Olivia Piontek (left) and Chaley Kirkpatrick (right) in Washington, D.C. Olivia is interning at the Urban Institute and Chaley at the Center for American Progress.

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.

  • 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. The Public Policy Handbook also lists many internship opportunities.
  • 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:

From 2016 through 2018, Truman School students have secured internships in the following organizations:

American Scholastic Washington, DC
Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) Columbia, MO
Association of American Universities Washington, DC
Big Brothers, Big Sisters Columbia, MO
Center For American Progress Washington, DC
Center for Children and Families Across Cultures/Center for Family Policy & Research Columbia, MO
Cherng Leadership Academy Columbia, MO
City of Cedar Rapids Cedar Rapids, IA
City of Centrailia Centralia, MO
Clackamas County, Business and Community Services Department Portland, OR
Columbia Land Trust, City of Columbia Columbia, MO
Columbia Second Chance Columbia, MO
Downtown Community Improvement District Columbia, MO
Effective Leadership Academy Warrensville Heights, OH
Federal Emergency Management Agency Kansas City, MO
First Chance for Children Columbia, MO
GPS Impact Jefferson City, MO
Heart of Missouri United Way Columbia, MO
Institute of Public Policy Columbia, MO
Institute of Public Policy Columbia, MO
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Washington, DC
Let America Vote Des Moines, IA
Missouri Botanical Garden St. Louis, MO
Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Social Services Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Social Services – Children’s Division Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Department of Social Services – Children’s Division Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Future Farmers of America Association Jefferson City, MO
Missouri KIDS COUNT Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Office of the Public Counsel Jefferson City, MO
Missouri Society of Respiratory Care Columbia, MO
Missouri State Employees Retirement System Jefferson City, MO
Mizzou Advancement Columbia, MO
Mizzou Spirit/Campus Activities Columbia, MO
MU Office of Service Learning/Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Columbia, MO & Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Office of Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (Columbia) Columbia, MO
Quinton Lucas for KC Kansas City, MO
Sprint Overland Park, KS
Sseko Designs Portland, OR
Truman School of Public Affairs (RAMS & Mizzou Alternative Breaks) Columbia, MO
Truman Youth Leadership Academy Columbia, MO
University of California Irvine – School of Education Irvine, CA
University of Missouri Council for Advancement and Support of Education Columbia, MO
Urban Institute Washington, DC
Urban Leaders Denver, CO
Urban Leaders – Denver Denver, CO
US Citizenship and Immigration Services, National Benefit Center Lee’s Summit, MO
US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service St. Louis, MO
US Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development Columbia, MO
US Department of Agriculture, Office of Rural Development Columbia, MO
Wonderland Camp Rocky Mount, MO