An internship is an integral component of the MPA and MPP programs.  For more than a decade, hundreds of MPA and MPP interns have gained experience working with senior leadership of state agencies, cities, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations.

The key purpose of an internship is to provide students with the opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge learned in the classroom to “real world” work experiences. For those students who do not have substantial work experience, internships provide professional contacts and a chance to build their resumes. It allows students to “try out” occupations they may be interested in pursuing. Internships also sometimes lead to full time employment. Students with substantial work experience may apply for an internship waiver.

There are three ways to fulfill the 6-credit internship requirement for the MPA or MPP programs.

Option 1:  One way is through the Department's Internship and Professional Practice (IPP) Program.

Option 2: The second is through a Sponsored Internship (SI).

Option 3: The third option is for a student to seek out their own internship.

Students register for 6 internship credits in the spring semester and submit a reflection paper.  An internship evaluation is collected from the Internship Supervisor.

UConn DPP Paid Internships

Option 1: Internship and Professional Practice (IPP) Program

Students in the IPP program intern with an organization for 15 hours per week for an entire academic year (late August through late May). Students gain a meaningful, significant managerial and/or analytic work experience in public or nonprofit agency. In compensation for their work, students receive:

  • 585 hours of Skilled Experience
  • Stipend & Medical Benefits
  • Tuition Scholarship

While there are typically dozens of placements available, the IPP program is competitive. Students apply for IPPs and participate in a selection process that includes submitting a resume, cover letter and participating in an interview with the host organization.  The decision whether to offer an IPP rests with the host IPP organization.

Internship Profile

Mariela Abreu, MPA 2018

City of Hartford
Office of Management, Budget, & Grants

INTERNSHIP: Graduate intern Mariela Abreu is providing financial analysis and research to support senior leadership in the development of an operating budget, budget projections for the upcoming fiscal years, and long-term fiscal sustainability plan for the City of Hartford.

Pictured with Mariela is Melissa McCaw, Director of Management, Budget & Grants and Jeff Hallin, Assistant Director, Along with Kory Mills, Management Analyst for the City of Hartford.

The Department aims to develop as many IPP opportunities as there are students seeking them. Students can also develop their own IPP placement if it meets the internship requirements for the program.

View our complete list of all of the state agencies, town governments and nonprofits that have joined the IPP program to date.

Read UConn Today article: UConn Public Policy Interns Serve Connecticut

IPP Overview Flyer for Interested Organizations

Option 2: Sponsored Internship (SI) Program

Each year the Department offers a limited number of Sponsored Internships with nonprofit or public sector agencies. First year full-time MPA and MPP students who have not been awarded a Graduate Assistantship are eligible to apply for an internship through this program. Fast-Track students may also be eligible to apply for a Sponsored Internship.

Students participating in this program receive a stipend and may earn internship credits for their work. Students typically work 15 hours per week from late August to late May.

Positions are usually circulated in the Spring semester for internships beginning the following August. Students must submit a resume and cover letter to apply for the position, and most organizations will conduct interviews before selecting a student for the position.

Option 3: Finding Your Own Internship

Not all students use the IPP Program to fulfill the internship requirement. Students completing an internship independently must fill out and submit the Internship Placement Record Form prior to beginning the internship. The internship may be completed over the summer or during the semester.

Information for Employers

Please view our Hire a Graduate Public Policy Intern page to learn more about hosting MPA and MPP graduate interns.

Learn More

Contact Dr. David Garvey, Director of Public Policy Internships by email at to ask a question or set up a time for a discussion. You may also reach Dr. Garvey by phone at 959-200-3768.