GIPPSE Program – Graduate Intern Program

March 11, 2014

What is GIPPSE?
The Graduate Intern Program for Public Service Excellence (GIPPSE) is a 20-month internship program that matches students accepted into the MPA program in the Department of Public Administration with participating agencies. The program is intended to provide interns with the opportunity to simultaneously begin a professional career while earning the MPA degree at the University of Illinois. The selection of student-agency match is made from a diversity of organizations representing federal, state, municipal and nonprofit sectors.

What Can I Do With An MPA Degree?
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is appropriate for individuals who seek a career as a management professional in the public or nonprofit sectors. Many MPA students are already full-time managers and seek to gain additional expertise. Others use the MPA to justify promotion to a management position. Still others enter the MPA program right out of college as a means of obtaining an entry-level professional position in the public or nonprofit sectors.
Typical jobs held by MPA program graduates include the following;

How Are Interns Selected?
GIPPSE is a competitive internship program. Participating organizations will consider the strength of your GPA, resume, letters of recommendation, areas of concentration, and career goals as defined in your personal statement; as well as any special skills that might enhance your internship experience.
The above information will be sent to the participating agencies for interview consideration. Interviews and final hiring decisions are made solely by the agencies with no input from the department or GIPPSE office. If you are selected for an interview, the GIPPSE office will send you the interview schedule and position description via e-mail. Interviews are conducted by participating agencies and notifications of appointments are announced for a start date of August 15th.

What Are the Admissions Requirements?
This is a competitive program where selection is based upon a combination of factors such as your resume, GPA, work experience (if applicable,) career goals as defined in your personal statement of interest and letters of recommendation.

Monthly Stipend: GIPPSE Interns are paid a stipend during the fall and spring term of each academic year.
Tuition Waiver: Interns receive 12 credit hours of tuition waiver during each fall and spring term that they are active in the GIPPSE Intern Program.
Work Schedule: GIPPSE Interns may work up to 20 hours per week at the placement agency between August 16th and May 15th of each academic year.
Intern Support: The GIPPSE office will work closely with you throughout your intern experience.

Other FAQs
What Does a GIPPSE Intern Do? As a GIPPSE intern, you will have the opportunity to gain professional experience that is compatible with your academic experience in the MPA program. Agency “match” will utilize your interests in areas of concentration such as budgeting and finance performance evaluation, survey methods and local government management to identify the agency in which you will work.

When Does the Internship Begin? GIPPSE is a 20-month internship program which commences annually on August 16th and ends on May 15th each year.

Do Interns Receive Academic Credit for Intern Experience? Yes. It is possible to receive credit under the Field Experience in Public Administration course. This course requires students to work in an organization, submit written work and meet with the course instructor on a periodic basis to discuss the field experience. A maximum of 4 hours of credit may be applied to the MPA program.

Are Textbooks and Mandatory Fees Covered? No. Textbooks and fees are your responsibility.

Are GIPPSE Interns Eligible for Additional Financial Assistance? Yes. To determine if you are eligible for additional financial assistance, please visit the UIC Office of Financial Assistance at .

Please contact the GIPPSE office at 312.996.5129 or via e-mail Margaret LaPorte at



Alumni Testimonials

Jeanne Chiu

MPA 2010

"Because of my interest in improving the human condition through public service, I chose to enter the MPA program at UIC. Chicago, rich in history, diversity, and politics, is the perfect place to learn about all aspects of public administration. For my Capstone team project, I was provided the opportunity to collaborate with a nonprofit organization on the West Side of Chicago to develop a training and professional development curriculum. As Public Service Chair of PASA, I have volunteered alongside many of my colleagues in different service projects in the Chicagoland area. I like how this MPA program provides opportunities for students to interact with each other in the classroom and outside the classroom environment. It is a flexible program that enables students working full-time the ability to take classes at night. I would highly recommend the MPA program at UIC to prospective students."

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