location and position level that is subject to approval by the MPA Internship Faculty Supervisor. Students who successfully complete a 300-hour internship during a semester receive three (3) credits for the internship course, PAD 6946. Internship course credits will be counted towards the MPA degree and certificate requirements.


  • Internship Eligibility
    • The student must be in good academic standing (minimum 3.0 overall GPA).
    • Successful completion of 18 credit hours of public administration coursework at FIU, including the introductory course in public administration (PAD 6053) and approval of the Career Development Coordinator and Internship Faculty Supervisor.
    • The student must provide a written agreement from the agency describing the internship duties and responsibilities. The graduate internship MUST have a management or research component (cannot be a clerical position).
    • Internships may be paid or unpaid. Credit for the internship course will not be awarded retroactively. Students may not apply for internship credit for work performed at a previous time.
  • Internship Requirements
    • Internship Proposal Agreement
      Students must submit a signed Internship Proposal Agreement detailing their expected duties for approval by the faculty supervisor before starting an internship.
    • Academic Calendar
      Students are expected to begin their internship when classes begin and complete their internship no earlier than the final week of the semester.
    • Weekly Journal/Timesheet
      PAD 6946 requires the completion of approximately 300 hours of internship experience (roughly 20 hours per week) within the semester in order to earn three academic credits. Students should log their hours completed on the timesheet and the journal should be narrative in nature and will serve as a basis, and perhaps an outline, for the term paper.
    • Midterm Self-Assessment Form and Final Self-Assessment Form
      The quality of internships and degree of professional experience gained by students will be self-assessed at the mid-point and end of each semester.
    • Midterm Supervisor Evaluation Form and Final Supervisor Evaluation Form
      Internship supervisors will complete forms that rate the intern’s quality of work and performance at the mid-point and end of each semester.
    • Mid-term Report
      Students are expected to submit a mid-term report summarizing the tasks completed and the skills being developed in their internship program.
    • Term Paper
      Students are expected to select a policy topic related to the internship experience and to a particular theoretical issue in public administration.
  • Internship Application Process
    • Students are responsible for arranging their own internships, though information session, networking, and internship opportunities will circulated via the MPA email listserv. Students should first identify an agency or position within the public administration field they are interested in. Discussing the various options with the Career Development Coordinator can facilitate this process. Please note that the application process for federal agencies may take a year or longer to complete. Students are encouraged to register at to receive daily notification of internship and job openings.
    • After selecting an agency, you should contact the agency directly to make sure that they are willing and interested in having you as an intern. Once you obtain an internship offer, please complete a written Internship Proposal Agreement and submit it to Dirk Hart at for review. Upon departmental approval, you will be granted permission to enroll in PAD 6946 for academic credit.

MPA ICMA Student Leadership Internship Program

The MPA program in collaboration with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) have developed the Student Leadership Internship Program for FIU MPA students. Student leadership interns will work directly and closely with ICMA Credentialed Managers and shadow their schedules in all facets of governmental operations. They will learn the foundations and best practices of local government operations in accordance with ICMA’s mission to advance professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics. Student leadership interns are eligible to register for the public internship course and receive three credits upon successful completion of the Student Leadership Internship Program. If interested in participating in the ICMA Student Leadership Internship Program, please contact ICMA FIU chapter.

The Student Leadership Internship Program serves as a fast-track career development pathway. It is open to both Pre-Service and In-Service students. Pre-Service students who successfully complete 300 hours within a semester will fulfill the internship requirement and are eligible to receive three credits of the internship course PAD 6946. In-Service students may choose to participate in the Student Leadership Internship Program with or without registering for the internship course PAD 6946. In-Service students who elect not to sign up for the internship course PAD 6946 will not earn credits toward their graduation.


  • ICMA Student Leadership Internship Program Eligibility
    • Must be in outstanding academic standing (minimum 3.5 overall GPA)
    • Successful completion of at least eighteen credit hours of MPA coursework at FIU, including the introductory course in public administration (PAD 6053) and approval of the Career Development Coordinator and Internship Faculty Supervisor
    • Must be an active member of the FIU student chapter of ICMA (ICMA@FIU), in good standing. To join, please contactDr. Amanda Clark.
    • Preference will be given to applicants who are an active member of the Phi Alpha Alpha Honors Society (PAA@FIU). To join, please contact Dr. Nicki Fraser.

MPA Alumni Mentorship/Internship Program

Current MPA students will have access to a robust network of alumni who are eager and willing to meet you and share their professional expertise and personal experience. Participating MPA students will be matched to alumni mentors based on shared professional interest and area of expertise, career goals and mutual availability. A formal mentoring relationship typically lasts for one academic semester, but both student mentees and alumni mentors are encouraged to stay connected after completion of the formal mentorship program. MPA student mentees and alumni mentors should develop a mentoring plan and assess accomplishment of the mentoring plan. Throughout the semester, MPA student mentees are expected to meet at least once per month with their mentors by phone, email, or in person. To participate and/or for inquiries, please contact Dr. Nicki Fraser.

A mentoring relationship may be expanded to an alumni internship program, where student mentees are supervised by alumni for at least 300 hours in one semester at the level of analyst or better. Typical MPA internship requirements and expectations apply.