The SPP Undergraduate Internship Program

Overview of the Program

The UCR School of Public Policy offers select internship opportunities to undergraduate Public Policy majors who demonstrate strong academic aptitude and commitment to further advance their practical learning experiences. This unique internship opportunity is focused on professional development and is designed to provide undergraduate students hands-on work experience with local government agencies, nonprofits, and private entities working on policy issues impacting the Inland Empire region.

Internship candidate selections are based upon a number of factors, including academic standing, desire to serve the public, and focus on improving the quality of life for local residents and businesses. Students who demonstrate career ambitions of working on policy issues in the Inland Empire region, as well as students in their third or fourth years, will receive priority. However, all interested SPP students are encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will possess basic knowledge, understanding, and skills in numerous core public policy skill areas (i.e., research methods, microeconomic theory, the legislative process, budgeting and finance processes, etc.) and/or in key policy areas (i.e., environmental policy, education policy, health policy, etc.).


The application period runs at the end of each Winter Quarter for internship positions available the following academic year. For example, students who submit applications in the Winter 2018 quarter will be considered for internship matches in the 2018 - 2019 Academic Year.


Program Benefits

The benefits of being selected for the UCR SPP Undergraduate Internship program include:

    • Participation in a required "Pre-Internship Orientation" to prepare students for their internship experience.
    • Gaining substantial professional exposure and experience related to local governance and public policy.
    • Personalized access to the SPP Career Counselor and Internship Program Coordinator, who is available to assist with any issues or challenges encountered by students during the internship.
    • Unique networking opportunities with local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private entities.
    • Concurrent enrollment in an academic internship class (PBPL 198i), which is designed to help student interns reflect on and process their internship experience.
    • Successful completion of the SPP Undergraduate Internship Program will satisfy the “Internship Requirement” for Public Policy majors.


Program Requirements

Students who are selected to participate in the SPP Internship Program are required to:

    • Attend the "SPP Internship Program Orientation" prior to the start of whichever quarter they are interning (specific dates and times for each quarter will be communicated to SPP interns in advance)
    • Serve a minimum of 8 – 10 hours per week at their internship during the 10-week quarter in which they are interning. (Please Note: some internship opportunities may require more than 8 - 10 weekly hours, and some opportunities may run for 20 weeks, rather than 10)
    • Enroll in PBPL 198i, “Individual Internship in Public Policy” and complete all academic assignments associated with the course.
    • Complete an evaluation form of the SPP Internship Program experience and of the partner organization where they intern.

Selection Process

Students are selected to participate in the SPP Internship Program based on:

    • Academic standing (major, year, and GPA)
    • Demonstrated interest in local government, local policy, and/or public service
    • Answers to the Application Questions outlined in this application document
    • Performance in an interview with the SPP Career Services Team


Students will be matched with SPP Partner Organizations based on:

    • The preferences selected by the student on the “Internship Interest Form”
    • The public policy/career interests of the student
    • The needs of the partner organizations (type and number of interns sought each quarter)


How to Apply

The application period for internships available in the 2018 - 2019 Academic Year will open March 2, 2018.

To find out more about how to apply, please visit the 2018 - 2019 Program Page.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the UCR SPP Undergraduate Internship Program, please contact:

(951) 827-2357 | spp-internship@ucr.edu