Skip to Content

Internship Guidelines


MPA INTERNSHIP GUIDELINES

Introduction to the MPA Internship Experience

The MPA internship is primarily designed to provide practical experience to pre-service students and in-service wishing to gain experience in the public/not-for-profit sector. The experiential component consists of a part-time (paid or unpaid) employment in a public service, not for profit sector or related private sector organization. The academic portion of the internship consists of the completion of a single semester of PA 5389.

Normally a student intern will work an average of 15-20 hours per week for the 3 hours of PA 5389 credit. The academic component of the public service internship includes a required practical project/research paper and the completion of assigned readings.

An internship is required for all pre-service students, but may be taken by graduate students that are practitioners that are looking to move into a different area of public or not-for- profit service. The required internship for pre-service students is normally in addition to the 39-hour MPA curriculum. The internship may be counted as an elective primarily for practitioners that are wishing to make a career change.

Additional details concerning the MPA  internship program can be obtained by contacting the Internship Director. Starting in the Fall 2017 semester the Internship Director will be Dr. Howard R. Balanoff. His email is hb02@txstate.edu and his phone # is 512/245-3453.

Required Internship Forms
1. All current MPA students are required to complete an Internship form to match those MPA students that desire to have an internship with organizations that are looking to hire interns. Click here to access the required student form. The form can also be accessed by opening the Internship link at the top of the MPA website page.

Course Description
The MPA Internship is primarily designed to provide practical on-the-job experience to pre- service students. The academic component consists of part-time (paid or unpaid) on-the-job experience in a government-related office or a non-profit or private sector organization. The purpose of the internship is to provide MPA students with an immersion-learning, integrative practicum. Ideally, the internship experience provides professional experience and an opportunity to integrate theories learned in the classroom with practical experience. In addition, the student intern is exposed to the daily routines, processes, procedures, and expectations of work life in the public and third sectors.

Course Objectives
The internship is a structured educational work experience, where students take a responsible role and contribute to a public administration organization. Through the internship, the student should learn new skills, expand their knowledge of an area, of management or policy. The student should also be able to explore career options, and apply academic knowledge in a “real- life” situation. The internship should also facilitate the development of professional skills such as finance, planning, organizing and leadership.

Course Requirements
Prior to registering the student must contact Dr. Howard Balanoff, the Internship Director and get permission to register. Dr. Balanoff’s email is hb02@txstate.edu and his phone # is 512/245-3453.
 
The student is expected to work a total of about 240-300 hours over the course of the internship. This usually averages to 20 hours a week for 12-15 weeks. The student should document the hours worked in the Internship Manual. In addition to the work the Intern is required to complete a 10-15-page project/research paper on a management and/or policy area related to the Internship.

The student must complete the required paperwork that is found in the Internship Manual. Click on the links below to download the required internship forms.

Internship Forms
Intern Interview Verification
Public Service Release
Student Intern Responsibilities
Office Responsibilities
Weekly Internship Time Sheet
Midterm Internship Evaluation Form
Final Internship Evaluation Form

The student should maintain a copy of the signed forms in the Internship Manual and provide a copy to the Department of Political Science. Journal: The student should keep a daily journal in the Internship Manual.

Meetings with Internship Director (Dr. Howard Balanoff)
Over the course of the internship the student should have at least two meetings with Dr. Balanoff (one meeting may be over the telephone) and send Dr. Balanoff at least two email communications that indicate progress in internship activities. Meetings should be documented in the Internship Manual. All email communication should be kept in the MPA student’s Internship Manual. All materials collected in the Internship Manual should be turned in at the end of the internship.

Financial Support for MPA Interns: The William P. Hobby Center for Public Service Government Intern Fellowship Program

Each semester Texas State University’s William P. Hobby Center for Public Service provides up to $3000 in financial support for 1 or 2 Graduate Interns that are participating in the Hobby Center’s “Government Intern Fellows Program”.

Normally during each academic semester interns selected as Fellows are required to complete a 240 - 300-hour Internship during an academic semester at a governmental entity (i.e. city, county, state agency etc.) that is participating in the Hobby Center Government Intern Fellowship Program. Interns who are receiving the Hobby Intern Fellowship must also register for the Public Administration Graduate Internship Course which is PA 5389 in the semester that they are doing their internship.

A unique feature about the Texas State University “Government Intern Fellows Program” is that the graduate students designated as “Fellows” can receive up to a $3000 stipend for a semester from Texas State University’s Hobby Center for completing a 240 - 300-hour Internship. The internship is normally 20 hours per week for 12-15 weeks in an academic semester in a local, state federal or non-profit organization.

Governmental entities participating in the Hobby Intern Fellowship Program are required to contribute 50% i.e. $1500 toward a $3000 stipend which is deposited into the Interns Student Business Services (SBS) Account.  The stipend is used by the student to defray the cost of tuition and fees.

The Hobby Intern Fellows Program has been in existence since the Spring 2015 semester. Cities that have participated in this Program include the cities of San Marcos, Buda, Kyle, Georgetown and Round Rock.

MPA students interested in the Hobby Intern Fellowship Program should contact the Intern Director, Dr. Howard Balanoff for additional information. Dr. Balanoff’s email is hb02@txstate.edu and his phone # is 512/245-3453.

Organization Sponsoring Internships
Cities, counties, state agencies and other public, not-for-profit, and related private sector organizations wishing to hire an MPA Graduate Student Intern should complete the Employer Intern Data Request Form. Click here for the form or pull down the “Employer Intern Request Data Form” link at the top of the MPA Website.

Examples of Internship Sponsors
MPA students looking for Internships should consider putting organizations such as those listed below in their web browser and contacting individuals at these organizations about the availability of paid and unpaid internships. Many of these organizations have sponsored Texas State University MPA Interns in the past.

National
Federal Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Office of Management & Budget (OMB)

State
Attorney General’s Office
Texas Department of Public Safety, Auditors Office     
Texas General Land Office
Health and Human Services Commision (Paid)
Texas Dept. Public Safety, Homeland Security-Austin

Local
City of Austin, Public Information     
City of San Marcos
City of Georgetown
City of New Braunfels
City of Kyle
City of Buda
City of Round Rock
City of West University Place
City of Bulverde
Travis County Intergovernmental Relations Office
Capital Metro, Transit Department     
    
Texas State University Internship Organizations
Geography Dept Gov’t Partnerships Program
Development and Grants Department
Texas State University, Career Services

Non-for-Profit
Haven for Hope (San Antonio)
Organizational Development Intern with Human Resouces
Human Resources Intern
Center for Public Policy Priorities Internship-Austin (Paid)

Political Internships
The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) (Paid)
Office of the the Commissioners Lisa Birkman; Williamson County, Pct. One
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program
Congressional Hispanic Caucasus Institute Congressional Internship Program
Texas State Senate Office, Senator Shapiro     
TX State Senator Lloyd Doggett’s Office     

MPA Intern Contact Information
MPA students interested in obtaining an Internship should contact the Intern Director, Dr. Howard Balanoff for additional information. Dr. Balanoff’s email is hb02@txstate.edu and his phone # is 512/245-3453.