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Understanding Internships

Types of Internships

Course-Related Academic Internships

  • Academic credit is awarded as part of an existing course
  • Typically offered as part of majors with internship requirements, including environmental studies, religious studies, and human development 
  • Student works closely with faculty throughout the semester to find, complete, and reflect on the internship

Independent Academic Internships

  • Academic credit is awarded
  • Require the completion of the Academic Internship Form (Updated April 2018) prior to the onset of the internship
  • Require a minimum of 150 hours of commitment 
  • Require the approval of a faculty sponsor, your mentor, Director of Internships and the Registrar

Co-Curricular Internships

  • Academic credit is not awarded
  • Do not require formal proposal
  • Consult Career Services for help identifying and applying to positions

Paid vs. Unpaid Internships

Historically, many internships have not been paid, but that is changing. Payment may come in the form of an hourly rate, free room & board, and/or a Stipend to be applied to your expenses. The U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet includes a 7-point Test for the criteria on whether a student should receive compensation for an internship. The National Association of Colleges and Employers has issued a Position Statement which is based on the Department of Labor Test.

Internship Financial Assistance


  • Make a list of keywords you're using in your search
  • Save internship application links for the organizations you've found 
  • Save the contacts and notes of individuals you've spoke with
  • Keep it simple: focus on opportunities that are related to your studies or career field of choice


  • Ensure you are confident with your resume, cover letter, and references (see Career Services if you are not)
  • Create folders for each application and save a copy of the position description, your resume, application, and the cover letter you used 
  • If you're doing the internship for course credit, be sure to complete the formal Academic Proposal Form  prior to starting
  • REMEMBER: You can't be considered for internships you haven't applied for... so just apply!