Internship experiences facilitate self-directed learning, and can become an invaluable first step toward a public service career. Students without significant public sector or nonprofit work experience must complete an internship. Mid-career and online students are exempt.


Students must complete 360 hours, which typically takes about 12 weeks.

Mary Katherine Rademacher (on the left) with site supervisor at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

  • Full-time students usually complete an internship during the summer semester, although part-time placements during the academic year are allowed with approval by the internship program administrator.
  • Students enroll in Public Affairs 8280 (3 credit hours) during the semester they will complete their internship.
  • Meet with Dr. Angela Hull before enrolling in this class to understand the assignments and requirements of the internship.

Finding an Internship

A good internship helps broaden your experiences and allows for personal growth.  To find an internship that is right for you:

  • Talk to second-year students.  They have a wealth of experience,  which can help you identify and land a good internship. Attend the Poster Presentations of last year’s interns to learn more about their experiences.
  • Utilize the Office of Career & Alumni Services. The office can assist you with contact information for organizations that you find interesting.  TSPAcareers and the Public Policy Handbook also offer many internships.
  • Start looking early.  Narrow your search by the winter break and begin applying in January. If you’re looking at internships outside Missouri, in Washington, D.C. or overseas, start around October. Most students accept their internship between late February and early April.

Internship Locations:

In the last three years students have interned at the following organizations:

Internship Employer City
American Sexual Health Association Raleigh, NC
Association of American Universities Washington, DC
Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Missouri Columbia, MO
Center for Family Policy and Research Columbia, MO
Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems Austin, TX
Central Missouri Community Action Columbia, MO
City of Cedar Rapids – City Manager’s Office Cedar Rapids, IA
City of Centralia Centralia, MO
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s Office Columbia, MO
First Chance for Children Columbia, MO
Groundswell Public Strategies Jefferson City, MO
Hatfield Fellows Program – Clackamas County Portland, OR
Heart of Missouri United Way Columbia, MO
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Washington, DC
Institute of Public Policy Columbia, MO
Lighthouse Central Florida Orlando, FL
Missouri Botanical Garden St. Louis, MO
MO Dept. of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Social Services-Children’s Division Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Energy Initiative Jefferson City, MO
Missouri FFA Association, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Missouri KIDS COUNT Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Office of Public Counsel Jefferson City, MO
Missouri State Legislature, Representative Courtney Curtis Jefferson City, MO
Missouri State Legislature, Representative Rocky Miller Jefferson City, MO
Mizzou Advancement Columbia, MO
MO Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare Jefferson City, MO
MOSERS Jefferson City, MO
MU Office of Service Learning Columbia, MO
National Network to End Domestic Violence Washington, DC
Puppies with Purpose Columbia, MO
Quinton Lucas for KC Kansas City, MO
Scholarship America Washington, DC
Sprint Overland Park, MO
The Gay Christian Network Raleigh, NC
The District (Downtown Community Improvement District) Columbia, MO
Truman Youth Leadership Academy Columbia, MO
U&I Be the Change Bangalore, India
United Nations Development Programme Geneva, Switzerland
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Washington, DC
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) New York, NY
University of California Irvine – School of Education Irvine, MO
US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Services St. Louis, MO
US Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development Columbia, MO
US Department of Health and Human Services St. Louis, MO
US Department of Housing and Urban Development St. Louis, MO
US Department of State Washington, DC
US Environmental Protection Agency Washington, DC
USCIS/National Benefit Center Lee’s Summit, MO
Wonderland Camp Rocky Mount

The Botner Internship Scholarship provides a modest stipend for selected full-time students who are participating in unpaid internships for academic credit through the MPA program.  The Internship Scholarships are dependent upon funding and are awarded competitively.


Students with significant public sector or nonprofit work experience can request exemption from the internship requirement from the program administrator.