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Frequently Asked Questions

Back to TopHow do I apply?

You must register and submit an online application on the State Civil Service Commission website. Learn more about the application process and how to complete the online application.

Back to TopWhen can I apply?

Internship opportunities are available starting in the summer, fall and spring. Check the application process page for program dates and deadlines. If you meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Public Service Intern (CPSI) program, you will be contacted by agencies determine your interest and availability for a specific internships based upon your major/field of study.

Back to TopDo I have to take a civil service examination?

No.  Your submitted application and participation form will be reviewed to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for the CPSI position.

Back to TopHow many credits do I need to apply?

You must have at least 30 college credits completed in order to apply, and anticipate having at least 60 college credits at the time of hire.

Back to TopCan I choose the agency in which I want to intern?

Agencies will contact you to determine your interest and availability for specific internship opportunities based upon your major/field of study and schedule interviews.  You will be able to indicate the particular internships for which you wish to be considered.

Back to TopWhen will I find out if selected for an internship?

Approximately one month following the application deadline, state agencies will contact you about specific internship opportunities and to schedule interviews.  You will be notified of selection or non-selection approximately 2-3 weeks after an interview.  Check the application process page for program dates and deadlines.

Back to TopWhere are internship opportunities located?

Most internship opportunities are located in the Harrisburg area.  However, internship opportunities may exist in other locations depending on the needs of the agency.  You will be notified of opportunities in up to 10 counties you select on your internship application.

Back to TopDo I have to complete the internship all at once?

No, the timeframe for the six-month internship is flexible.  Most students will fulfill the six month requirement by interning full-time during the summer break before their senior year and three months after graduation.  However, other schedules are possible based on your availability and the needs of the agency in which you are interning.

Back to TopWhat if I cannot complete the entire internship before I graduate?

You can serve up to three months of your internship after graduation.

Back to TopWhat if I want to change my major?

Any change to your major will be reviewed to determine if you still meets the requirements of the position into which you were to be hired by the agency at the conclusion of your internship.  Your internship could be terminated as a result of changing majors.

Back to TopWhat kind of work schedule will I have?

You will work with the agency in which you are interning to determine your work schedule.  The internship may be served at any time in the year.  Days served may be consecutive or intermittent.

Back to TopHow many hours do I have to work as an intern?

In order to successfully complete the internship, you must serve six months in the program, which equates to 975 hours of work based on a 37.5 hour work week, or 1,040 hours based on a 40-hour work week.

Back to TopWhen will I get paid?

Pay periods are bi-weekly.

Back to TopDo I have to be a PA resident to be eligible for an internship?

You are considered a PA resident if you are a current student at a college, university, or technical school or a member of the armed forces who meets one of the following criteria:

  • You are a student from another state who is currently attending a Pennsylvania college, university, or technical school, and have a Pennsylvania mailing address
  • You were a resident of Pennsylvania prior to your current enrollment as a student of an out-of-state school, and have a Pennsylvania mailing address
  • You are an active duty member of the armed forces, who was a Pennsylvania resident immediately prior to your enlistment, and are scheduled to be discharged in 90 days
  • You are an active duty member of the armed forces residing in Pennsylvania during your current enlistment, and are scheduled to be discharged within 90 days

Refer to the PA residency requirements on the State Civil Service Commission website for the full details, including requirements for former residents and active duty armed forces.

Back to TopWhat is a participation form?

Your school must complete a participation form to approve your participation in the Commonwealth Public Service Intern program and verify that you meet the eligibility criteria, are currently in good academic standing and meet all other school requirements for participation in the internship program.

Back to TopWho at my school should complete the participation form?

Any school official who can verify your enrollment and number of completed credits can complete the participation form.  An academic adviser, registrar, student records coordinator, associate professor or chair are a few examples of school officials who may be able to complete the form for you.

Back to TopWho submits the participation form?

Either you or the school official can email the participation form to ra-cs-internship@pa.gov.

Back to TopWhen is the participation form due?

The participation form must be submitted within 20 days of your online application.

Back to TopDo veterans receive hiring preference?

Yes.  Students who provide appropriate veterans’ documentation will have ten points added to their examination score and will have mandatory hiring preference over non-veteran students.

Back to TopShould I select career appointment, part-time, temporary or seasonal employment on the application?

You should select career appointment.

Back to TopI was notified that I am not eligible for the internship program.  What can I do?

If you believe an error was made in reviewing your qualifications for the internship, you must respond in writing (mail, email, or fax) within 30 calendar days of the receipt date of your Notice of Examination Results.  Your response must include the last four digits of your Social Security number, the job title (Commonwealth Public Service Internship), and a detailed explanation of why you believe you are eligible.  This information should be directed to:

State Civil Service Commission
(ATTN:  Challenge)
P.O. Box 569
Harrisburg, PA 17108-0569
Email to ra-cs-challenges@pa.gov
Fax to (717) 787-8650

Back to TopHow do I update my contact information (mailing address, telephone, email, etc.) for my Online Services account?

You may update your contact information by signing into Online Services at the State Civil Service Commission website or by calling 717.787.7811.

Back to TopIf I forget my username and/or password, who do I contact?

If you know your Social Security number, you can obtain your username and/or password on the State Civil Service Commission website.  Simply go to Online Services and select Need Help? under the Log In button.  You may also obtain this information by calling 717.787.7811.