To get the important practical real world experience that many employers expect people new to the job market to have, many of our students participate in internships in Columbia, Jefferson City, Washington DC, and all around the world. 

Internship opportunities: 

  • Prosecutor’s and public defender’s offices 
  • The staff of state legislators 
  • State agencies 
  • The staff of members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate 
  • Interest groups 
  • U.S. embassies in exciting cities such as London, Stockholm, Madrid, and Dublin 

In the Truman School, internships are optional for qualifying political science undergraduate students, an elective for undergraduate public administration and policy students, and required for some MPA students. 

Undergraduate students 

The Truman School’s Undergraduate Political Science internship program provides students the opportunity to get the most out of internships in government, public service, the law, and other related areas through POL_SC 4940: Political Science Internship.  If you are looking for an internship, the Truman School can help. The Truman School can also evaluate an internship you have already secured to see if you would be eligible to earn academic credit. The Truman School works with internship providers to help students get the very most out of their internship experiences. Each semester, we have students interning at the State Capitol in Jefferson City; at local law firms; at the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office; at the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office; in the offices of Missouri’s federal legislators; and many other sites. 

Undergraduate public administration & public policy students may also take POL_SC 4940 as an elective, or they may elect to enroll in SVR_LRN 3028: Civic Leaders Internship, which provides internship opportunities in publicly-funded offices and non-profit organizations in the State of Missouri. 

Kinder Scholars Program in Washington DC 

The Kinder Scholars D.C. Summer Program is offered through The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. This program provides rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the University of Missouri with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a course of study on the American constitutional and democratic traditions that uniquely weds theory, history, and practice. 

To provide participants with an opportunity to supplement their coursework with practical experience, the program curriculum also requires students to intern Monday-Thursday (min. 25 hours per week) at an organization in D.C. whose mission relates to their academic study of the theory and history of American constitutional democracy. 


If you are interested in POL_SC 4940, contact Truman School teaching professor Bill Horner.

If you are interested in SVR_LRN 3028, contact the Office of Service Learning.  

The College of Arts & Science Internship Office can also provide advice and support to students seeking internships. 

MPA students 

Truman School MPA students without significant public sector or nonprofit work experience must complete an internship, which is coordinated through the Truman School Office of Career Services. The goals of the internship are to use the competencies and skills taught in the Truman School, such as: 

  • Research and analysis 
  • Planning 
  • Organizing programs or events 
  • Data analysis 
  • Strategic planning 
  • The application of specific skills such as the preparation of statistical reports, written analyses and oral presentations 

Most full-time MPA students complete an internship by working full time during the summer semester. However, part-time placements during the academic year are allowed with approval by the internship program administrator. Students can accept a paid or unpaid internships, and these details should be discussed directly between the host organization and the intern.

Here are some examples of recent internships completed by our MPA students:

  • Associated Student of the University of Missouri (student lobbying organization)
  • City of Maplewood, Missouri
  • Democratic National Committee, Washington, D.C.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, Lenexa Kansas
  • Edward D. Jones, St. Louis
  • Heart of Missouri United Way, Columbia, MO
  • International Rescue Committee, New York City
  • Local Motion, Columbia, MO
  • Missouri State Rep. Emily Weber
  • MU Institute of Public Policy
  • MU Office of Undergraduate Research
  • U.S. Congressman James Inhofe, Washington, D.C.
  • U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Kansas City Office
  • Veterans United, Columbia, MO