Our goal is to match your personal and professional interests in an internship that brings Peace Corps back home to an underserved community. We seek stable organizations where you will have broad opportunities for professional growth.
Tucson is a richly complex community that offers an abundance of interesting opportunities. Migrant issues, health disparities, use of water resources, range management, fire management planning, and economic and community development issues are challenging and relevant to our community. Tucson has one non-profit for approximately every 175 residents.
Many students are interested in international work or work on the Arizona/Mexico border. Summer internships are the most practical time to arrange for work that requires distant commuting. All internships much contain a domestic focus, though some binational work may be appropriate with agencies working on the border. Fluency in Spanish is not required, but may be an asset in some internship settings.
Fellows are expected to provide at least 450 hours of internship service per 12-month year, during each year of their masters study. Fellows receiving work study may work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year, but may work full-time during the summer.
Fellows on an assistantship may work no more than 30 hours per week including assistantship hours.
The funding for internships varies with the agency. Sources of funds may include the Graduate College, the hiring agency, Financial Aid Work Study, AmeriCorps, assistantships or wages.
We assist Fellows in finding a paying internship for the course of study, typically for a two-year period. A typical internship will provide income in the $12-13/hour range for approximately 12-20 hours of work per week during the academic year. In summer, you may choose to work full time for an additional stipend or take on a different project/internship.
Half time AmeriCorps members receive a living stipend of $5900 and an educational credit of $2675 at the conclusion of service. A half-time AmeriCorps service committment, including professional development hours, is 900 over a 12-month period. This works out with about 12 hours/week in the academic year and 35 hours/week in the summer. Up to 20% of service hours may be for professional development. Quarter-time AmeriCorps members receive a $3127 living allowance and an educational award of $1415, but only 450 hours of service are required over the year.
The Graduate College Office of Fellowships, Internships and Community Engagement and the academic department provide information to agencies on how to establish internships. We forward a spreadsheet with the experience and interests of incoming Fellows, resumes, the academic calendar, and information on contracting for the Work Study Public Service program or other grant funded opportunities such as AmeriCorps. We hold an Internship Fair at the Fellows Orientation each August, and distribute job descriptions and requests for Fellows on the Fellows list.
We can discuss specific opportunities with you and suggest different agencies depending on your interests. You are encouraged to be proactive in the process of finding an internship, i.e. making appointments for interviews, negotiating for a position and salary, and identifying current positions and new partners.
Considerations in Establishing an Internship
There is no one size fits all in internships. Take time to research and to get to know the agency. You might propose an observation or working interview to get a feel for the nature of the organization. Do look for a mentor at the organization with the experience, wisdom and interest to nurture and guide you in the internship.
We work to ensure that your internship is established at the beginning of the first semester in most cases. Some students begin looking in the summer and others wait until the beginning of school. You will need to budget some funding for the period during which you are securing your internship.
Balancing Work and Academics
The Graduate College considers nine (9) credit hours to be a full course load, however, the course load varies considerably by department, from 12 to 17 hours. The core classes in the first two semesters provide an important methodological and theoretical foundation. We encourage Fellows to maintain a balance between coursework, the internship, and personal life, so that you are successful academically. If you have been out of school for some years or have other extenuating circumstances, you may request a deferral of the internship while getting your academic feet on the ground. Tutoring resources are available to students if needed.