Relevant experience is key to professional growth. That’s why, as a SPEA Connect student, you must do ONE of the following:
- Complete an approved internship
- Receive credit for prior professional experience or volunteer service
- Complete an independent or group research project (V590 or V601)
The amount of experiential credit students receive varies. Some choose to do an internship for 3 to 6 credits, while others join the program with significant prior experience and receive the maximum 12 credits. The fewer experiential credits, the more advanced electives you must take to meet the degree requirements.
If you’re interested in an internship, you must seek approval from the faculty director. The decision to seek credit for the internship is up to you.
You can receive credit for the experiential component—typically three to six hours—for prior professional and military experience (PPE) or volunteer service in Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America. To receive PPE credit, the experience must have been:
- Above entry level and require a college degree
- Full time, either paid or unpaid
- Within the last five years
- With a single organization for at least two years
- Explicitly related to an MPA career path
You may also earn up to 12 credit hours for your prior professional experience. If you think you might qualify for PPE or service credit, forward a copy of your resumefor an official estimate.