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 can I fulfill with an internship?
- How do I get credit?
- When can I enroll in IPL 300 for academic credit?
- How many internship hours do I work?
- When should I start looking for an internship?
- What do I do first!?
- Can I complete an internship for credit where I currently work?
- What are the internship course requirements?
- Where can I find a copy of the Internship Handbook?
- What if I am an online student or international student?
- Can I intern abroad?
- Is there an alternate to an internship? What about a Project?
- What if I don’t want or need the credit hours? What are my internship options?
- Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE): The internship course can fulfill your ECCE Engagement and/or ECCE Elective requirements.
- General Elective: If you have have completed your general education and major requirements, but still need additional credits to reach the 120 that is required to graduate, the internship course can be used as a general elective.
You earn credit by enrolling in the internship course – IPL 300, where you complete a required number of internship work hours and assignments that correspond with the internship.
- You can earn 2-12 credits* of IPL 300. Please consult with your academic advisor or an IPL Coordinator for assistance in determining how many credits you need. If you enroll in more than 6 credits, additional assignments are required.
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. Some academic departments have additional prerequisites.
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.
You should start looking for an internship or project at least one semester BEFORE you plan to enroll in IPL 300. In addition, many competitive internships have deadlines 6 months to 1 year before the internship start date.
You may be able to complete your internship at your current place of employment if the following apply and your department approves:
- You currently work in your field of study.
- You are working in a new position, or you will be assigned new duties, projects, etc. that will provide you with a learning experience.
- You have a work supervisor who is willing to supervise your work for the credit-bearing internship, participate in a midterm conference with a UIS faculty member, and fill out an evaluation of your work at the end.
- The internship course, IPL 300 is offered online, on-ground, or in a blended format.
- See the Course Information page for the syllabus and information regarding course assignments.
The Internship Handbook (PDF) is available online, or through your course Blackboard site.
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.
Another way to earn ECCE credit is to complete a Project for academic credit (depending on your department’s approval). More information can be found on the Project page.
If you wish to complete an internship but do not want or need the IPL 300 credit, you may search non-credit internships via Career Connect.