Internship Planning & Timeline Steps

ASAPMeet with OEL AdvisorDiscover types of internship experiences and begin developing strategy.
ASAPMeet with Academic AdvisorDetermine your academic major requirements for internships: 1) prerequisites 2) number of credit hours 3) how credits will be applied (e.g. ECCE, general elective etc.)
4 Months Prior to Course Application DeadlinePrepare Resume/Cover Letter and practice interviewingSeek guidance/resources from your OEL Advisor and Career Development Center to ensure your resume “sells” your knowledge/ skills/abilities (KSAs) for internships of interest and you can communicate these KSAs well in an interview; check out OptimalResume to get started.
3-4 Months Prior to Course Application DeadlineApply for Internships of interest or network to create an internship not postedApply throughout the recruitment cycle and ensure all deadlines are met; create a log to track internship postings you have applied for or contact leads for potential internships (e.g. business, date applied, follow up emails, interviews scheduled etc.)
2 Months Prior to Course Application DeadlinePrepare for Companies/organizations to reach out to schedule interviewsCheck email frequently and ensure you have a professional voice message on your phone
1 Month Prior to Course Application DeadlineReview internship offer(s) made and evaluate pros/cons of each offer; If applicable attend required information sessions.Make final decision, accept/decline offer in timely manner; once accepting an offer you should no longer participate in additional interviews or apply to additional positions-don’t burn bridges that may impact future offers; some experiences require attendance at information sessions to review special processes prior to submitting application.
Immediately After Accepting OfferComplete IPL Course Application and submit prior to deadlineIdentify a faculty member from your major to serve as UIS Supervisor – required before submitting application; see webpage if your major has pre-assigned UIS Supervisors
Immediately After Receiving Application Approval and Permission to Register for CourseRegister for course ASAP (must be done prior to the semester beginning)After receiving an email notification form IPL to register for the course, please be sure to enroll in the correct course/section assigned and the designated credit hours outlined in the email
Timing will vary dependent upon type of internship enrolled inBegin onboarding processComplete the OEL/UIS onboarding and orientation requirements/ agreements/documents in addition to any other host site specific requirements (e.g. background checks, vaccinations etc.); it’s important for internships requiring agreements with host site and/or are being paid by UIS for interns to complete the required documents ASAP to avoid delaying the start of your internship.


  • Approved Internship Experience Requirements to Be Eligible for Academic Credit
    • Learning experience must be an extension of the classroom that provides an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
    • Skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
    • Experience has defined beginning/end dates: FA/SP-minimum 8 weeks, average 15 weeks; SU-6 weeks and position description includes desired qualifications (use format provided).
    • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework (developed in IPL course).
    • Supervision is provided by a professional with expertise, education and/or professional background in the field related to the internship/project experience (UIS Supervisor).
    • Routine feedback is provided by experienced supervisor (Field Supervisor).
    • Resources, equipment, and facilities are provided by host employer that supports learning objectives/goals.
  • Determine if you are ready to complete an internship
    • Typically, you must complete three core courses (300-400 level) in your major, have you completed these?
    • Criminology & Criminal Justice: Have you completed CCJ 315 & 345?
    • Sociology/Anthropology: Have you completed SOA 302 & 304?
  • Assess how many credits of internship you will need to satisfy your degree requirements
    • College of Business & Management, all majors: minimum 3 credits, 6 credits recommended
    • Criminology & Criminal Justice: minimum 6 credits
    • Exercise Science, Health & Fitness: minimum 3 credits
    • Legal Studies: minimum 3 credits
    • Political Science: minimum 6 credits
    • Public Administration, Public Policy: highly recommended 6 credits for students without professional experience
  • Using Current Place of Work for Internship
    • If you work in your desired degree field, ask your supervisor about taking on new responsibilities or projects to complete an internship at your current place of employment.
  • Special Documentation Required for International Students
  • Learn More in Advance of the Internship Course Beginning

If you would like assistance or have questions about this process, you can set up a meeting to meet with an OEL Advisor. Email, or call (217) 206-6640.