MPA Internship and Career Resources

Our students and graduates work in a variety of careers in local, state and federal governments, as well as in non-profit organizations. They are primarily managers, analysts and policy specialists:

  • Managers implement policies, allocating resources to achieve the objectives of the program and organization.
  • Program managers administer programs: establishing objectives, stimulating productivity, motivating workers, reporting and evaluating work progress, structuring work, allocating resources, coping with internal and external political pressures, and ensuring that the public interest is reflected in the work of the agency.
  • Staff managers support the work of program managers, performing such activities as budgeting and financial management, personnel and labor relations, management information systems, organizational analysis, and procurement of supplies and materials.
  • Staff analysts develop ways to ensure that program objectives are met. They also look at new ways to meet the public’s requests for service. A staff analyst must be familiar with research on social, economic, and environmental problems to propose potential courses of action to decision makers. They are the elements of the program usually involved in briefing papers. Staff analysts work in planning and evaluation units or budget divisions in government.
  • Policy specialists, the counterparts of staff analysts, work in consulting firms, research institutes or non-profit organizations.

To graduate, MPA students must complete an internship in a public or non-profit organization. To qualify, the internship experience must be professional and/or administrative in nature as opposed to a clerical-level position. The internship requirement may be waived for students with relevant professional experience.

Students and graduates seeking internship and career opportunities can utilize on-campus resources or search online job boards for opportunities. 

Online Job Boards

America's Job Bank
U.S. Dept. of Labor-sponsored site that links to state job banks
Public employment job opportunities site owned and operated by California public agencies
Volunteer, internship and job opportunities in the non-profit and public service sector

International City/County Management Association
Job opportunities in state and local government

Careers in California State Government
Job opportunities in the non-profit sector
National Forum for Black Public Administrators
Primarily job opportunities in state and local government

Non-Profit Talent Match
Non-profit job opportunities site sponsored by the business publication Nonprofit Times
Public service career opportunities site sponsored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)

Roll Call Jobs
Washington, D.C.-area job opportunities sites sponsored by the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call

Southern California Public Management Association-Human Resources
Job and professional development opportunities in human resources management

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Job opportunities in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors
Federal internship and job opportunities for students and recent graduates 
Students and graduates also may find internship and job opportunities advertised on the Web sites of local governments and agencies. For example, the City of Los Angeles advertises city job opportunities. Students and graduates are advised to visit the Web sites of any agency of interest to find more information about internship and career opportunities.

On-Campus Resources

Cal State LA Career Development Center
Provides assistance in searching for opportunities, applying for positions, and resume and interview preparation

Cal State LA Graduate Resource Center
Supports the academic and professional development of CSULA graduate students

Cal State LA Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs
Supports the next generation of policy leaders in the region and state.

Cal State LA Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good
Engages students, faculty and community partners to support community change