Internships for Credit

If you have landed an internship, you might be wondering what steps you need to take in order to secure credit for the experience. Below are some important tips and considerations.

Basics of Internship Credit

  • Some companies will require that you get credit for your internship in order to participate, especially for unpaid internships. Organizations sometimes require this to ensure they are in compliance with federal labor laws.
  • A few majors and programs on campus require that you secure an internship or field experience prior to graduation, check with your department or faculty advisor for more information. For most students, getting credit for their internship is completely optional. You do not need to receive credit for it to be a valuable internship that you put on your resume!
  • If you secure a summer internship and want to register for credit, please be aware there are financial implications as you will have to pay tuition for summer quarter.
  • If you intern during the school year and are interested in credit, keep in mind that many students have 2 “extra” or unused credits in their tuition as the rate is the same for 12 credits – 18 credits, and typically, many students are enrolled in 4 classes for 16 credits each quarter.

Securing Credit for Your Internship

Internship credits are typically offered by the academic department where you are securing your majors and/or minors. Most departments will expect that your internship aligns with the work being done in the department so you can apply the internship experience to your academic learning.

Every department has different rules and processes for securing credit including the amount of hours you are required to work and the academic reflection that you are expected to do as part of the internship. Many departments don’t give credit for the internship itself, but instead give credit for a paper or reflection that is done in conjunction with the internship experience. Some internship courses are graded as pass/fail, and others are by letter grade.  In some cases, students must have junior or senior standing, have taken a certain number of classes within the major, and/or have a certain GPA threshold in order to be eligible for internship credit. Contact your faculty advisor for more information on securing credit within your department of study.

If your department doesn’t offer internship credit, or your internship is not related to your area of study, the Pioneer Leadership Program may be an alternative office that you can work with to secure credit, even if you are not a PLP student. You will be expected to conduct academic work that focuses on leadership as part of the experience. Contact the Pioneer Leadership Program for more information.

Additional Resources

Funding an Unpaid Internship

Pioneer Careers: Job & Internship Listings

UCAN Intern: National Internship Listings (See link within Pioneer Careers Job Listing Section)

Project X-ITE’s Xperiments

By Heidi Perman
Heidi Perman Executive Director, Career & Professional Development Heidi Perman