Public Service Practicum

Planned for a Fall 2024 launch, the Public Service Practicum is tailored for social sciences undergraduates, offering a hands-on and immersive experience crafted to equip students with the essential knowledge, skills, and practical insights needed to thrive in various public service careers. Our goal is to empower students to drive positive change and make a meaningful impact within diverse professional spheres.

A public service job is one in which you work for the government, an organization contracted by the government, or a nonprofit organization, doing work that benefits the public in some way. Public service careers can be at the federal, state or local level, depending on the position. In this practicum, you will be paired with a wide variety of Houston-area organizations and agencies for at least 10 hours per week.

This experience is offered each fall semester.


  • Must have a declared major within the School of Social Sciences, and have completed twelve credit hours in the declared major. If a student has not yet declared a major in Social Sciences, they may apply before doing so; however, final approval is not possible until the relevant major is officially declared.
  • Preference will be given to students in their third/fourth year of study, as well as those who have completed one or more relevant courses. However, all Social Sciences students are welcomed to apply.
  • International students must receive approval for On-Campus Work at an Off-Campus Site from OISS.
  • Applications each year will open in mid-February.

Once Selected

  • Students must complete all post-admission application items that will be provided after approval for the program. Failure to respond to emails in a timely manner may result in dismissal from the program.
  • Students will enroll in the associated course.
  • In the semester prior to the experience, students will have an opportunity to review the host organizations and rank those that peak their interest. Some host organizations may require an interview as part of the selection process. Final pairings are not guaranteed to reflect rankings.
  • Students will attend class once per week and are expected to meet on-site at their host organization at least ten hours per week for the duration of the semester.