Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

La Follette students are encouraged, although not required, to obtain professional policy‐related work experience during the course of their degree programs. Students are encouraged to seek paid or unpaid internships in any organization that offers significant experience with a government policy or program. La Follette School students have interned throughout the United States, as well as overseas, at all levels of government, in non‐profit agencies, and in the private sector. Internships are expected to give students the opportunity to apply skills and insights gained in their academic course work to the issues and projects on which they work in the internship.

The search for appropriate internships involves effort on the part of students, the Career Services Coordinator and faculty. Students perform research to identify opportunities of special interest; the Career Services Coordinator advises students about desirable opportunities and assist them in preparing to pursue these opportunities; and faculty suggest agencies in which opportunities are known to exist. The Career Services Coordinator and faculty initiate contacts with organizations on behalf of La Follette School students interested in internships and are regularly contacted by agencies and other employers offering internships.

Earning Academic Credit for Internships

Students may receive up to three graduate course credits by enrolling in PA 827 Administrative Internship. Enrollment for course credit may be during the fall, spring, or summer terms, and must be approved by the Career Services Coordinator. Students assume responsibility for any travel and housing arrangements associated with an internship that requires relocation. If you wish to enroll in the course and receive credit for your internship, please follow the steps below:

  1. Accept an internship offer. You can find many internship postings on La Follette’s website.
  2. Before the start of the internship, fill out the internship agreement form and provide the La Follette Career Services Coordinator with a copy.
  3. The Career Services Coordinator will review your form and, if it is approved, will notify you and the La Follette Student Services Associate, who will give you permission to enroll in the course.
  4. Determine the appropriate number of credits in which to enroll for PA 827: Administrative Internship by consulting the table below. 
  5. Enroll through the Student Center.

With approval from the Career Services Coordinator students may enroll for 1 to 3 credits of PA 827, meeting the following minimum work hour guidelines:

  • 3 credits: minimum of 320 hours over at least 8 weeks
  • 2 credits: minimum of 240 hours over at least 6 weeks
  • 1 credit: minimum of 160 hours over at least 4 weeks

Approval of a position for academic credit is also based on a number of additional criteria, such as: the student’s satisfactory academic progress, type of agency, project and tasks performed in the position as specified in an agreement with the supervisor, and the relationship of the internship to the student’s degree program and field.

Many governmental and nonprofit organizations advertise “internship” positions. Students are encouraged to explore these opportunities but to be aware that such positions may or may not meet the La Follette School requirements for internship credit. Awarding credit for work is entirely a La Follette School decision. Such credit may be given to positions not labeled “internships” by the employing organization, and credit may be denied to positions that are labeled “internships.”

Please see Section 10 of the Student Handbook for more detailed information regarding internship and PA 827 requirements.