FAQ

 

What is the GPSI?
The Graduate Public Service Internship Program is a twenty-one (21) month internship that gives you the opportunity for experiential learning through a public sector internship while earning a master’s degree from the University of Illinois Springfield. The GPSI internship coincides with your full-time study in one of 20 graduate programs offered at the University of Illinois Springfield. Depending on the intern’s academic program requirements for degree completion, some GPSI internships can be less or more than 21 months.

 

What is the application deadline?
GPSI holds five rounds of hiring. First Round deadline: March 15, 2020. Second Round deadline: May 1, 2020. Chicago round deadline: June 1, 2020. Late Round deadline: August 28, 2020. Spring Round deadline (tentative): November 15, 2020. Please check the Prospective Interns tab for the latest round of hiring information.

 

What is a complete file?
Your file is complete once we have received your GPSI application, resume, three letters of reference (two from faculty; one from an employer),  and notice of graduate admission. The GPSI office will request your notice of graduate admission from the UIS Office of Admissions. Please go to the “GPSI Application Information” link on the menu to the left for complete application instructions.

 

What is a personal goal statement?
Internship supervisors like to know about your background, how a GPSI internship would enhance your graduate education and professional development, and about how you can make a contribution to the agency. The personal goal statement section of the application is your chance to introduce yourself. The statement should be succinct and in your own words, and cannot exceed two typed pages. If any document submitted as part of the application requirements to the GPSI program is determined to have been plagiarized or copied from another, without credit being given to the source, your GPSI file will be immediately removed from the applicant pool.

You may be required to submit a goal statement for your academic program as part of the program’s application process. The academic program goal statement is in addition to the required GPSI goal statement. Please note: Personal goal statements not submitted on the required form will be returned to applicants for revisions.

 

What are the academic program admission requirements?
Since you must be admitted to graduate studies at UIS in order to be eligible for the GPSI applicant pool, it is important that you contact the academic program to determine specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the program. Some academic programs have additional admission requirements that may impact your GPSI file completion timelines. For academic program information, please visit the graduate education website.

 

What if I have prerequisite courses to complete?
Please be aware that if your graduate program has identified program prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to being fully admitted to the master’s degree program, you may not be eligible for the GPSI applicant pool until you have successfully completed some of the required prerequisite courses.   To be eligible for the GPSI applicant pool, you are allowed to have no more than four (4) prerequisite courses that still need to be completed.  If your GPSI applicant file is complete and it is determined that you have more than four (4) prerequisite courses remaining to be completed, your GPSI applicant file will be placed on “hold” in the GPSI office.

 

What opportunities are available for a UIS online student?
GPSI has opportunities for students living in and around the Springfield and Chicago areas. You must live within a commutable distance to your internship for the duration of the placement to participate in the GPSI program. At this time, we do not have placements for online students located outside of the Springfield or Chicago areas.

 

Can international students apply for a GPSI position?
Yes; however, F-1 visa status is required to be eligible for the program. Proof of F-1 visa status must be on file with the UIS Admissions office before any GPSI interviews are scheduled.

If you currently live abroad, we encourage you to complete your GPSI application file prior to arriving on the UIS campus for your first semester of study. Upon arrival on the UIS campus for the fall or spring semester, as a GPSI applicant you must check in with the GPSI office to verify your F-1 status and provide your local address and telephone number.

 

What does a GPSI intern do?
As a GPSI intern, you will have the opportunity for an internship experience that is compatible with your academic background, graduate program, and skills. Historically, GPSI interns have completed challenging work in the areas of economic forecasting, grant writing, research, writing press releases, preparing television public service announcements, marketing, statewide conference management, newsletter production, environmental research on endangered species, website development, computer programming, database development and management, statewide audits, and public health research.

 

When does the internship begin?
For the 2020/2021 academic year, new GPSI internships will begin on August 16, 2020, and will end on June 30, 2021 (or earlier depending on actual degree completion). Students who are eligible to renew their GPSI internship are able to do so.

 

Is there a minimum grade point average required to be eligible for GPSI?
Yes. To be eligible for the GPSI applicant pool, your cumulative undergraduate GPA must be at least 2.50 and if you have a graduate GPA established, it must be at least a 3.0 or higher. You must also be in good academic standing with the university. Please note that most applicants actually selected have GPAs between 3.00 and 4.00. If you have already earned an advanced degree, you are still welcome to apply. GPSI interns must maintain a 3.00 GPA for continued participation in the program.

 

What is the academic course load required per semester?
Due to the internship time component of the GPSI program, interns are required to register for a minimum of eight (8) credit hours for the fall and spring terms to be classified as a full-time degree seeking student. Registration for the summer term is optional. This policy applies to both domestic and international interns.

 

How much is the tuition waiver?
For the fall and spring terms of both the first and second year, GPSI interns receive nine (9) credit hours of graduate tuition waiver. For the summer term between the first and second year, GPSI interns receive four (4) credit hours of graduate tuition waiver. For out-of-state GPSI interns, the tuition difference between out-of-state and in-state is waived. GPSI does not cover any program tuition differential rates. Please check with your program of study to see if they have a tuition differential.

 

What about mandatory student fees and textbooks?
GPSI interns receive $250 each fall and spring semester towards mandatory student fees. Textbook purchases are the intern’s responsibility.

 

How are interns selected?
Selection
as a GPSI intern is made by the GPSI internship supervisor on a competitive basis. Internship supervisors will consider the strength of your GPA, resume, letters of recommendation, undergraduate areas of study, previous work experience, career goals as defined in your educational goal statement, honors and awards, and any other special skills that might enhance your internship performance. If you have computer skills, such as the Microsoft Office suite, you are strongly encouraged to list the skills and your proficiency level on your resume.

Your GPSI file will be sent to participating internship supervisors for interview consideration. Internship offers are made solely by the agencies with no input from the GPSI office. Not all applicants who apply will be selected for internship interviews. And, not all applicants interviewed will be selected for an internship.

If you are selected for an interview, we will send you the interview schedule and the link for the experiential learning descriptions by e-mail. Interviews are scheduled by the GPSI office and conducted by internship supervisors. Interviews are typically 30 minutes long.

You are responsible for your own travel arrangements and expenses to participate in the interview process. We do not schedule telephone or Skype interviews.

We strongly encourage you to wear professional attire for the interviews. The interview is your time to shine!

 

Do interns receive academic credit for the internship experience?
No.  However, GPSI interns receive one hour of academic credit for PAD 561 – The Organizational Environment in Public Service which is the GPSI seminar class offered during the fall term. Some academic programs will allow you to apply the seminar credit towards degree requirements. PAD 561 is a mandatory class for all GPSI interns.

 

Are textbooks covered by this program?
No. The GPSI benefits do not go towards the purchase or rental of textbooks.

 

Do interns receive health insurance benefits?
No. However, GPSI interns may be eligible to purchase UIS student accident and health insurance.  This is handled by the UIS Office of Human Resources.

 

Are GPSI interns eligible for additional financial assistance?
Yes.  To determine if you are eligible for additional financial assistance, please visit the UIS Office of Financial Assistance.

 

Does the GPSI program guarantee interns a job after graduation?
No. You may, however, have the opportunity to continue working in state government or in the private sector through contacts established during the internship experience.  Upon graduation, many interns begin professional careers in the public sector at the federal, state or local levels; as well as in the private sector.

 

What about housing at UIS?
For on-campus and off-campus housing information, we encourage you to contact the UIS Residence Life Office. If you plan to apply for campus housing, please apply early!

 

How do I request additional information?
We welcome the opportunity to talk with you.  Please give us a call today if you have questions or would like to request an information packet.  The GPSI office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time).  We can be reached by phone at 217-206-6158, by fax at 217-206-7508, or via e-mail at mkauf5@uis.edu