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MPA Student Resources

MPA Internships

All MPA students are encouraged to consider an internship (POLS 497) as part of their elective unit requirement. Internships give students the opportunity to refine and apply skills learned in the degree program, and it is a critical opportunity to make connections in your prospective professional field. Students cannot earn internship credits for work they are currently doing as an employee.

Each unit of internship credit requires 45 hours of work. Therefore, a student enrolled in a 4-unit internship is expected to perform 180 hours of work over the course of the semester. Internships can be taken for 1-4 units.

Students are responsible for securing their own internships. Most students intern in local and state government agencies and regional non-profit organizations.  Your internship must be relevant to your studies in the MPA. Finding an internship often takes several weeks, so students are encouraged to begin this process before the semester they wish to start an internship. Internships must be approved by the program coordinator. Please contact the coordinator before you agree to an internship. You may also contact the coordinator if you would like support finding internship opportunities. 

Internships must be taken for a grade. You will be required to submit a letter from your on-site supervisor at the end of the semester verifying the number of hours you have worked. In addition, you will have to write a brief paper, typically 5-10 pages, describing what you have done and how it informs the field of public administration. Depending on the specific circumstances of your internship, there may be additional requirements as well.

To enroll in your internship, you must do the following:

  1. Meet with the program coordinator and secure an approved internship placement. This must be done no later than the second week of the semester in which you hope to enroll for an internship.
  2. Complete a copy of SSU’s internship contract. After your on-site supervisor signs the contract, you should return it to the coordinator. The internship coordinator and Political Science Department staff will get the final signatures and work to register your internship.

Master of Public Administration Student Association 

The Master of Public Administration Student Association is a student organization tailored to, but certainly not limited to, the needs of students pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Sonoma State.

The purpose of MPASA is to facilitate activities and events that reinforce the mission of the Master of Public Administration program at Sonoma State University. The MPASA Club assists members with networking, engaging in their community, providing gateways for career enhancement, and preparing for graduation. It gives members the opportunity to interact with Sonoma State MPA program alumni and professionals working in various fields of Public Administration.

These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting graduate students with solidifying and achieving their career goals;
  • Helping graduate students to excel while in pursuit of their degree;
  • Facilitating activities that allow students to become acquainted with their colleagues, local public administrators, and nonprofit organizations;
  • Providing community outreach and service in Northern California.

Check out the MPASA Facebook page or contact us by email at