University of Minnesota
HHH
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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.


Internships

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degrees require a noncredit internship.
However, all Humphrey students can benefit from an internship to gain professional experience, try out the skills they learn in the classroom, and develop a professional network.

Some resources for your internship search:
I. Not sure what you want to do? Try: "Finding Your Career Focus Exercise"
II. See where students have recently done their internships.
III. NASPAA Guide: "Finding An Internship"
I V. Not all internships are paid - see a list of funding resources.

Frequently asked questions about internships
What is the internship requirement?
Is there paperwork required for an internship?
Can I waive the internship requirement?
Can an assistantship count as an internship?
Can I participate in two experiences to meet the requirement?
Are internships paid positions?
Are there grants to support unpaid internships?
Can I get credit for my internship?
How do I explain the internship requirement to a potential employer?
How do I find an internship in Minnesota?
How do I find an internship outside Minnesota?
How do I find an international internship?
When should I start looking?

What is the internship requirement?

Students in the MPP and MURP degrees complete a professional experience as part of their program. This internship must be a) a minimum of 400 hours, b) primarily professional -evel work, and c) related to the student's academic focus and career goals. The experience is not for credit, although credit can be added through independent study (see below).

Is there paperwork required for an internship?

In order to have the internship fulfill the requirement, it must be documented by using the ONLINE internship forms process:

Step 1: Register your internship prior to starting it. Registration information consists of the internship organization name and address, the supervisor name and contact information, and the start and end dates of the internship.

REGISTER YOUR INTERNSHIP

Step 2: Fill out the online internship agreement form, in conjunction with your supervisor, when prompted via email. The internship agreement form lays out all of the goals and conditions of the internship. Upon approval by the School, the student and the internship supervisor will receive copies of the agreement by email.

Step 3: Fill out the online student evaluation form when prompted via email about a week after the end of your internship. Your supervisor will also be prompted to fill out the online supervisor evaluation form. These evaluations allow for reflection on the part of the student and provides feedback to the school. You can review your supervisor's evaluation on request.

NOTE: If you submitted the old paper internship agreement form, use the old internship forms to complete the documentation:
Student internship evaluation form
Supervisor internship evaluation form

Can I waive the internship requirement?

MPP and MURP students may petition to waive the internship requirement if they can document substantial professional experience in their field of interest. To be eligible to waive your internship, the experience you are basing your waiver on must be:

1. A post-undergraduate, professional-level experience of one year or more (FTE).
2. And, related to your field of study at the Humphrey School and career goals.

To apply for a waiver, fill out the Internship Waiver Form and supply the requested documentation. The form must be signed by your faculty advisor and then submitted to the internship coordinator in the Office of Career Services for a final decision.
Internship Waiver Petitions should be submitted no later than the semester before your final semester, normally when you submit your Graduate School Program Form.

Can an assistantship count as an internship?

An assistantship at the University (RA or TA) is an academic job rather than an experience in the professional policy world. Therefore, assistantships are not internships. There are a few exceptions, however, such as assistantships through the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). CURA sends graduate assistants out into the community to work with neighborhood groups, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Because of their applied nature, CURA positions can be used towards the internship requirement. Similar assistantships working closely with policy or planning organizations whose focus is off-campus also may qualify. These judgments are made on a case-by-case basis. To explore using an assistantship for your internship requirement, talk with Career Services.

Can I participate in two experiences to meet the requirement?

Yes, if the two experiences are related to your academic and career interests and total 400 hours or more.

Are internships paid positions?

The availability of paid internships varies with the economy, but normally over half of internships have a salary or stipend. Many of the paid internships pay between $12 and $20 an hour with no benefits. Paid internships with nonprofit and international organizations are less common and more difficult to find. There are various grants available to assist with nonpaid internships. Both paid and unpaid internships may be used to fulfill the internship requirement.

Are there grants to support unpaid internships?

There are various funding resources available to support both unpaid domestic and international internships. The Learning Abroad Center has additional information on possible funding sources.

Can I get credit for my internship?

The internship itself is not for credit. However, you may work with a faculty supervisor to conduct a project related to the internship (usually an analytic paper) as an independent study. You may register for one to three credits, depending on the credit-value of the project. Keep in mind that no more than three independent study credits can be counted toward your degree. You also need permission from the internship organization if you plan to use confidential data or information.

How do I explain the internship requirement to a potential employer?

A potential internship employer may need to understand how a graduate internship differs from undergraduate internships that they may have experience with. Here is a one-page Graduate Internship Fast Facts Sheet which you can share with the organizations you contact. The Career Services staff are available to answer potential employers' questions.

How do I find an internship in Minnesota?

The general rule for any internship search is to research organizations to find those that interest you, watch postings, and - most importantly - talk to people familiar with your field of interest.

Faculty member and fellows are a wonderful resource and may know of organizations you should investigate. Alumni are another great source of information. Many are willing to talk with students about career issues and identify possible opportunities. With nearly 60% of the School's alumni in Minnesota, there are many local alumni who can help you explore almost any area of interest.

Career fairs at the School and elsewhere at the University are another way to explore interesting organizations. Some on-campus recruiters will also be looking for interns, so sign up for informational interviews when you can.

Although you should watch the internship postings -- you never know when or how the ideal position may pop up -- but this is a passive strategy and no substitute for creating your own opportunities. Make an appointment with Career Services to work out a strategy that is best for you and to get a list of alumni contacts in your field.

For further ideas, see where students have recently done their internships.

How do I find an internship outside Minnesota?

As with any internship search, the key is to research organizations that interest you, watch postings, and -- most importantly -- talk to people who know the field you want to explore.

Faculty members and fellows are a wonderful resource and may know of organizations nationwide you should investigate. Alumni are another great source of information. Forty percent of Humphrey alumni live and work outside Minnesota; they can be a resource for building a professional network in a new location.
Generally, a combination of networking and targeted contacts with a resume and cover letter is most effective. When possible, you should visit the target location over winter or spring break and do a series of informational interviews (which you set up in advance).

For further ideas, see where students have recently done their internships.

Make an appointment with Career Services to work out a strategy that is best for you and to get a list of alumni contacts in your location.

How do I find an international internship?

The general rule for any internship search is to research organizations to find those that interest you, watch postings, and -- most importantly -- talk to people familiar with your field of interest.

Faculty members and fellows with international interests are a wonderful resource and may know of organizations you should investigate. Some Humphrey alumni live and work overseas and can help you identify opportunities. The broader University of Minnesota alumni group also has many international members. You can inquire about University alumni through the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) at http://www.alumni.umn.edu/.

The International Fellows who study at the Humphrey School each year come from many countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and former Soviet Union. They can be a great source of ideas and knowledge.

For further ideas, see where students have recently done their internships.

Generally, a combination of networking and targeted contacts with a resume and cover letter is most effective. Please make an appointment with Career Services to work out a strategy that is best for you and to find possible alumni contacts and other resources in your desired location.

Note: Students traveling abroad for University purposes are required to register travel with the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS) area of the University - Travel Registry for Students

When should I start looking?

The earlier you start, the better. If you're looking for an international internship, start researching organizations in the early fall and be prepared to send out applications or letters of inquiry by December or January at the latest. Some deadlines (including the State Department) are as early as late October, so be alert to postings and know the deadlines for the organizations in which you are interested.

If you plan to apply for internship grants, be aware that you need to arrange the internship and have a letter from the internship organization before the grant application deadline (usually in early February through March).

For domestic internships outside Minnesota, you should start your search in Fall semester. If you plan to travel to the area over winter or spring break, be ready to take advantage of that time by setting up informational interviews and polishing your resume.

For internships in Minnesota, start your research and make initial contacts in Fall. Many organizations won't be ready to hire that early, but you can learn about them and their deadlines.

 


Contact Career + Employer Services

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
280 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

612-624-3800
hhhcs@umn.edu