For some students, it is possible to do a Project instead of a traditional internship. The Project is very independent in nature, requiring good organizational skills and attention to self-imposed deadlines. Projects should relate to your major and must be approved by both the student’s department and an IPL Coordinator.

Examples of a Project include, but are not limited to:

  • a research project with a faculty member at UIS or another institution,
  • a writing project (fiction or nonfiction),
  • an entrepreneurial endeavor such as starting a business,
  • an audit of a nonprofit organization’s computer system, and
  • the creation of new software or a new app.

A Study or Travel Abroad experience can also be used as a Project: Guidelines for Project Study Abroad (PDF).

At the semester conclusion, you will have an end product to show for your work. Students completing a Project enroll in IPL 301; the online course and corresponding assignments allow you to reflect on what you learn during the Project work. As with a traditional internship, you need two other people to assist you: a field supervisor and a UIS supervisor. Ideally, you will work with one of your program faculty or a local expert as the field supervisor. Note: Some departments allow Projects in lieu of the required internship; others do not.  Consult with your department advisor.

Students who wish to enroll in IPL 301 should complete and submit a Project Course Application to the IPL office:


The curriculum requirements for the project are similar to those for a traditional internship, as the project is considered equivalent to the internship experience. The time commitment for a Project is 50 hours for every credit hour (Ex: 3 credit hours = 150 hours of project work). These hours may include researching, reading in preparation for the project, meeting/conference times with the advisor/supervisor, etc.