The School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration seeks to "educate students for lives of active citizenship and for professional careers in public and nonprofit organizations." To do this, it is essential to provide students with real-life experiences that create a bridge between classroom theory and the challenges of professional life. This is accomplished through the SPNHA internship experience.

Benefits of an Internship

Whether a student is new to the profession, making a career change or is looking for ways to network and get a "foot in the door," the importance of an internship cannot be overstated. Research has determined that internships benefit students by:

  • Allowing students to make better career decisions & faster career progress
  • Enhancing students' problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork skills
  • Improving students' academic performance and motivation
  • Making the student more likely to obtain work related to their academic background or interest area
  • And, after graduation, students who do an internship obtain work faster, and typically are given more responsibility than students without internship experience

(Taken from "Supporting and Expanding GVSU Internships" by Chris Plouff, GVSU Career Center)

Internships are Required


Undergraduates receive three credits for each 150 hours of internship and may do up to two internships for credit.

  • Students seeking a BA or BS in Public Administration are required to complete one internship (PA 490) and may register for a second internship (PA 491) to satisfy elective credits.
  • Students seeking a PA minor may elect PA 490 to gain additional experience.
  • Students seeking a minor in Nonprofit Administration are required to complete one internship (PA 490) and may elect a second internship (PA 491) to satisfy one elective in the minor.

Related programs:


Graduate students

Graduate students receive three credits for 300 hours of internship and may do up to two internships for credit.

  • MPA students without previous or concurrent work experience in the field of public or nonprofit management are required to take three credits of internship (PA 690).
  • MHA students with less than three years of professional experience in the field of health management are required to take PA 690 and PA 691, after taking the prerequisite classes of PA 630, 611 and one additional core course. Early and mid-career students may, based on health care management experience, have one or both internships waived.
    • Pre-career students must complete two internships, PA 690 and PA 691 (for a total of 6 credits)
    • Early-career students must complete one internship, PA 690 (3 credits)
    • Mid-career students are not required to complete an internship.

Halie Black

Halie Black, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, 2013

Diane Miller

Diane Miller, Growing Goods - Muskegon Middle School Summer Feeding Program, 2013

Jason S. Escareno

Jason S. Escareno, City of Ferrysburg, 2013

Finding and Registering for an Internship

Students who would like assistance in finding an internship should contact Quincy Williams at 616 331-2362 or at least three months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to do the internship to allow time to find a site that meets the students' needs and interests.

For information on internships and job postings, check out:

  • our Facebook page. Opportunities are posted often.
  • The Nonprofit Internships board managed by the GVSU's Community Learning Center
  •  LakerJobs is GVSU's web-based service providing students and alumni access to professional jobs and internships posted by employers looking for GVSU students and alumni.

If a student has a particular placement in mind, please first call the internship coordinator to see if a contact has been established with the organization. If not, you may contact the organization yourself and set up an informational interview to learn about a possible internship placement.

In recent semesters, students have successfully served as interns with many different organizations, including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Borgess Hospital
  • Catholic Charities
  • Cherry Street Health Services
  • City of Grand Haven
  • City of Grand Rapids
  • City of Holland
  • City of Hudsonville
  • City of Wyoming
  • Every Woman's Place
  • Hispanic Center of West Michigan
  • Johnson Center for Philanthropy
  • Lakeshore Ethnic
  • Lutheran Services
  • Neighborhood Ventures
  • Porter Hills
  • St. Marys Hospital
  • Spectrum Hospital
  • Wedgewood
  • Women in Transition
  • YMCA

To request credit for your internship, please log-in and complete the Online Internship Agreement form.  Please note that this form is to be completed AFTER you have secured an internship. Please ensure all information is correct, as you will NOT be able to edit your agreement form upon submission.


Marcin Grzaka

Marcin Grzaka, Better Block / re:STATE, 2013

Lucas Roscoe

Lucas Roscoe, La Casa, Inc., 2013

Ulandra Reynolds

Ulandra Reynolds, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Requirements and Grading the Internship

Students must meet both academic and field hour requirements in order to receive credit.

Field Hour Requirements

  • Undergraduates complete 150 hours of fieldwork for three credits
  • Graduate students complete 300 hours of fieldwork for three credits
  • Each student will be evaluated by his or her site supervisor. Satisfactory completion of fieldwork is a requirement of receiving academic credit.
  • Each student will coordinate a site visit for the internship coordinator to meet with both the student and the site supervisor during the internship.

Academic requirements

  • Complete an Internship Checklist and turn in to the internship coordinator by the end of the first week of fieldwork.
  • Undergraduates submit 2 progress reports (every 50 hours) and a final paper by the last day of classes in the semester they wish to receive credit.
  • Graduates submit three progress reports (every 100 hours) and a final paper by the last day of classes in the semester they wish to receive credit.

The internship is graded on a Credit / No Credit basis.

Ingrid Scheer

Ingrid Scheer, US Attorney's Office, 2013

Tara Aday

Tara Aday, National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), 2013


Blake Hamilton

Blake Hamilton, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, 2013

External Resources