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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy


Real-world work experience is a critical component of our MPA program. It challenges you to take the academic concepts you have learned in the classroom and put them into practice.

To fulfill the Practical Experience component of the degree, most students choose to complete an internship in the summer between the first and second year of study or to do an externship while enrolled in one of the MPA Program’s off-campus semester programs. The MPA Program Office of Career Management will assist you through each phase of your internship search.

Given that many of the most challenging and rewarding positions in the field of public affairs are unpaid, the MPA Program has developed a competitive grant program to help defray the costs of unpaid internships. Applications for funding are sent out to students each spring.

Representative Summer Internships by Location

  • 43% international
  • 57% domestic

Representative Summer Internships by Sector

  • 31% public/IGO
  • 31% private
  • 38% non-profit

Internships and Externships

Representative Internships

  • Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University
  • Brookings Institute
  • Calvert Investments
  • CARE International
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Deloitte Tax, LLP
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • International Rescue Committee
  • International Labour Organization
  • Moody’s Investors Service
  • New York City Office of Management and Budget
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition, India
  • UN Development Program
  • UN Women
  • USDA Rural Development Innovation Center
  • World Bank

Externships through MPA Program Off-Campus Study

Students who choose to spend a semester in one of the MPA Program’s off-campus study programs earn academic credit while completing an externship. Representative externship organizations are listed below by location.

Washington, DC

  • UNDP
  • DC Central Kitchen
  • World Bank
  • National Public Radio
  • White House Domestic Policy Council
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • U.S. Department of State
  • World Food Programme
  • International Monetary Fund

Albany, NY

  • Capital Semester, New York State Assembly and Senate

New York City, NY

  • Schroders