The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School (JSGS) offers MPA and MPP students the opportunity to enhance their post-graduate experience with an internship in the federal or provincial public service, municipal and local government or in health services research. The depth and quality of our internship options distinguish them from any other in the country. They are the only internships in Canada that pair student interns with mentors/coaches who are at the most senior executive level of government and focus on the development of a high quality mentorship experience. Likewise, the Health Services Research Field Placement directly engages students with health services decision and policy making processes.

While the internships are designed primarily for MPA students, MPP students may be placed if an appropriate internship is identified.

Throughout the course of the internship, JSGS students gain the skills they need to thrive in a public service environment. The many concrete benefits to interns in the Johnson-Shoyama Executive Internship Program include valuable career preparation and experience, remuneration, the development of an extensive professional network, as well as accelerated professional growth and advancement.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of each internship placement is to expose MPA and MPP students to and give them hands-on experience with a broad range of activities and issues related to public administration, public policy analysis and evaluation. JSGS Executive Internship opportunities may be based in federal or provincial departments, other public agencies, and even nongovernmental or international organization/agencies. Mentors/coaches are recruited from the most senior level of government, depending on the ministry or department. Interns will apply their knowledge and skills and learn about government processes through direct involvement in:

  • planning, policy development and analysis;
  • budget development;
  • program development and delivery;
  • research and evaluation; and
  • strategic planning and reporting.
Eligibility Requirements

Applicants to the JSGS Executive Internship Program must be current (not graduated) JSGS MPA or MPP students who will have completed at least 50 per cent of the program by the time the internship placement begins. 

Please note, for the 2014 application intake, the requirement that all core courses must be completed prior to the start of internships is being waived.

Application Process

Students interested in pursuing an internship placement are required to apply to the internship program and undergo a comprehensive assessment process. Interns will be selected on the basis of their academic performance, the quality of their application package submission and an in-person interview. Short-listed applicants will be invited to an interview with an interview panel comprised of JSGS and employer representatives. Successful candidates may be invited for a follow-up interview with a prospective mentor/coach.

Application to the internship program consists of:

  • A professional cover letter, resume and the names of two academic references from JSGS faculty. In your cover letter, indicate your internship preference(s) (federal, provincial, municipal) and briefly explain why you are interested in an internship.  Please note, “faculty” refers to individuals listed as Faculty on the JSGS website, or those who have taught you in a JSGS course.   JSGS will contact faculty for reference details, applicants are just required to submit faculty names.
  • One-page biography (500 words or less).
  • An examination of your academic standing.  Applicants can access this information via their PAWS or U of R Self Serve account.
  • Applicants are required to write a two-page essay (900 words or less) on the question noted below.  Note, content beyond the maximum of 900 words will not be considered in the evaluation.  Essays will be evaluated by JSGS faculty based on this marking rubric.

2014 Written Exercise: An effective strategic plan must contain several key elements.  Evaluate the chapter on “Growing and developing Saskatchewan’s Labour Force” (pp. 37-40 of Government of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, 2012), as a strategic plan according to the elements provided here

The written exercise is intended to assess students' written communication skills. Submissions will be assessed, in part, on how well students demonstrate a general understanding of the chosen topic, the overall organization of the paper (is it presented in a logical and coherent fashion?), grammar and analytical skills.

Please send your complete application package electronically, via email attachment to:
Student Experience Officer -

You will be sent a confirmation email that your application package has been received. If you do not receive confirmation within a day or two, please contact the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School. Only complete application packages will be accepted.

Application Deadline

Applications for JSGS internships are accepted from January 1 - February 1 annually.


Provincial and municipal government interns receive a scholarship of $25,000 for an eight month internship ($3,125 per month for the duration of the program). Federal interns are paid at a rate of pay determined by the employer.

Mentor/intern resources
For more information

View the following resouces:

Or contact:

Gillian Borys, JSGS Interim Student Experience Officer
Phone: 306-585-5468