Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

La Follette School students are encouraged, although not required, to obtain professional and policy‐related work experience during their degree programs. Through paid and unpaid internships, students apply the skills and knowledge gained during their coursework, critically reflect on their classroom and internship experiences, synthesize new insights, and connect academic theories and research to the profession of public affairs and/or policy analysis.

La Follette School students have interned throughout the United States, as well as overseas, at all levels of government, in nonprofit organizations, and in the private sector.

La Follette School faculty and staff, especially the Career Services Coordinator, assist students with their internship search. Government agencies and other employers frequently ask the La Follette School to share information about internships with students, and the Career Services Coordinator and faculty also may initiate contacts with organizations on behalf of students.

Earning Academic Credit for Internships

Students may receive up to three graduate course credits by successfully completing PA 827 Administrative Internship. Enrollment 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. Students who wish to enroll in the course and receive credit for an internship must:

  1. Search and apply for internships (many internship opportunities are on the La Follette School website). 
  2. Accept an internship offer.
  3. Fill out the PA 827 Administrative Internship Agreement form, and email the completed electronic form (fillable pdf) to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    The Career Services Coordinator will review the form and, if approved, will notify the student and the La Follette School’s Student Services Associate, who will give the student permission to enroll in the course.

  4. Determine the appropriate number of credits for PA 827 based on the work hour guidelines below.
  5. Enroll through the Student Center.

With approval from the Career Services Coordinator, students may enroll in PA 827 for 1 to 3 credits, 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 also is based on several additional criteria, such as: the student’s satisfactory academic progress, type of employer, expected projects and tasks during the internship, and the relationship of the internship to the student’s degree program and field. A maximum of 3 internship credits may be counted toward a La Follette School master’s degree.

Many government and nonprofit organizations advertise “internship” positions; however, not all positions will meet the La Follette School’s requirements for internship credit. Awarding credit for work is entirely a La Follette School decision. Credit may be given to positions not labeled “internships” by the employer, and credit may be denied to positions that are labeled “internships.”

Please see Section 10 of the Student Handbook for more details about internship and PA 827 requirements.