University of Vermont

Master of Public Administration

MPA Internships


What is an internship?

The Internship experience is a key opportunity to put into practice the concepts and theories of public administration. It is critical in gaining experience, building credentials and networking for future professional opportunities. A three-credit internship is required of all students, and students may apply up to 6 credits of internship experience toward the degree.   Interns are expected to:
  • Complete 200 hours of service for their placement
  • Engage in substantive work that addresses real issues
  • Provide professional-quality work product
MPA students have interned with municipalities, non-profits, legislative committees and legislators and state agencies.  Work MPA students have performed has varied from legislative policy analysis to RFP development and operational support for town managers, as well as budget analysis, systems analysis and other mission-critical work.

UVM MPA interns practice locally, nationally and internationally.  From local town government to national policy research and international program assessment, UVM MPA interns tackle projects of substance and interest to them.

Internships are required for all new students who enter the MPA program as of Fall 2010.  Students must take at least 3 credits of internship experience, but may apply not more than 6 credits to the degree program.  Internship policies are available online.

MPA internships provide an experiential, real-world learning laboratory for our students to explore public management issues in real time and real organizations.  Internships have two components: academic course work and work for your placement.  

What kind of academic work is required?

The internship course work provides interns with opportunities for guidance and reflection in their placement work.  The Learning Objectives and Work Plan assignments provide a framework for outlining the student goals for the internship and clarifying the expectations of both the student and their in-placement supervisor.  These tools help to ensure that the student progresses toward their learning goals through the course of the internship.  Weekly reflective journals provide a chance for interns to step back from their work and consider how their work interacts with, connects with or is influenced by their academic study in the MPA program.

What can I expect to do at my placement?

Interns are expected to work on substantive issues that provide a meaningful work experience.  While every placement is different and day-to-day tasks may vary, interns should expect to do work that engages their thinking and utilizes their skills and interests.  While the work interns do is for their placement, it is primarily the intern's learning experience and should be structured with their learning objectives foremost.

How do I find a placement?

In addition to ongoing opportunities and those that emerge regularly, the internship instructor can assist you in narrowing your focus and seeking out placement contacts and opportunities.  Not sure what your interests are?  The instructor can provide you with a spectrum of the kinds of opportunities other students have sought out, and help you think about what kind of experience you wish to have.

How do I make the most of my experience?

The most important consideration is what kind of experience you wish to have.  Identifying those skills or experiences you want to round out your portfolio, placements in areas of practice that you wish to expand career opportunities in, or areas in which you are most interested are generally good places to start.  MPA students complete an early self-assessment of their knowledge and skills relative to the core competencies of the program.  Using this tool, interns can identify areas they wish to expand their strengths and use those as guidance for seeking internship opportunities.  Mostly, being engaged in your work and bringing your intellectual curiousity, acumen and course work to bear on the issues you face will all augment your experience.  If you feel that your experience is not what you were looking for, contact the instructor for assistance in addressing the unmet need.

Current Internship Opportunities

Policy Intern, DVHA

Summer: 16 hours/week, negotiable

Position Objective:

To assist the Policy Director and program analysts in providing expert guidance, support and analysis of Medicaid Policy to the DVHA, its sister departments and other public and private entities.

To support and assist in the timely completion of policy initiatives, described in the Unit's SFY 2014 Strategic Plan, by the end of 2014.

Major Tasks:

• Assist with review of Rule and Provider Manual, in collaboration with health program analysts.

• Research and develop benchmarking for Grievances and Appeals (G&A), in collaboration with Health Plan Administrator

• As time permits, the intern may contribute to ongoing policy initiatives

Ideal candidate will be enrolled in a master's program for public policy, public administration, public health or related field; possess strong communication and professional skills; be attentive to detail, able to work independently or with a group, interested in health policy, health care delivery and payment systems, and government administration.

Final Products or Outcomes:

• Contribution to amendments to Rule and Provider Manual (e.g., draft Rule changes, track Rule through APA process)

• Successful completion of report on benchmarking for Grievances and Appeals (G&A), in collaboration with Health Plan Administrator

For more information, call or email: 802.879.5603 | click here to email

Where do MPA students intern?

Past MPA Program Internships
Intern AARP  
Livable Community Project Intern AARP Vermont
Legislative Advocate/Budget Transparency Researcher AARP, One Vermont
Project Assistant "Ladies First" Abenaki Project
Special Project Assistant Adirondack Community Trust, Lake Placid, NY
Legislative Intern Agricultural Legislation
Development Assistant Altai Conservancy
Intern American Cancer Society
Policy Research  American Pain Foundation
Event Planning Assistant/Gallery Attendant Burlington City Arts
Development Intern Camp Takumta 
Outreach Intern Cathedral Square
Intern CEDO 
Project Planner CEDO Parallel Justice Project
Head Resident - College Residential Life Internship Champlain College
Public Policy Intern  - Report of Continuum of Care Committee on Temporary Housing
Office Intern Congressman Peter Welch
Intern Field/Political Dept Democracy for America
Marketing and Development Intern First Night Burlington
Intern Fletcher Allen Comm. Health Improvement Office
Secretary/Treasurer Internship Green Mountain Chapter, IAEI
Legislative Intern House & Senate Agricultural Committee
Intern Intervale Center
Law Intern Jarvis and Kaplan 
Community Outreach Intern Ladies First - Abenaki Parnership
Rural Economic Development Legislation Legislative Committee on Agriculture
Field Director Les Otten for Governor
Project Assistant Local Motion
Intern Local Motion
Administrative Intern Middlebury College Athletics
Intern Montshire Museum
Internship Montshire Museum
Intern NW Counseling & Supportive Services, Inc.
Public Policy Intern Program - Forest Health/Non-native Invasive Species Project Redstart Forestry
Campaign Internship Sanders for Senate
Media Intern Shumlin for Governor
Public Policy Intern Program - The Creative Economy & Business Regeneration in VT Snelling Center for Government
Public Policy Intern Program - Medical Health Care Project - Media Assessment Snelling Center for Government
Public Policy Intern Program - Public Policy Analysis Snelling Center for Government
Public Policy Intern Program - Green Mountain CarShare Snelling Center for Government
High School on the Move Program Intern State of Vermont, Department of Education 
Thursdays Event Coordinator The Intervale
RFP Development Intern Town of Colchester
Human Resources Policy Intern  Town of Jericho
Grant Researcher Turning Point Center
Planning & Evaluating Intern, Allocations & Agency Relations United Way of Chittenden County
Vital Communities Internship  Upper Valley Housing Coaltition, Altai Conservancy
Ethiopia Aid Program Evaluation Analyst  US State Department
(CSAP) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Fellow VDH - Div Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs
Intern VDH - Div Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs
Intern Vermont Democratic Party
Public Health Intern Vermont Department of Health
HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Program Intern Vermont Department of Health
Community Public Health, Burlington Substance Abuse Coalition Intern Vermont Dept of Health
Research and Funding Internship Vermont Econmic Progress Council
Legislative Intern Vermont House of Representatives, Rep. Kupersmith
Legislative Intern Vermont House of Representatives, Rep. Lorber
Transitional Jobs Internship Vermont Works for Women
Assistant Town Manager  Village of Essex Junction
Administrative Intern to Village Manager Village of Essex Junction, Vermont
Community Development Projects Assistant Village of Lake Placid
Public Policy Intern Program - Energy Savings in Vermont VPIRG Clean Energy Advcate
Grant Systems Intern VT Community Foundation
Organizing and Research Intern VT Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
Assistant to Development Director, Fundraising Women Helping Battered Women

Last modified March 18 2014 08:28 AM

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