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Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program (MLEIP): Information for Students

Are you a college student who is passionate about protecting the environment? Environmental stewardship is at the heart of everything we do! As a MLEIP intern, you will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with scientific, technical, and business leaders at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), other state agencies, or private industry employers across the beautiful state of Texas. You will gain hands-on experience and learn from committed mentors who will challenge you to stretch your skills further than you ever imagined. Ultimately, your MLEIP internship assignment will prepare you for the next important step in your career journey.

Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program Logo

What is an MLEIP Internship?

An MLEIP internship is a one-of-a-kind experience that offers college students an unparalleled glimpse into the future of environmental science and conservation, helping them launch their careers. UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE college students learn about environmental issues and gain professional work experience through a paid, full-time summer internship, either at the TCEQ, other state agencies, or in the private sector in Texas. MLEIP internship assignments are not available in spring or fall.

Eligible college students may submit an MLEIP application for summer 2022 internship assignments starting December 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022.

MLEIP Mission

  • To heighten the awareness and encourage the participation of minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged college/university students regarding environmental-related issues and policies.
  • To develop a diversified work force within Texas' environmental agencies and private corporations by promoting employment opportunities for students exploring future careers in environmental and related fields.
  • To train and equip students as environmental professionals and future leaders.

Click to jump to the program timeline. Jump to Program Timeline

Am I Eligible?

If you meet all internship eligibility requirements listed below, we would be thrilled to have you apply!

  • You must be an undergraduate student and have completed at least 60 semester hours at the end of the spring 2022 semester OR be a current graduate student enrollee. Eligible undergraduate AND graduate students enrolled at an accredited educational institution in Texas, across the United States, or outside of the United States may apply.
  • You must be enrolled full time during the spring semester 2022 and have a minimum academic grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application. Eligible students who are graduating spring 2022 may apply for summer 2022 internship assignments.
  • You must be eligible to work in the United States. TCEQ may hire international students as MLEIP interns if they are eligible to work in the U.S.; however, TCEQ does not sponsor international students.
  • While the majority of MLEIP internship assignments are STEM related, all majors are encouraged to apply.

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How Do I Apply?

First, submit an online application form. Applications are being accepted December 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022. If possible, submit your online application first before submitting any supporting documents.

Next, submit all of the following supporting documentation (may be submitted separately or together):

  • An academic or professional letter of recommendation; only submit ONE letter of recommendation. Your reference may email the letter directly or you may email the letter. There is no specific form or format for the letter of recommendation. You are responsible for following up with your reference to confirm letter of recommendation has been sent.
  • A scanned and legible official or unofficial academic transcript to include courses in progress spring semester 2022 may be submitted by student. An official transcript sealed and sent directly by university is also acceptable, but not required.
  • verification of spring semester 2022 enrollment (required only if transcript does not list courses in progress during spring semester 2022).

E-mail supporting documentation to:

Mail supporting documentation to:
Mickey Leland Internship Program, MC 116
Human Resources and Staff Services Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
PO Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087

NOTE: Complete application packages (online application and all supporting documents) received by the February 28, 2022 deadline have the best opportunity for review and selection by sponsors/managers.

Incomplete application packages (for example, missing the online application or related documents) may not be considered.

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What is the timeline for the 2022 Mickey Leland Internship Program?

Event Date
Student Applications Accepted Starting December 1, 2021
Student Application Deadline February 28, 2022
Sponsors Submit Request January - May 2022
Sponsors Interview Candidates March - May 2022
Candidates Notified of Selection April - May 2022
Interns Start their Assignments May-June 2022
Interns End their Assignments* August 31, 2022 *
2022 Program Concludes August 31, 2022

* Individual intern assignments may end prior to August 31, 2022 to allow student to return to school for the fall semester. Actual start and end dates of internship assignments and duration of assignments will vary and are agreed upon by the hiring manager and intern.

MLEIP Class of 2019MLEIP Class of 2019 at Intern Conference

Where will I intern in Texas?

Interns are assigned to a specific work location (either at TCEQ, another state agency, or a private sector employer) in Texas based on business needs and the student’s geographic location preference. Interns are responsible for funding and handling their own housing and relocation arrangements.

While most intern assignments are in Austin, candidates may also select from the following Texas locations. Additionally, if the internship assignment may be performed remotely, specifics will be discussed during the interview.

  • Abilene
  • Amarillo
  • Austin
  • Beaumont
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas/ Fort Worth
  • Eagle Pass
  • El Paso
  • Harlingen
  • Houston
  • Laredo
  • Lubbock
  • Midland
  • San Angelo
  • San Antonio
  • Sugarland
  • Tyler
  • Waco

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What are my internship duties?

One size does not fit all! MLEIP internship duties are widely varied and typically driven by the student’s major; skills listed on the MLEIP application; and geographic location preference. Interns at TCEQ may be placed on a project team to learn how our agency executes its mission of protecting the environment. The goal of MLEIP internships is for students to perform meaningful work related to their field of study/interest. This is an exciting opportunity to explore the world of work by diving into your assigned organization’s culture; getting exposed to its policies and procedures; networking with fellow interns and hiring managers; and building your portfolio of marketable skills as you prepare to launch your career.

As an MLEIP intern, you will be expected to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of your assigned position and abide by the policies and procedures of your employing agency or organization. This may include background checks and/or drug testing.

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MLEIP is a game changer

MLEIP alumni have impact and influence! Following are just a few of the positions our former interns have moved into since securing their degree:



-Business Development Supervisor


-Chief Operations Officer

-Community Engagement Specialist

-Deputy Executive Director

-Director, Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation

-Enforcement Coordinator

-Environmental Consultant

-Environmental Investigator

-Environmental Permit Specialist

-Environmental Program Coordinator

-Environmental Protection Specialist 

-Emissions Evaluator

-Field Environmental Specialist


-GIS Analyst

-Human Resources Manager

-Information Specialist

-Legal Fellow


-Natural Resources Specialist

-Product Marketing Manager

-Regional Office Director

-Senior Manager of Strategic Sourcing

-Software Developer

-Software Engineer

-Staff Engineer

-Training Specialist

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MLEIP Interns in the News

For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the work MLEIP interns perform, check out:

  • Internships Offer Valuable Experiences that Will Help Protect the Environment, TCEQ News,Exit the TCEQ July 2019
  • Internship Provides TCEQ with Highly Qualified Employees, TCEQ News Adobe Acrobat PDF Document, February 2018
  • Not Just an Internship, MLEIP Natural Outlook ArticleExit the TCEQ, August 2016
  • TCEQ Marks 25 Years of Internship Program, News Release, July 2016

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Are You a Former or Current MLEIP Intern interested in employment at TCEQ?

Submit a State of Texas Application for a posted position or apply to the Transitions Hiring Program.

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