Careers

On average, students who graduate from our MPA Program have a starting salary of $56,000. Seventy-seven percent of our graduates who do not have employment while pursuing their degree are employed within six months after graduation.

Career Assistance

The UM School of Law’s Katy Stack (Director of Career Development) and Leslie Ellington-Staal (Career Services Program Coordinator) will provide you direct assistance and their extensive expertise with job preparedness:

  • Resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile assistance
  • Mock interviews
  • What to do/not do for interviews (e.g. group interviews, zoom interviews, or in-person interviews)
  • Pre- and post-interview success tips

If you want assistance on your resume or cover letter, you are required to send a draft in advance (at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled meeting time). If you need samples to get you started, please ask Katy or Leslie.

These services are open to all (online or in-person)  DPAP graduate students (joint, certificate, or master's).

Jobs and Internships

Please review this portion of our website regularly because it is updated often.

Jobs

PublicServiceCareers.org is a widely used website for finding jobs and career advice for public service and public affairs students and professionals.

AmeriCorps year-long service positions are available in various Montana cities.

Montana Campus Compact (MTCC) Website: https://mtcompact.org/

MTCC Application Process: https://mtcompact.org/americorps-vista/apply-to-serve/full-time-member-application-process/

MTCC Position Descriptions: https://mtcompact.org/americorps-vista/apply-to-serve/service-positions/full-time-positions/

Check the Montana Nonprofit Association job board, a statewide resource for those interested in nonprofit careers.
The Development Associate for MEIC is responsible for supporting the design and implementation of MEIC’s fundraising/development plan. This is a full-time, exempt (salaried) position in Helena, MT, with a six-month probationary period. The employee would be eligible for permanent status after satisfactory performance during the trial period. The starting salary range for the position is $39,000-$44,000. MEIC offers a competitive benefits package that includes: paid vacation and holiday leave, sick leave, and health insurance. Interviews will begin the week of 7-12-21. 

The University of Montana’s MPA program is partnering with Missoula County to create semester-long local government internships. The intern(s) who fills the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Fellow position (pdf) should expect to deepen their understanding of Missoula County and local government by engaging projects for the city and county. It is essential that applicants to this position have excellent communication skills, demonstrate creativity, and understand the importance of being able to work independently. Deadline to apply is 6-20-21.

The Human Resource Generalist II performs tasks required to administer and execute human resource programs including but not limited to recruitment, compensation, benefits, and leave; disciplinary matters; disputes and investigations; performance and talent management; productivity, recognition, and morale; occupational health and safety; and training and development. The successful candidate will have a proven interest in diversity and inclusion and understand and balance the interests of employees, managers, and labor partners. Full time with benefits, $27-$28/hour DOE. Priority screening will begin on 6-18-21 and applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established. 

The ARPA Grants Administrator III will administer complex and large-scale grants received by the local government, acting as the Citys expert on federal regulations and grant opportunities concerning economic development and stimulus, including the American Rescue Plan Act, American Recovery Act, and the American Family Act. This role will act as the local government liaison related to ARPA funds, communicating with necessary federal agencies, grantees, and contract holders. Full time with benefits, $24.63/hour. Applicant screening will begin on 6-16-21 and applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established

The Senior Deputy Clerk will oversee the day-to-day operations of the City Clerks’s Office. For more information, please visit the City Clerk website. Full time with benefits, $26.47/hour. Priority Screening Date is 5-28-21 and applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.
The University of Montana’s MPA program is partnering with Missoula County to create semester-long local government internships. The intern(s) who fills the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Fellow position (pdf) should expect to deepen their understanding of Missoula County and local government by engaging projects for the city and county. This position is open to students admitted to the University of Montana’s MPA program in good academic standing that are enrolled in either our in-person or online degree program. $15/hour, optional internship/independent study credits available. Deadline to apply is 6-20-21.
These nonpartisan Research Analyst positions perform public policy research and analysis for the Montana Legislature. Analysts are generalists but also develop expertise in an assigned area. Session duties include drafting legislation, providing research and guidance, working with committee members, lobbyists, and the public, and being well-versed in legislative process and rules. Between sessions, analysts are project managers for interim committees that undertake policy studies, conduct agency oversight, review administrative rules, and prepare recommendations for legislation. Analysts work closely with committee leadership, an attorney, a secretary, and administrative staff. Public speaking and a willingness to creatively present information is required. $64k-$66k annually. Deadline to apply is 6-21-21. 

Internships

The goal of the Montana INBRE Native American Graduate Fellowship is to provide an opportunity for highly motivated Native American students who have demonstrated leadership potential in the biomedical, social and behavioral health sciences, as well as in the development of STEM programs and research in tribal colleges, to pursue their doctoral degree. In some cases, applications for study at the master’s degree level will be considered, though applicants are strongly encouraged to pursue the Ph.D. as their terminal degree. Native American Graduate Fellowships cover tuition and provide up to $25,000 stipend depending on other funding and scholarships available to the student.

Applications are welcome at any time; priority review will take place at the following dates: 

-Application review for new funding beginning during a spring semester will begin November 1

-Application review for new funding beginning during a fall semester will begin February 15.

The International Public Policy Association (IPPA) is offering a student internship at its head office located at ENTPE - University of Lyon, France. The intern will contribute to the development of the International Public Policy Association (IPPA) by working on:

  • The organization of the International Workshops on Public Policy (IWPP2)
  • Creating Winter/Spring/Summer school sessions: Alps 
  • Managing the association's website and social networks
  • Sending out IPPA newsletters
  • Managing members relations for the association
  • Assisting daily in the administration and management of the association

The internship will run from Sept/Oct 2021 to Jan/Feb 2022. Pay is 550 euros/month for 35 hours/week schedule, in addition to 50% reimbursement of public transit costs and access to the ENTPE cafeteria. Deadline to apply is 6-30-21.

Click here for more info. NASPAA and Pi Alpha Alpha are seeking a master’s student in fields such as public policy, public affairs, public administration, education, or similar field with an interest in social media and event planning for an internship position for approximately 18 weeks (depending on start date) Summer and Fall of 2021, starting sometime in late June or early July, and finishing on October 29. Pay is $15-$17/hour and will be part time (10-20 hrs/week). Rolling deadline, with applications considered immediately and the posting on publicservicecareers.org will be removed when filled. 

The Missoula Food Bank currently has several opportunities, including two food security policy internships (one childhood, one nutrition program), that may be a good fit for students in the Department of Public Administration. Apply on Handshake.

Startup Internships for Accelerate Montana are paid opportunities are a way to obtain real-world experience in business specific to your career interests, develop skills essentials to business and leadership, connect with passionate and innovative entrepreneurs, and open post-graduate career opportunities. To learn more and apply, log into Handshake or contact Accelerate Montana internship manager Sid Paladugu at sid.paladugu@mso.umt.edu.

Notable Alumni

Local/State Communities
  • Jennifer Zellmer-Cuaresma, Director of Student-Athlete Support Services
  • Shyra Scott, Missoula County Recording Director
  • Anne Hughes, Missoula County Chief Operating Officer
  • Dayna Swanson, Director of Government Relations at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • Tim Fox, former Montana Attorney General
  • Christi Jacobsen, Montana Secretary of State
  • Rob Gannon, City of Missoula Chief Financial Officer
Tribal Communities
  • Eldena Bear Don’t Walk, tribal judge, first female Chief Justice of the Crow Tribe
  • Debra DuMontier, Office of Special Trustee for American Indians
Nonprofit/International Communities
  • Deena Mansour, Executive Director of the Mansfield Center
  • Jesse Mahugh, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County
  • Aubrie Lyons, Director of Montana World Affairs Council
  • Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation