Internships & Other High Impact Experiences

Academic Internships

Earn academic credit for the time you invest gaining hands-on, high impact experience during an internship. 

Definition of an Academic Internship

Students can earn academic credit for internships in most degree plans. These internships allow students to acquire field or on-the-job experience and are structured so that the students are encouraged to relate their classroom activities to their field experience.

In addition to the experience gained on-site under the direction of a site supervisor, students pursuing academic internships also work with a faculty supervisor to complete significant academic work beyond on-site activities, such as keeping a journal, writing, research, classroom meetings, and presentations.

An academic internship may be either paid, unpaid, or partially paid (in the form of a stipend). Internship positions are available from businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.  Internships may be part-time or full-time. Usually they are part-time during the school year and can be full time in the summer, typically lasting 6-12 weeks, though they can be longer. In order to earn credit there are minimum hour requirements that must be met. For every one credit hour earned, a student must work a minimum of 40 hours on-site at the internship, per University policy. The student must also work a minimum of 10 weeks during the fall and spring (six weeks is required during the summer).

Academic Internship Process

BEFORE THE INTERNSHIP: All academic internships require students to meet with the Center for Career and Professional Development and complete an Internship Learning Contract prior to enrolling in an internship class.

  1. A 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the time of application and/or acceptance is required. Unless otherwise specified, all internships are graded on a Pass/D/F basis. Students should consult the catalog for specific departmental or programmatic requirements regarding academic internships.
  2. Secure an internship. For help in applying to and/or finding internship opportunities, schedule a meeting with a staff member in the Center for Career and Professional Development.
  3. Meet with your faculty supervisor. In order to receive academic credit, you must have approval from a SU faculty member. The credit will come from the department in which the faculty member teaches. This can be in your major, but doesn’t have to be. The academic discipline should align with what you will be doing at your internship. Bring an add card with you and have the faculty member sign the add card.
  4. Make an appointment and attend an Academic Internship Orientation in the Center for Career and Professional Development. In this group meeting with a member of the Internship and Employment Development team you will learn about the requirements of an academic internship, how to fill out your learning contract, and timesheets and get any questions answered about how to get academic credit for your internship.
  5. Complete all relevant administrative forms. At the conclusion of the Academic Internship Orientation, you will receive the electronic learning contract to complete. You will also need to turn into CCPD a signed add card.
  6. Once your learning contract is complete with all signatures and you have turned in the add card to CCPD, your class will get officially added to your schedule. 

DURING THE INTERNSHIP: All internship site hours and tasks, along with the following additional activities, must be completed by the agreed-up deadline in order to earn academic credit for internships:

  1. Complete a timesheet log. (Exceptions to this policy are those students participating in the New York Arts Program, Washington Semester Program, or Texas Politics course.)
  2. Complete any additional activities required by your faculty supervisor, such as a journal, reflection paper, or research paper. 
  3. Complete the end-of-semester evaluation.
  4. Create a slide (template provided) detailing your experience, reflections, and what you learned from the internship. CCPD will assist some students in turning these into a poster to be presented at the Research and Creative Works Symposium. (Students completing academic internships toward Paideia with Distinction must present in the Experiential Learning track of the Research and Creative Works Symposium.)