Planning Your Internship (Undergraduate)

Internships are optional, but highly recommended, for all PPPM undergraduate students. Internships are supervised experiences that integrate the PPPM curriculum with applied learning and include the following components:

  • Exploration of career interests related to the PPPM curriculum.
  • Opportunities to apply academic learning, learn new skills, and network with professionals.
  • Meaningful tasks and responsibilities that support students’ learning goals.

An internship must primarily be a learning opportunity for the student. Internships are not jobs, though an internship may be paid or unpaid. PPPM students may complete an internship in the public, nonprofit, or private sector. An internship is not membership on a board, commission, advisory council, or volunteer work. PPPM students may complete a credit or noncredit internship. Study abroad or other classroom training are not eligible for internship credit.

Minimum requirements for undergraduate academic (credit) internships:

  • Satisfactory completion of PPPM 412 Internship and Professional Development (1 credit) is a prerequisite for PPPM 404 Internship. This course is open to all PPPM students: PPPM majors, pre-PPPM majors, PPPM minors, and NPA minors.
  • The internship must be a minimum of 3 credits: 10 weeks in duration and a minimum of 9 hours/week (90 hours total for the term)
  • The organization must have a business site (not a home office) where students report.
  • Students must be supervised by a paid staff member. Supervisor must agree to sign the PPPM Internship Agreement, work with students to develop tasks to support their learning goals, and complete midterm and final evaluations. Supervisors may not be relatives of the student.
  • The internship tasks and responsibilities must support students’ career goals.
  • Students must register for PPPM 404 Internship during the academic term in which they complete the academic (credit) internship. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • Students who are pursuing PPPM elective credit for an IE3 or GEO internship (OINT 488) must still follow the planning steps and requirements listed below, including successful completion of PPPM 412 (prerequisite).


PPPM Internship Requirements

Step 1: Meet with the Undergraduate Internship Director
Step 2: Research and Identify an Internship
Step 3: Obtain Pre-authorization for PPPM 404 Internship
Step 4: Register for PPPM 404 Internship

Step 1: Meet with the Undergraduate Internship Director

Once you are enrolled in or have completed PPPM 412 Internship and Professional Development, meet with the Undergraduate Internship Director to discuss your internship plans (you do not need to have an internship secured at the time of the meeting). This meeting should be scheduled no later than the end of week 5 of the term prior to the start of your planned internship. The purpose of the meeting is to talk about your career interests, learning goals, and to help you brainstorm some possible internship options.

Jessica Matthiesen, Undergraduate Program and Internship Director
Office: 121B Hendricks Hall

Step 2: Research and Identify an Internship

There are many ways to research and identify an internship that will meet your career interests and learning goals:

  1. Review all of the internship and job resources available to you on this site and beyond. Also consider recurring internships, international internships, and fellowships depending on your interests.
  2. Review the lists of nonprofit and public sector organizations where PPPM students have interned in the past. The PPPM internship office also has evaluations completed by the students who interned at many of these sites. The evaluations are available anytime the office is open.
  3. Sign up for Duck Connect to access the internship database and
  4. Read newspapers and journals.
  5. Conduct informational interviews. Review the Informational Interviewing and Writing Professional E-mail information for guidance.
  6. Use various Internet search strategies to identify organizations engaged in your interests.

Step 3: Obtain Pre-authorization for PPPM 404 Internship

Once you secure an internship, the Undergraduate Internship Director must approve your preliminary learning goals and internship site as stated on the pre-authorization form. The form is due no later than Monday of week 9 of the term that precedes the term of your internship. Students completing an IE3 internship are also required to submit a pre-authorization form with approved learning goals by the deadline.

  1. Contact the Undergraduate Internship Director to discuss your proposed internship site, tasks, responsibilities, and learning goals. If you recently met with the Undergraduate Internship Director (see step 1, above), this discussion may take place via e-mail.
  2. Once your internship is approved, the Undergraduate Internship Director will e-mail the PPPM 404 preauthorization form to you for completion.
  3. Complete the preauthorization form and e-mail a copy to the Undergraduate Internship Director.
  4. Once you have been preauthorized to register for PPPM 404 the Undergraduate Internship Director will email you the PPPM Internship Agreement (IA). You must complete, sign, and submit a paper copy of the IA as described in step 4 below.

Step 4: Register for PPPM 404 Internship & Obtain Site Supervisor Signature on PPPM Internship Agreement (IA)

To register
Once you add PPPM 404, you will need to change the variable credit hours to reflect the number stated on your preauthorization form. Credits are based on the number of internship hours projected per week (1 credit of PPPM 404 = 3 hours of internship/week during the course of a 10-week term). Summer term internships are scheduled for the first 10 weeks of summer term. The PPPM 404 course syllabus and assignments are available on Canvas. Assignments include completion of Exhibit A: PPPM Internship Description, a midterm assignment, and a final assignment. The course is graded pass/no pass.

Obtain Site Supervisor Signature
You and your site supervisor must sign the PPPM Internship Agreement (IA) before the end of the term that precedes the start of your internship. Meet with your supervisor to review the IA and obtain your supervisor’s signature, and then submit a paper copy of the IA to the Undergraduate Internship Director. If your site supervisor is out of the area, or if you made arrangements via email, you may submit a PDF of the IA.

The PPPM Internship Agreement must be signed and submitted before you begin your internship.