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Hiring an Intern

KU Master of Public Administration intern-option students graduate after two years - one year in classes and one year in a full-time paid internship. They take a variety of courses ranging from public management and policy analysis to specialized courses in infrastructure management, public finance, and administrative law.

It is the internship, however, that provides the opportunity for them to make the important transition from student to professional. Intern employers play a key role in the professional education of our students, and it is a rewarding role in several respects. These students are enthusiastic and well-qualified for the positions they take, and so they are a valuable resource for any organization. As their employer, you will be personally rewarded by taking part in the education process and by knowing that you are contributing to professional public management.

Cities and counties that have provided part-time internships include: Douglas and Johnson counties, and the cities of Lawrence, Olathe, Prairie Village, Shawnee, the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas and Water One of Olathe.

Cities and counties that have provided full-time internships include: Dallas, Texas; Lawrence, Kansas; Lexington, Massachusetts; Olathe, Kansas; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; Tacoma, Washington; Wichita, Kansas; Sedgwick County, Kansas; and the City of Kansas City, Missouri through the Cookingham-Noll Fellowship.

Though there are no formal requirements for the internship year, since the program was founded in 1948, some general parameters have emerged that will ensure a successful experience for both the student and the hiring organization:

Supervision - Successful internships provide the student with supervision and a fairly regular time to discuss his/her progress.

Learning Experiences - The intern should have a variety of experiences to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities. Ideally, the supervisor and intern should develop a learning plan together.

Seminar Attendance - Interns must be permitted the time to attend three week-long professional development seminars which are part of their academic requirements. One is held in the fall at the International City/County Management Association conference, and the other two are held on the KU campus in January and April. Prior to each seminar, we contact the intern and the supervisor to inquire how the intern is progressing. We also remind the supervisor about the seminar obligations. The goal is to keep the supervisor informed and to monitor the quality of the internship experience.

Graduation, at the end of the internship, symbolizes a readiness to enter the profession. Supervisors are invited to attend the Master's Hooding Ceremony and Graduation Banquet event, held in April in Lawrence, KS.

The average salary of KU MPA interns is $35,200. Most employers provide medical benefits, vacation time, and sick leave. Some offer reimbursement for tuition, moving costs, retirement plans, and interview expenses. In addition, since interns are required to attend the ICMA conference, all employers support that professional development activity by providing interns with financial support for travel, lodging, and registration and/or time off for the seminar.

Please contact Ray Hummert (rhummert@ku.edu, 785-864-9097) for additional information about the internship experience or the MPA students.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines follow University guidelines

M.U.P (Master of Urban Planning)
Fall semester: July 1
Spring semester: December 1

M.U.P as International Student
Fall Semester: June 1
Spring Semester: November 1

M.P.A. Intern-Option
Summer semester: February 1

M.P.A. as International Student
Fall semester: February 1

M.P.A. Career-Option
Fall semester (early decision): May 1
Fall semester: June 15
Spring semester: November 1

Fall semester: January 25

SPAA Events & Deadlines
PMC Events, Classes & Deadlines