Hiring a Fellow as an Intern

KU Master of Public Administration City/County Management Fellows 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.

The internship provides an important opportunity for them to make the 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 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 in the Lawrence and Kansas City region have provided part-time internships for KU MPA Fellows and municipalities across the country have hired them as full-time interns.

Ensuring a Successful Internship Experience

There are no formal requirements for the internship year, however, some general parameters have emerged that will ensure a successful experience for both the student and the hiring organization:

4 Tips for a Successful Internship

Strong Relationships

  • Communication is the key to a quality internship experience.
  • Prior to each seminar, we contact the intern and the supervisor to inquire how the intern is progressing.  
  • 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 School of Public Affairs & Administration graduation event, held in May in Lawrence, KS.


  • 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 in the Lawrence, KS area in January and May.

Average Salary and Benefits

  • $46,907 (median salary) $27,040-$61,000 (salary range)
  • 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, employers support that professional development activity by providing interns with financial support for travel, lodging, and registration and/or time off for the seminar.

More Information

Please contact Cari Ann Kreienhop at cak@ku.edu or 785-864-3665 for additional information about the internship experience or the MPA students.