What does it mean to be an intern? An internship is a learning adventure. Beyond learning about your field of study, you'll experience it first hand and come to know your career and your sense of place in it. You will learn skills and methods of successful job hunting, career exploration, networking and professional etiquette and gain confidence in your intentions. You may also have the opportunity to work with state of the art technology, earn letters of recommendation, discover future prospects and receive job offers. Your internship will guide you in your career decisions.
Companies that see new hires prefer candidates who are career ready. Interviewers will recognize the skills and knowledge gained from your internships as potent qualifiers. Internships may even replace the new hire "training period" you would go through since as an intern, you're already immersed in your profession.
Graduate schools seek students with demonstrated workplace familiarity and professional knowledge within your field of study. They also require you to provide letters of recommendation and look positively on those that come from professionals within your field — internships provide all of these.
There's no question that internships are a vital part of your education. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we offer select internships as early as your first year and encourage you to engage in multiple internships throughout your college career. Our goal is for you to transform your passions into professions, and to do that, we help you graduate with a degree plus a full, professional resume.
The CAS Internship Office will help you search for and apply to internships that match your interests and geographic preference. Once you've secured an internship, we coordinate the academic process for you to enroll in the course and successfully complete the requirements.
Where can I intern?
Host sites may include small businesses, large companies, major corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and schools. You can propose your own internship or we will help you find one. You may participate in an internship locally, nationally or overseas. You might spend time in a local not-for-profit organization, in a hospital back home, on a sea vessel in Florida, on a scientific expedition in Alaska, at a medical clinic in Africa, or in a political office in Washington, DC. You may take an internship during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. We want you to engage in multiple internships over the course of your education, and we will help you search and apply for the internships that most interest you.
What is the Internship "Course"?
As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, you may take your internship as a credit-bearing course. In doing so, you will apply your classroom knowledge to the real world challenges professionals are facing in your discipline. Credit-bearing internships must be secured and approved the semester prior to the internship. Therefore, it is advised that you visit the CAS Internship Office a full semester prior to the internship so we can help you with each step of the process.
During the internship, you will follow a syllabus, complete regular assignments, and earn a letter grade, all designed to help you advance your education and further your career goals. Typically, grades are determined by fulfilling these requirements:
- Participation in internship classes, workshops, or meetings
- Fulfillment of contact hours at internship site
- Completion of academic assignments designed to demonstrate reflection on learning outcomes as well as to help further credentials
- A performance evaluation by site supervisor
- Others as assigned
The number of credits allowed per internship depends on your program of study and personal goals, while the number of credits earned during your internship depends upon the number of hours you spend at your internship site.
To learn more, see our sample internships and contact the CAS Internship Office.
- National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE)
- Association for Experiential Learning (AEE)