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PA 504 Cooperative Education/Internship

PA 504 Cooperative Education/Internship

PA 504 is strongly recommended for students with little or no work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors.  Students seeking to make a career change may also benefit from an internship. Internships require an average of 8 hours per week for 10 weeks. In addition to the time spent in a public or nonprofit organization, the student will keep a weekly journal. In addition to the weekly journal, a reflective paper will be due at the end of the term (due Monday of finals week). The student’s grade will be Pass or No Pass.

The process of electing the PA 504 option starts with approval by the student’s academic adviser to include the internship as a part of the student’s degree courses and approval of the placement. The course is for three credits and may only be used once toward the credits for the MPA, MPA:HA or MPH:HMP degree. One of the three courses must be completed before the internship:

  • PA 511 Public Administration or
  • PAH 570 Health Administration or
  • PAH 574 Health Systems Organization

The student will make the arrangements with a public or nonprofit organization in consultation with his/her academic advisor. This internship can be found from an email announcement on the Public Administration listserv asking for interested interns, suggestion by the student’s academic advisor, from an announcement on a public or nonprofit's human resources website or it can be a placement that the student seeks out because of an interest in what that public or nonprofit organization does.

The student, the academic advisor and a representative (who is supervising you) from the public or nonprofit organization will sign an internship agreement. The PA 504 faculty will review the proposed agreement and approve. Registration for the course is handled by the Public Administration staff after the agreement is signed by you, your academic advisor, your field supervisor and the PA 504 faculty. 

The field supervisor will complete respond to two emails confirming the student has completed what was expected; one at mid-term and the other at the end of the term. An email will be sent to the student at mid-term to make sure the internship is going well.