Department of Political Science

Internship Requirements

The MPA curriculum includes an experiential component. All students without significant work experience are required to complete a public service internship. This experience is designed to allow students to apply their acquired classroom skills in a formal job setting. We will assist in arranging these internships.

The MPA Committee will review each student's work history at the time of admission to determine if an internship will be required.

The requirements of the internship are: 300 hours of work (for 3 semester hours of credit) in a position approved by the Internship Coordinator, a written report and an oral presentation (described below). Students who successfully complete the requirements of the internship will be awarded three semester hours of academic credit. A student who accepts a full-time position involving significant administrative or policy making responsibilities after admission to the MPA program may petition for a review of the internship requirement.

Management training internships can also be designed for in-service students who desire additional management related experience.


Entering students who are required to complete the internship requirement should arrange to meet with the Internship Coordinator as soon as possible after entering the MPA program. While it is ultimately the student's responsibility to secure an internship position with an acceptable employer, the Internship Coordinator will assist students whenever possible, and maintains a file on potential employers. Internships should be either with government agencies or not-for-profit organizations. Internships in the private sector may be granted academic credit only after prior approval by the MPA core faculty. <>Below are some important web sites listing various internship opportunities.


Although compensation is not a required element of the internship program, students are strongly encouraged to pursue paid internship positions. Compensated internships more closely replicate the true workplace relationship. Where possible, the intern should be paid directly by the employer, without the involvement of East Carolina University or the MPA program.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Some internship experiences (military, health or medical, etc.) can involve issues of access to confidential materials and clients' rights to privacy. Students should take every precaution not to invade clients' rights in the internship presentation, the internship report, and in their daily conversations with friends, fellow students, and professors. Students who have access to health and medical records are covered under provisions of the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This act requires those who have access to certain patient health and medical information to undergo training before they can access these records. The web site has further information for ECU students and staff on this requirement.

Internship Report

Each student must prepare an internship report which will describe how his or her internship experience has enhanced his or her understanding of the knowledge and skills required in public sector management. The internship report should be regarded as a major paper of an applied nature with quality and length appropriate for graduate-level academic credit. The internship report is designed to make the student intern synthesize his or her practical experience with theoretical learning.

The outline of a typical report should take the following form:

A. Agency Setting:
1) A description of the organization's goals and objectives
2) Major programs and activities of the organization
3) Organizational chart of the agency showing the intern's place in the organization
4) List of names, titles, and addresses of administrative officials who are significantly related to the student intern's work

B. The Internship Projects, Duties, and Responsibilities:
1) List all projects assigned and completed by the student intern
2) Description of duties and responsibilities
3) A journal kept by the intern during the internship period
4) Description of skills, knowledge and methods used in resolution of problems assigned

C. Annotated Bibliography
1) List of books, government documents, articles, and other literature the student intern has read relating to his or her internship projects, duties, and responsibilities with a brief summary of each

D. Evaluation Summary:
1) Assessment of the degree of personal growth experienced by the student as well as difficulties encountered
2) Discussion of the intern's personal views, career goals, and perceptions of the public sector management
3) Suggestions on any aspect of the internship

E. Appendix:
1) Any additional information that will help the evaluation process such as a sample of the work produced during the internship

Overview of MPA Program (PPT)
Frequently Asked Questions
Admission to the MPA Program
MPA Graduation and Employment Rates
Out of State & International Students
MPA Personal Datasheet (PDF)
Financial Assistance
Getting Started in Your Graduate Program
Student Technology Resources
MPA Style Manual
Grad. Cert. in Community Health Admin.
Community Health Admin. Gainful Employment Info.

MPA Handbook (PDF)
Mission Statement & Objectives
Expected Student Competencies
Our Professional Values
Core Curriculum and Areas of Emphasis
Internship Requirements
Professional Paper
Post-Grad Intern & Fellowships
Grad. Cert. in Security Studies

Dept. of Political Science, Brewster A-124, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Phone (252) 328-6189
Fax (252) 328-4134