University of California, Riverside

School of Public Policy

Internship Program

The SPP Internship 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.).

Read More about why Internships are important


From Nitin Yenigalla, Spring 2015 Intern at the City of Riverside:

Nitin Yenigalla"Interning in the City of Riverside’s Office of Economic Development was bar none, one of the most rewarding experiences of my academic journey at UCR. I had the privilege to work with a handful of thought leaders at Riverside OED that are continuously identifying ways to fuel growth and catalyze innovation for the local economy.

My unique interest in public policy, business and economics was well aligned for this internship, as it provided me with an opportunity to roll up my sleeves on projects of interest to me, but more importantly, it consistently challenged me to learn and think critically in the economic development arena. The opportunity to be a part of this program and intern at Riverside OED equipped me with unique vantage points, knowledge and skill-sets that will be beneficial for my future endeavors. I highly recommend the program to students in search of an internship that is both professionally and academically enriching."

From Cynthia Mejia, Winter 2015 Intern at the City of Ontario:

Cynthia Mejia"One of the most important components of finding one’s interest within a given field is by experiencing what it has to offer first-hand. Given that public policy itself can be broadly defined, it can be difficult for students to truly understand the various career paths available in Public Policy.

Prior to interning at the City Manager’s office in the City of Ontario, I myself knew very little about what actually goes on within the confines of a city hall. Most textbooks emphasize the importance of federal and state governments, while briefly mentioning local and regional agencies. Throughout the course of my internship, however, I learned that not only do local governments play a crucial role in the policy implementation process, but it is where elected officials and city staff impact their communities the most: by working closely with local businesses and community members to ensure that the city itself is working towards a common goal.

This internship program equipped me with valuable tips for excelling in the workplace and provided me with the opportunity to experience public policy first-hand. Thus, I encourage any student interested in learning more about public policy as a discipline to pursue valuable internship experience like what this program has to offer!"

From Andrew Haddad, Fall 2014 Intern at San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office:

Andrew Haddad“During my senior year, I had the distinct opportunity to intern at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which opened my eyes to the organization’s health services unit. I learned that the SBCSD has a medical staff better than any other in the country. My experience was filled with hands-on work, shadowing professionals such as family doctors, psychiatrists, and even those in the classification unit. While interning at the SBCSD, I compared medical care received by those non-incarcerated versus those incarcerated. In addition to the intensive research, the SBCSD also offered exhilarating opportunities such as visits to San Bernardino County jails, interviews with key figures in the department, ride-alongs, and a helicopter ride. This internship set itself apart from any other I could have ever imagined."

From Sofia Perez, Spring 2014 Intern at Western Municipal Water District:

Sofia Perez"My experience with the program exceeded my expectations, as it taught me far beyond mediocre office skills. It allowed me to explore career opportunities that I was unaware of and allowed me to network with people in those occupations. Working with Western Municipal Water District helped me see the vast career opportunities I had with my public policy degree. Overall, the internship was quality-based and gave me hands-on experience and an insight into policy that I had not known before. I most definitely recommend the program to students in search of a meaningful internship."

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

School of Public Policy
Anil B. Deolalikar
Founding Dean
Professor of Economics

Student Affairs
Tel: (951) 827-2334

Dean’s Office
4133 CHASS Interdisciplinary South
Tel: (951) 827-5564

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