How does an internship for credit work?

To earn academic credit for an internship, students enroll in an Internships & Prior Learning class (IPL 300) at the same time as they complete their internship experience. Students pay tuition for the class and earn credit by completing coursework where they reflect on the internship learning experience.  These internships were formerly called Applied Study Terms, or ASTs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree requirements do internship credits fulfill?

  • Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE): The internship course can fulfill your ECCE Engagement and/or ECCE Elective requirements.
  • General Elective: If you have all of your general education and major requirements completed, but still need additional credits to reach the 120 that is required to graduate, the internship course can be used as a general elective.
  • University Requirement: If you are under a UIS catalog prior to 2007 the internship Course can be used to fulfill your University Requirement

When can I take an internship for academic credit?

Typically, internships are completed during your junior or senior year after you have completed at least 3 of your 300- or 400-level courses required for your major.

How many credits of the internship course can I take?

You earn credit by taking the appropriate internship course – IPL 300.

  • You can earn 2-12 credits* of IPL 300.  Please refer to your academic advisor or an IPL Coordinator for assistance in determining how many credits you need.
    *College of Business and Management students should consult Dr. Dyanne Ferk or Dr. Leonard Branson if they are interested in earning over 6 credits.
  • If you enroll in more than 6 credits, there are additional assignment requirements.

How many internship hours do I have to work?

For each hour of credit, you must complete 50 hours of work (example: 3 credits = 150 hours). Internships must be at least 8 weeks in length.

  • Please note: students under UIS catalogs prior to 2007 who are fulfilling University Requirements are required to work 40 hours for every credit.  For example, 8 credits = 320 hours.

When should I start looking for an internship?

You should start looking for an internship or project early in the semester BEFORE you plan to complete your internship for credit.  In addition, many competitive internships have deadlines 6 months to 1 year before the internship start date.

What do I do first!?

See the Internship Steps page for the steps to set up your internship for credit and enroll in the IPL 300 course.

Can I complete an internship for credit where I currently work?

You may be able to complete your internship at your current place of employment if the following are true and your department approves:

  1. You currently work in your field of study.
  2. You are working in a new position, or you will be assigned new duties, projects, etc. that will provide you with a learning experience.
  3. You have a work supervisor who is willing to supervise your work for the credit-bearing internship, participate in a site visit with a UIS faculty member, and fill out an evaluation of your work at the end.

What are the internship course requirements?

  • The internship course, IPL 300 is offered online, on-ground, or in a blended format.
  • See the Course Information page for details on the internship course requirements.

Where can I find a copy of the Internship Handbook?

The Internship Handbook (PDF) is available online, or through your course Blackboard site.

What if I am an online student or international student?

Online students can complete an internship at a location of their choosing.  Online students should follow the same steps for obtaining an internship and registering for the internship course.  When seeking additional information or signatures, please email or call the appropriate contact.  Online students will register for an online section of the course.

International students who are required to complete an internship for their major must obtain Curricular Practical Training authorization.  Please contact the Office of International Student Services for assistance with this process.

Can I intern abroad?  

There are several opportunities to intern abroad.  Students should consult with an IPL Coordinator and the Office of International Programs.

Is there an alternate to an internship?  What about a Project?

An alternate path to a traditional internship is to complete a Project for academic credit (depending on your department’s approval).  More information can be found on the Project page.

What if I don’t want or need the credit hours?  What are my internship options?

If you wish to complete an internship not for academic credit, you may search non-credit internships via Career Connect.


Updated: May 2016