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PSPA Internships

Our experience has been that UNF students are as competitive as students from any university and often at an advantage because they provide diversity from the normal feeders to these prestigious internships.

At UNF, it is each student's responsibility to find their own internship. For some available opportunities, please visit the PSPA Internships Canvas page and book an appointment with Professor Lerner. Start early. Pay close attention to application requirements and deadlines. It can take up to 6 weeks to complete applications and required forms before registering for internships.  

PSPA Contacts:

Cover Letters and Resume Samples

Please see our samples on the Internship Opportunities for PSPA Majors Canvas page. The samples are located on the Canvas page under Modules --> Samples: Resume and Cover Letters. If you are not able to access the samples, please email

Grammar Guidelines

Chomp Chomp

Purdue OWL

Diana Hacker Handbook

Directed Independent Study (DIS)

Please contact your instructor to request a DIS and obtain the following information:

  • Course prefix (i.e. "MAN" for Management)
  • Course number (i.e. "2904")
  • Course title (30 characters max, incl. spaces)
  • Faculty name (Must be full time faculty member)
  • Term for course
  • Course proposed activities (500 words or less)
  • Course evaluation method (500 words or less)
  • Proposed timeline of course and required date of completion (500 words or less)

 How to Register for a DIS:

  1. Login Into your myWings account. 
  2. Click on the “Student Records” tile.
  3. Select “Student Forms” from the popup and then click on Appeals, Petitions, and Online Forms.
  4. Under Records and Registration select “Individualized Instruction Request.”
  5. Read the instructions at the top ensuring that you have completed all the steps and have the information required to complete this application.
  6. If you are ready select “Yes” and click Next.
  7. Select the term you will be doing the independent study in and click Next.
  8. Your general student information will appear in the section below.
  9. Enter the Course Prefix (Subject Code), Course Number, Credit Hours, Course Name, and Select the Instructor ID in the Course Information section.  
  10. Enter in or Copy and Paste the information in Proposed Activities, Evaluation Method, and Course Material sections. 
  11. Read the Statement of Understanding and check the box for “I Agree.” 
  12. Click Submit.  
  13. You will get a confirmation message at the top. 

How to get an internship

  • First: for ideas & internship process, you will need to contact:
  • Research what you are interested in.
  • Talk to other UNF students to get their feedback/experience on an internship program.
  • Once you are ready to start applying, pay attention to deadline(s) posted.
  • Have an updated cover letter & resume for submission: one that a professional (i.e., broader than family) has proofread.
  • Line up well in advance good recommendations. Some require letters, others just names.
  • Most websites will tell you when applicants are selected. Check in unless the website indicates otherwise if you've not heard by the end of the time frame.
  • Network. Talk to other UNF students, professors, friends -- and get advice, leads, and contacts.
  • Schedule interviews with potential employers in advance. (i.e., give 3-4 weeks notice to schedule these interviews).
  • Contact PSPA for any questions. 904-620-2999

Internship Opportunities

Internship Programs

Jacksonville Florida Internship Programs

Florida Statewide Internship Programs

Washington DC Internship Programs

New York City Internship Programs

Once you have your internship:

  1. When you have a possible internship, confirm formally and preferably in writing the terms and timetable of your internship.
  2. Book an appointment with Professor Lerner. Log onto the PSPA Canvas page and complete all steps listed. 
  3. Register for first week of semester!
  4. Forms & waivers must be filled out and sent to Professor Lerner. If given permission, register for the internship course.
  5. Ask for an evaluation letter from your supervisor.
  6. Complete a written summary of your internship work.
  7. Internship credit are good for 3 Academic Credit Hours unless otherwise discussed.
  8. Any problems during the internship should be brought to the immediate attention of your UNF contact. Don't let problems fester. We are here to help!
  9. Enjoy and have a great career.

MPA Internships

Internship Requirement

An internship is required for pre-service students entering the program, though waivers are possible. If an internship is required, five electives plus the internship will be required in addition to the core program courses. If an internship is not required, an additional elective will be required. All students, except those who have met Fast Track, must take 42 hours to complete the program. The need for an internship for any individual student is determined in consultation with the MPA Director, usually on admission to the program.

Details for PAD6946 Internship in Public Administration can be found by contacting Professor Lerner, the internship coordinator for the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Though coordinated by Professor Lerner within the MPA program, to be accepted by a government agency, business, or nonprofit, you need to contact the agency with your resume and see if they have availability. You are expected to be professional in your interaction with the agency, starting with this initial contact and subsequent interview. Likewise, the agency should be professional with you as well. You need to be registered by the end of drop/add week.

Once you are accepted, you have some forms and waivers to fill out at the Political Science Department office - Building 51/2412. At this point, you will be given permission to register for the internship course. You are expected to work 250-300 hours during the semester, and complete assignments indicated in the PAD6946 syllabus. 

Recent internship placements have included Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Senator Marco Rubio's office, Beaches Watch, March of Dimes, imethods, American Red Cross, Rick Mullaney for Mayor campaign, the Northeast Florida Regional Council, United Way of St. Johns County, Jacksonville Public Libraries, and Jacksonville Civic Council. Internships have also been available with the PACE Center for Girls, the Jacksonville Ballet Theatre, the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville, Planned Parenthood of Northeast Florida, and the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida.

Advertising internships

If you have an internship position or other opportunities that you would like to advertise to our UNF students, please provide Professor Lerner with a short (1 paragraph) description of your organization, your expectations and duties for the internship, and contact information so that we may advertise it to the students.