Internship Information

Why an Internship?

An internship experience affords students the opportunity to apply theories in a field of setting and develop “self-directed learning skills.” Specifically, the internship experience offers students the following opportunities:

  • To provide students with a rich context for interpreting the theories and tools presented in their public administration courses, and to provide them with an opportunity to apply those theories and tools in a practical setting.
  • To better understand the mission, organizational structure and culture, chain of command, management styles, communication strategies, and problem-solving techniques of public agencies in general.
  • To enhance each intern’s skill set, including writing, oral, technical, personnel, and other resume-building skills.
  • To provide students with public sector experience in order to better prepare them for future employment.
  • To contribute to the community by serving public agencies.

Who is required to complete an Internship?

An internship is required of all pre-service students. The internship requires a completion of 300 hours of work in a public or non-profit organization. The purpose of the internship is to provide students with practical and professional experience in their identified concentration. Students are exposed to the dynamics of organizations and provided the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge acquired in their academic program. During the internship experience, students may develop professional networks, which can aid them in their pursuit of employment and in their careers.

While serving in the internship students will identify and complete appropriate materials to include in the Internship electronic portfolio (see forms) to be submitted during the Internship course (PA 6694). Each student intern will be evaluated and assigned a grade by the responsible agency supervisor. Students will also be given an opportunity to provide an evaluation of the Internship Site at the conclusion of the internship.

Internship placements will be developed in consultation with the Internship Counselor, Dr. Kristie Roberts-Lewis who must approve placement opportunities prior to the commencement of the Internship. Dr. Roberts-Lewis can be contacted via email: or via telephone (678) 527-0623. Please see the MPA eQuad for more information.

How do I begin the Internship Process?

As a part of the admission process, new/existing MPA students will be automatically enrolled in the Internship Blackboard shell and provided one-on-one assistance in identifying and securing an approved internship.

The Internship Counselor/Dr. Kristie Roberts-Lewis will manage and supervise all Internships and will contact you via email to formally introduce students to the Internship process and will assist in the commencement of identifying an Internship, approving the Memorandum of Understanding, supervising the Internship experience and guiding students through the Internship Evaluation Process.

The Internship Blackboard shell is found on the MPA eQuad site and provides a wealth of information and materials to ensure that students successfully navigate through the internship process.

When Should I Enroll in PA 6694?

Students, due to work schedules or other obligations, may require more than one term to complete the 300-hour internship. Students who require more than one term to complete their 300-hour internship may, with written approval of the Internship Counselor with whom the student shall be taking the PA 6694 course, begin their 300-hour internship in a term, or more than one term, prior to registering for the internship course.

Students will register for the internship course only in the term in which they anticipate completing the 300-hour internship requirement. However, students are discouraged from enrolling in the internship course without an approved internship and the subsequent commencement of the internship.

What if I have work experience can I be exempt from the Internship requirement?

The Troy University MPA program requires students to have one -year work experience in a paraprofessional, professional, technical, or supervisory position that involves relevant service to the profession. Students with less than one year experience are required to complete PA 6694 Internship, a three semester hour course that can not be used to satisfy an elective or core course requirement. However, the PA 6694 course can substitute for one of the three required concentration courses but requires approval of the Internship Counselor.

The course requires practical experience in a public or nonprofit organization and is supervised by MPA Internship Counselor. Applicants for the Troy University MPA program are screened for admission and, at the same time, for their internship status by faculty reviewers.

The reviewers evaluates the applicant’s place and location of employment, number of years employed, and position assigned to determine if an internship or internship waiver is appropriate.

What is an Internship Waiver and am I eligible?

Students who are gaining their work experience during the program and who are required to complete an Internship, can submit an Internship waiver up until two terms before graduation.

Students not granted an internship waiver on initial admission but who acquire public administration work experience while enrolled in the MPA program may request an internship waiver by submitting an Internship Waiver Form (form can be found at: This request can be submitted at any time up to two terms before graduation. As with the screening during the admission process, students must provide a detailed description of their work experience to be evaluated as appropriate by their MPA faculty adviser.

In addition to other course requirements, PA 6694 shall require the student to account for 300 hours of on-site supervised work experience in a sponsoring organization

How are Internship Waivers Evaluated?

Acceptable experience for an internship waiver includes positions in nonprofit agencies, HMOs, or organizations contracting with public agencies; previous experience in military, law enforcement, corrections, public agencies, and nonprofit agencies and associations; and, paralegal positions and department administrative assistants in public agencies.

Secretarial and clerical experience may not qualify for a waiver if those positions are limited to routine office work, such as filing and answering the phones. Private sector professional experience such as in retail, service, real estate, financial, and manufacturing organizations will not qualify nor will janitorial experience and previous internships undertaken for undergraduate or previous graduate degree programs.

Previous Internship Organizations

  • DeKalb County, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • American Red Cross of Georgia West Central Georgia
  • CameroonONE
  • City of Cullman, Alabama
  • Procurement Department, City of Gulfport, Mississippi
  • MARS Community Development Corporation, Miami, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia Habitat for Humanity
  • Juvenile Probation Department, Birmingham, Alabama
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
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