In addition to the 42 semester hours of credits required of all students, a three credit-hour internship is required of students who do not possess a year of full time equivalent professional experience, i.e., a position of professional level responsibility in public service requiring a baccalaureate. Eligible students seeking a waiver of the requirement should consult the MPA Student Handbook. Experience in undergraduate internships does not count toward meeting this requirement.
The internship may begin as early as the second semester, but it is usually taken during the latter half of one’s program. The School provides placement assistance and students should notify us at the beginning of the semester prior to the beginning of the internship that placement assistance is needed. We encourage interns to seek internships in various locales, although most are in Tallahassee.
The internship course requires attendance at regular seminar sessions. These sessions are designed to assist interns to relate theory to the actual situations they are encountering on the job, as well as introduce students to other appropriate topics. Students who do internships away from Tallahassee must make arrangements to attend class the semester before or after the internship is served. Students who take two semesters to complete the required hours should enroll for credit in the second term, otherwise they will have to receive an incomplete grade (I) for the first term.
All placements must be approved by the instructor of the internship course (PAD 5946) prior to the internship. Approximately 500 hours of job experience is to be attained and evaluated (about 16 hours per week for two semesters or 40 hours per week for a thirteen week summer term). These hours may be distributed over one or two terms.
Each intern is responsible for negotiating a set of learning and performance objectives with the work supervisor and course instructor. The statement of objectives, when completed and signed by all parties, becomes a contract that the employer agrees to help the intern achieve learning objectives, the intern promises to attain the performance objectives of the agency, and the School agrees that completion of the objectives warrants credit for the work portion of the internship. When possible, the class instructor visits the supervisor to coordinate the internship. At the end of the internship, the intern is evaluated by the supervisor and by the instructor.