Round out your Texas MPA education with hands-on experience by interning at major business partners for course credit. A popular internship approach during the spring semester comprises half the semester interning, and then half a semester taking accelerated courses for additional degree progress. Summer internships are also available. Internships emphasize leadership, teamwork and client/management interaction and will give you a practical view of organizations, practice areas and locations that may be suitable career options. In addition, many students find that internships eventually lead to job offers.
“It's great spending three months doing an internship that reflects exactly what we’ll be doing in our full-time job. It's a fantastic chance to see what’s ahead, but still be able to come back to class afterward and learn about our profession from a different perspective.”
--Natalie Jacobs, BBA ’11, MPA ’11
The internship program is designed to give students an opportunity to combine their formal academic preparation with an exposure to the accounting profession. This experience is beneficial to students not only upon graduation but also during the remainder of their time in the MPA program. After an internship, students are more confident in expressing their opinions about the profession and related issues. In addition, the students are more aware of the skills needed to be successful in the accounting profession.*
Three hours of graduate internship credit is granted for the completion of at least 320 hours of work activity that requires regular and rigorous use of knowledge and skills learned in the MPA program. This not only includes internships in public accounting but also internships in all other market sectors that meet this standard, such as financial services, industry, consulting, investment banking, etc. Unless obvious, the determination of whether an internship meets this standard will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Students typically complete an internship in the spring and/or summer semester(s). If a student opts to complete an internship in public accounting during the spring "busy season," he/she can opt to intern for approximately half of the semester and complete two condensed courses in the other half of the semester. This arrangement allows students the opportunity to be enrolled full-time, make significant degree progress, and in most cases, complete an internship without postponing their expected graduation date. If a student opts to intern for an entire academic semester (fall, spring, or summer), his/her graduation date will most likely be postponed.
*Internships are required for integrated MPA students but are an optional component of the traditional MPA curriculum. Internships completed prior to the start of the MPA program will not count as credit toward the MPA degree.
Nature and Duration of Employment
The internship must contain a major accounting component requiring supervised professional judgment. The intern must work a minimum of 320 hours.
An integral part of the internship is the formal training program provided by the sponsoring firm or company. This form is submitted to the MPA Program Office (or to the intern, who will submit it on behalf of the firm). Submission information is on the bottom of the form.
The employer provides a brief evaluation of the intern's performance at the conclusion of the internship. While the firm may opt to instead submit their own form, the program office would prefer the standard evaluation whenever possible. However, we will gladly accept either. Submission information is on the bottom of the form.
The intern keeps a journal of the internship, consisting of a chronological listing of work experiences, formal training, and a description of assignments and tasks performed. The number of hours worked each week as well as the numbers of hours worked to date must be included.
Sample Internship Journal.
The intern writes a paper demonstrating the knowledge gained from the internship experience and the ability to integrate that knowledge with the intern's formal education to date. The intern must answer the questions in the prompt.
Nature of Academic Credit
Internships are evaluated on a credit/no credit basis for three hours of graduate business credit (traditional MPA) or graduate credit (integrated MPA). Academic credit is available for only one internship.
For specific internship details, see the Internship Syllabus containing requirements and deadlines for Fall, Spring, or Summer.
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Interns must have their applications approved prior to beginning their internships. If applications are not submitted by the due date (the last class day of the prior semester) the completion of an additional assignment will be required before approval.
If you have already applied for an internship, you can check your internship status.
Questions about internships should be directed to the Internship Coordinator at: MPAAccountingInternships@mccombs.utexas.edu.