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 CIPA’s off-campus semester programs. The CIPA 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, CIPA has developed a competitive grant program to help defray the costs of unpaid internships. Applications for funding are sent out to students each spring.

Internships by LocationInternships by Sector

Internships and Externships


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 CIPA Off-Campus Study Programs

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

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

Capital Semester, New York State Assembly and Senate