Career Options

More O’Neill opportunities

Still unsure about a major? That’s okay! We have lots of opportunities designed to help you find what you’re looking for. As the #1 public affairs school in the country, O’Neill offers a lot more than just degrees. Explore our study abroad options, student organizations and other academic opportunities and you’ll find opportunities that speak to you.

Academic opportunities

If you are invited to join the O’Neill School’s Undergraduate Honors Program, you will engage in a variety of opportunities that prepare you for the type of research and writing needed in professional careers and graduate school. O’Neill Honors students benefit from participating in Honors-only activities and events, writing a thesis on a topic of their choice, working one-on-one with O’Neill faculty, and completing a two-part Honors Thesis Workshop. O’Neill Honors students gain competitive advantages for many programs such as the Accelerated Master’s Program, Washington Leaders Program, and Indiana Leadership Program. 

Interested in grad school? Consider O’Neill! With the #1 MPA program in the country, anyone would be lucky to hire an O’Neill grad. If you’re interested in getting a master’s degree in the O’Neil School, you can get a jumpstart on grad school by starting your graduate courses during your senior year. You can earn your master’s degree a full year faster by fulfilling certain graduate and undergraduate course requirements at the same time.

Refine your focus and explore other areas of interest with a minor or certificate, covering a wide variety of topics including education policy, information systems, and urban studies.

Experiential Learning

Students jump in front of Capitol

Freshmen interested in leadership, public policy, and making the world a better place should look into the Civic Leaders Center. This residential living-learning center offers first-year students experiences usually only afforded to upperclassmen: smaller classes, access to influential leaders and special guest speakers, career and leadership training, and trips within the U.S. and abroad. As part of the CLC, you’ll live together, learn together, and develop leadership skills together—and develop lasting relationships in the process.

Travel overseas and gain academic credit at the same time through one of the many study abroad programs developed just for O’Neill students. We partner with universities around the world to offer you English-language classes approved for your O’Neill curriculum. Destinations are always changing, offering you an opportunity to witness worldwide changes as they happen. O’Neill is unique with its study-abroad opportunities, allowing students to pick summer abroad courses, semester abroad courses, and even spring break courses.

Make Washington, D.C. your campus for a semester with the Washington Leadership Program (WLP)! You’ll complete an internship and take classes taught by ONeill faculty with guest lectures from Washington policymakers and officials. Your studies will take you inside the halls of power from federal offices to Capitol Hill. There are cohort options for both fall and spring. All selected participants combine policy based coursework with substantive internship experiences in Washington, D.C.

Watch a video about WLP

Through the Indiana Leadership Program (ILP), you can intern with a public or nonprofit organization while participating in service and professional development activities during the academic year (fall and spring) or summer terms.

If you participate in ILP during the fall and spring, you’ll intern part-time with a local Bloomington organization while continuing to take a regular academic course load. You’ll also participate in professional development workshops.

Summer Fellows have a more intensive experience, interning over a 10-week period with one of ONeill’s partner organizations throughout south central Indiana. You’ll start with an orientation program and complete additional professional development training during your service.

Student Organizations

As a Hoosier debater, you’ll compete across the country. You’ll gain unparalleled experience in public speaking, as well as in-depth research, argumentation, and critical thinking skills. You’ll also have the opportunity to quality for debate-specific scholarships.

Assume the role of a U.N. diplomat and debate on any number of important issues, including climate change, piracy, human rights, and security crises. Improve your negotiation, diplomacy, and public speaking skills through both an academic class and the Model U.N. Team.

Get involved in the undergraduate ONeill student experience by joining a student organization with your peers. You will have the opportunity to organize social and professional development programs and take part in social events among ONeill students. ONeill is home to a wide variety of interest-specific student groups:

  • Cultural Policy Management Association
  • Education Policy Student Association
  • Human Resource Association
  • Healthcare Management & Policy Student Association
  • International Public Affairs Association
  • Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
  • Public Finance Association
  • Students for Equity in Public Affairs
  • Undergraduate Student Arts Managers
  • Undergraduate Student Organization
50 years at O'Neill