Overview of Academic Internships
Why consider an academic internship?
- Gain valuable work experience
- Explore possible career path.
- Apply classroom learning to the real world
- Gain contacts and network with people and organizations who may help you in the job market
- Enhance your resume
- Earn academic credit
Who is eligible to do an academic internship?
- You must be a student in good standing and meet your department requirements.
- Note - If you are a Bachelor's Degree-seeking student in the Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences, College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science, Division of Organizational Leadership and Supervision, or select programs in the College of Arts and Science, please visit the Cooperative Education program page for paid, academic-based co-ops and internships for students in your field.
What qualifies as an academic internship?
- Any work experience that is related to your educational and career goals.
- The key requirement is that the internship involve a new experience. Students can earn credit for their current jobs if they are beginning a new project or activity.
- Internships may be part-time or full-time, paid or volunteer.
- Students may enroll in 1 (minimum) to 6 (maximum) credit hours per semester per department policies.
Where are academic internship opportunities available?
- Internship opportunities are available in the Northeast Indiana area and nationwide.
- Internship opportunities are available in many professional areas including: law, corrections, probation, education, health, community services, government, private business, and many more.
How can I obtain an academic internship?
- Students have primary responsibility for obtaining a position. However, OACS may have requests from non-profit agencies. Some positions may also be posted in JobZone.
When are academic internships completed?
- Because work experiences do not always fit in the typical academic calendar, students may begin an internship any time during the calendar year.
How do I earn academic internship credit?
- Check with your department.
- Internships are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. These credit hours do not impact your GPA.
Unpaid Academic Internships
Academic Internships allow students to combine a credit-bearing independent study with outside, non-paid work experience.
A strong, rigorous academic component must complement the work experience. A faculty member advises the project and evaluates the student’s work. Students must meet the requirements established by their department. Some departments may not have a course established to accommodate academic internships. For-profit employers must meet the standards established by the U.S. Department of Labor. (Listed below)
In 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a crackdown on unpaid internships.....This article prompted a lot of focus on unpaid internships. http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2010/04/what-unpaid-interns-could-cost-you.html
Employers need to be aware of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that the US Department of Labor (DOL) amended. The DOL essentially states that for-profit employers must compensate interns in some fashion or adhere to the six criteria to develop a formal training program for the intern.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has developed the six factors below to evaluate whether a worker is a trainee or an employee for purposes of the FLSA:
- The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
- The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
- The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
- The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
- The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) position statement on unpaid internships: